The band made the short trip across Belfast to attend the host bands annual parade and competition. I donít think I have to remind anyone as where and why we always try to attend this parade.
This small estate of Protestants surrounded by large numbers of nationalists whom as usual always kick up a fuss months before this parade date to try and stir up tensions between the republicans and the loyalist Suffolk residents.
There is not even a local shop on this small estate and I can only admire the Protestant people whom live there and endure the hardships of doing so.
On the day of the parade the locals always turn the whole estate into a carnival style day, this place always has good weather for the parade and there were plenty of deckchairs and barbeques on the go and everyone cheered and clapped every band on parade.
This is the normal attitude of the people of this area and its very heart warming to get this kind of ovations from people, this is why Iím a bandsman. This is a parade that I would recommend any band to take part in and support these Protestant people.
This parade is a great day out and I must say the attendance of bands is getting bigger and bigger each year, supporting this parade also sends out the message to people that oppose our civil rights that will shall never roll over to a pan SF/IRA agenda in loyalist Sunny Suffolk.
A good turnout of bands travelled past pro IRA people armed with walkie talkies and writing down car and bus registration numbers, walking into the middle of the road trying to unsettle people travelling through the bottom of the Blacks Road.
I got to see Pride of the Hill from Rathfriland, Downshire, Ballycraigy, Steeple Defenders, Goldspring True Defenders, South Belfast Young Conquers, Pride of Knockmore, Pride of the Shore, Whitewell to name but a few of the big number of bands on show.
Our own band walked with 15 side drummers, 26 fluters, 2 bass drummers, colour party of 6, 2 cymbal boys, 1 marshals and a drum major.
Below are a selection of photographs and video clips of the band in action.
The band where presented with the following awards at the parade competition results:
1st Blood and Thunder Band
1st Blood and Thunder Drum Corps
1st Blood and Thunder Bass Drum
1st Style and Appearance
1st Colour Party
1st Junior Drum Major
1st Best Overall Band
Iím not sure on how many attended the parade but from my reckoning I think they where well up on last years total which is great to see and I hope next year its even better attended.
A really hot day as the bands snaked its way around the estate, I was well pleased for the Suffolk boys as they are under pressure from everyone up there on such a day at least once a year it shows in a small way that we are behind them.
Well done to the Upper Falls Protestant Boys on a great parade and I wish you all the best for the rest of the marching season.
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman
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