Downshire Guiding Star Parade - 11/09/09

This parade has always been classed as the last of the "big" band parades of the year. And what a night it was, Banbridge over the years has just got bigger and better. The cut bit is always a pleasure to do, the noise is crazy and the crowds really add to it. Its a pity more parades around the country dont get crowds like this.

I thought the PSNI kept a low profile tonight and seemed to let things flow. But hats of to everyone for making this night a huge success.

Drumderg Loyalists going well. The Gertrude Star in good tune as were Pride of the Hill Rathfriland, who were big in numbers. Alot of bands caught my eye tonight. Lambeg Orange and Blue, Mourne Young Defenders, South Down Defenders old boys and Dunamoney who were looking sharp and playing to a high standard. The smaller bands tonight seemed up in numbers and why not, everyone playing their part at this great parade. The only downside tonight was the finish, i prefered the old route. Up and down one street just didnt do it for me, it seems to finish abruptley but other than that it was a massive parade and date in the Loyalist calender. Again i cant put into words the praise i have for the entire band scene on such a night.

Below are a selection of photographs of the band in action.

Colour party Colour party Drum corp Drum corp Bass drum Bass drum

Here is clips of the band in action:
CLIP 1 - CLIP 2 - CLIP 3 - CLIP 4 - CLIP 5 - CLIP 6 - CLIP 7 - CLIP 8 - CLIP 9 - CLIP 10

Tonight we were awarded:
1st Blood and Thunder
1st Colour party
1st B&T style & app
2nd B&T bass drum
2nd B&t drum corp
3rd Marching & disipline
2nd Overall band

All week our band was buzzing about this parade, more so than the past few years. Having so many new members doing this parade for their first time and wearing our famous white trousers for the first time in months just added to it.

Tonight we walked with 9 of a colour party, 18 drummers, 3 bass drummers, 31 flautists and marshalls. A special mention must go to Andy Steed who drum majored for us, he wanted to walk with us before he heads of to join the Irish Guards so well done Andy and good luck in the army. I must say tonight even i was taken back by the style and appearance of our colour party, well done lads. The rest of the band just done what they do every week, only this week it was 10 times better. The drum section was on fire, bass drummers gave it 110% and the flute section was in good tune. I cant say enough tonight i was that proud. Yes big headed, but proud of the whole band and this performance is a good pointer for the future of the Protestant Boys.

Well done Downshire Guiding Star.

John Keenan
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman