JERSEY 1998.............................. THE BATTLE OF FLOWERS Our departure actually began on the evening of Monday 10th July when we all assembled to cram Kit, Food, Sleeping bags and Instruments into the minibus for its trip over on Condor ferries, ably driven by our Band Manager Colin Glover. The rest of us started very early ( 4:30 am ) on the following morning. Having loaded cases and people on board the coach we had a false start when we had to return for David Gilbert's mobile phone. Finally we put some distance between us and Banbury but, try as he might the coach driver was unable to get above 40 mph. A mechanic was finally called and he met up with us in Oxford to do the necessary repairs. With the bus fixed we set off again for Portsmouth in time for the 08:30 ferry sailing. Twenty miles to go and our check in time was upon us !!!!!!! David G with the now famous mobile phone tried to contact the ferry operators, to no avail, no one on this side or in Jersey were answering their phones. On arrival at the terminal our co-ordinator, Sally G, rushed off to check us in, unfortunately leaving her handbag behind on the coach. Even more unfortunate was that even after a bus check it was not found. Not until the driver had returned to Banbury was it finally discovered. Well maybe that was our three misfortunes and everything else would be OK. We hoped so. After a relatively uneventful crossing we docked in Jersey, our coach already there to meet us and whisk us off to our accommodation at the Trinity Youth Centre. The centre manager Elaine soon had us settled in and the support crew got down to some work. Next day we played in St Helier town centre, doing some short spots in the shopping areas. We did quite well shaking the bucket. Later we played at Fort Regent at a huge children's party, and here the Band had to cope with a seven point echo in a sports hall. It was amazing everyone stayed in step.
Inside Fort Regent providing entertainment for the childrens party.
Static Display at the Float Field, Jersey.
The wonderful floats in the Jersey Battle of Flowers.
Battle Day Parade, Jersey.
Thursday was Carnival Day which started with a march from LIBERATION SQUARE to the start of the Carnival route. The actual procession was once around the esplanade and then around again when all the huge mobile floral floats had been assembled. The other Bands on the route were very courteous, with no one trying to enforce their pace or override another Band. We met up with another TYMBA Band, Dolphin, and exchanged notes and some friendships were formed, typical TYMBA fashion. The Torchlight procession on Friday was awesome.
Massive illuminated floral works of art made mobile and not appearing to have drivers !!!! Perhaps they had the Force with them. The loudspeakers of some floats caused us some problems and obviously the regulars had the turn round at the far end better sorted than us as there was some hanging around. Still when we reached the end we had enough left to give a Light Division paced march through the exit gate .
The Moonlight Parade, Jersey.
During the trip there was some time for socialising but the best was on the Saturday when Bandmaster Andy K came up with a cracker of a 10 Pin Bowling night out Thanks Jersey hope you enjoyed us and particularly thanks to Elaine who looked after us so well.
BEZZ TURNS PRO............. During August, The Waterloo Band, The Royal Green Jackets, set off for the annual pilgrimage to the Neuss Shutzenfest. This time was a little different as there was a very special honorary member........Bezz Berry, The Bodicote RBL YB's very own bass drummer had been allowed the great honour of joining the percussion section of this fine Military Band. Bezz played both Bass and cymbals during the five day trip and was commended for his professionalism by both members of the Band and, publicly, by its Bandmaster WO1 (BM) John Morgan. Well Done Bezz.
THE ROYAL GREEN JACKETS FUND-RAISING CONCERT. The Waterloo Band of The Royal Green Jackets made the second of their fund-raising concerts at General Foods Sports and Social Club in September. Distinguished guests present were The Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, The High Sheriff, and the Lady Mayor. The Youth Band also had an input with Buglers in the opening sequence, 2 individual Band spots, and in the finale sequence. Two pairs of RBL and RGJ Buglers played the solo sections of ' Buglers Nocturne' and 'High on a Hill'. Thanks go to all concerned in the organisation of the event.
BANBURY CARNIVAL Once again the Band had the honour of leading the Carnival Parade through the streets of Banbury. The weather was threatening but held off. Well done to Dominic who made his debut as a Drummer / Bugler.
RBL EVENTS The RBL once more organised a Festival of Youth, this time in Nottingham. Bodicote again joined in with other Bands and Youth Sections from all over the country. Attendance at this event was particularly appropriate as in March the Band had been presented with the Windsor Spinks Memorial Trophy for a second time. ( The trophy is given to a youth section that has best demonstrated the RBL values in the preceding twelve months).
SPONSORS Marks and Spencer presented the Band with a cheque for £3000 to boost much needed funds. Thank you
PERSONNEL In early 1998 Colin Fisher stepped down as Bandmaster due to work pressures and was ably replaced by Andy Kirtland who had been Deputy BM for a number of years. As can be seen from the year's events the change was seamless and Colin was honoured with the position of Band Vice-president.