Today we travelled not to far in our own backyard of East Belfast for the host bands annual parade whom collection money goes towards aiding the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity, a well worth cause and the Pride of the Raven ,must be given credit for their kind gestures over the years.
We met up as usual the Hillfoot Glentoran Supporters club for the usual pre-parade drink and watching the live football game, we where able to see the majority of the parade and with bands like the Ballymacarrett, William Strain & William Lightbody, Kilcluney, Donaghadee, Crimson Star whom might I add where all going well as where the improving bands like the Rising Sons and Lower Woodstock.
It was good to see the Raven get a good turnout and this is nothing more than they deserve as they are one of the best melody bands on the road at the moment and are respected all across the country for their musical ability.
It was great to see the Dunloy Accordion band parading today, this was the first time Iíve seen them in East Belfast for a while (I personally didnít see them at the UVF Regimental bands parade) and they got a great reception by the locals and the watching bandsmen it was great to see them play and I hope to see them back in East Belfast soon.
South Down DUP band where also taking part in the parade and although they where small in numbers they certainly made up for this with a good solid performance; really playing well and they seemed to enjoy this afternoon parade.
Good weather today and a good route it was a pity that this parade is hosted on a busy Saturday afternoon, with commitments like local football, work, social events which really do hit bands severely.
Bands didnít have massive numbers that would usually be associated with night time parade but this certainly didnít stop them all playing very well. 100% effort from every band and thatís good to see.
After our previous nights performance in Banbridge I wondered how many members we could pull out for this parade, to my delight we could only manage to pull 13 side drummers, 28 fluters, 2 bass drummers, 3 cymbal boys with a drum major.
Today we had a colour party that consisted of 6 off our own members and 4 additional colour party members from Downshire Guiding Star whom asked to join us for the day as they couldnít get a band for this parade. I hope they enjoyed their day out with the band.
Below are a selection of photographs of the band in action.
The band where presented with the following awards during lthe parade competition results:
1st Blood and Thunder Band
1st Blood and Thunder Bass Drum
1st Blood and Thunder Drum Corps
1st Blood and Thunder Drum Major
1st Colour Party
1st Style and Appearance
2nd Marching & Discipline
1st Best Overall Band
I enjoyed this parade and the whole weekend with the band, we received many awards, praises and plaudits from many people these are truly grateful to hear but the biggest thing to the band now are supporting other loyalists and bands where possible over Northern Ireland. This we shall always strive to do.
Thanks to the Pride of the Raven for a good parade and keep up the great charity work that have raised over £75,000 over the many years on the road.
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman
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