'They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
The annual Remembrance Day Parade in Walsall on Sunday 12th November was going to be a wonderfully sunny (though cold) day according to the weather forecast, much like the weather over the past 10 years on this special day - and so it was as the members of The Staffordshire Band made their way to Walsall Town Centre....
However with normal thermals underneath, the Band assembled at about 10.00am, to prepare for one of the most important engagements of the year and certainly the most poignant. Having set the programme of marches (which doesn't take long) and organised the three hymns, the Band were ready...............
But the elements were starting to rebel as firstly black clouds rolled over, then it started to rain and the wind began to storm the thermals - this wasn't in the script!
So an assortment of coats/jackets appeared.............................
For what seemed ages the Band waited at the head of the Parade, trying to keep instruments, clothes and lips warm.
Following a hearty order bellowed out, about 10.25am, the parade set off.
'The Middy' was the choice to start, as the Band googled its way through the streets, marching past the Mayor of Walsall outside the Town Hall, heading in the direction of the Cenotaph, with lots of people lining the streets as always.
By this time, the promised sunny day had reappeared and the temperatures rose by a couple of degrees - something that continued for the rest of the day!
This included the hymns, 'Praise my Soul the King of Heaven', 'Dear Lord and Father' and 'I Vow to the my Country', conducted by Paul White, intermingled with Andy Jennings providing superb performances (again!) of the 'Last Post' and 'Reveille'.
Then it was 'Slaidburn' back to the Town Hall and the 'British Legion March' for the march past, before the usual after-event drinks.
Perhaps a poem from the First World War brings it home, just what conflict and its aftermath is all about......... and why poppys are so special:-
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Thanks to all who helped out the Band and thanks to all Staffs players who, once again, put their all in to 'Remembering Them' once again.
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For further information relating to the bands engagements or programmes please e-mail Information@thestaffordshireband.com