Sons of Ulster Shankill Parade - 02/05/09

The band made the short journey to the Shankill Road to support the host band, the Sons of Ulster Shankill.

It just so happend to be on a day our local football team won the league and of course we knew what to expect. Mostly good natured banter about football but a few people just cant see the funny side. However we went to support a Loyalist band, not a football team.

The parade this year started at the Mountainview bar, i personally thought it was a better route than previous years. A good number of spectators where out in the side streets and on the Shankill road itself the crowds were good around the usual hot spots. The weather was also great for a parade.

I thought alot of bands were up in numbers tonight, more the "smaller bands". It seems that more people are joining bands which is always a great thing. I can also see that some bands are benefiting from a couple of bands breaking up recentley which is sad in one aspect but its good to see the bandsmen continuing in the scene, luckily there is an upturn.

On a personal view, bands parading are still shunned by our own people, to many young people drinking and acting "jack the wack" doesnt do anyone any good. Every parade this year i feel will fear this and fall victim to it, its up to all bands to help each other combat this and not be selfish in the manner in which we do it. Before we started the parade i got a glimpse of the Shankill Protestant Boys, looking very well in the new uniform and as i have said before are a credit to the Shankill. I am sure many bands will follow the trend in the style of uniform chosen by them. I also seen Ballynahinch Protestant Boys heading of, playing well with small numbers. Ill also add looking very well in the new shirts. Again i didnt see many bands personally but i have been informed that over 30 bands attended the parade which is brilliant to see. Some bands on parade were: SOW Cookstown, Dunamoney, POTH Rathfriland, Downshire GS, SBYC and Goldsprings all making an appearance on this bank holiday weekend.

Tonight our own band paraded with 6 of a colour party, 17 drummers, 2 bass drummers and 29 flautists. 2 of our regular bass drummers both on holdiday so a special mention has to go to Beanie, one of our fluters who filled in on the night, a great job he done alongside Jim. Playing wise we are getting stronger, our marching is also getting back to what we expect. Tonight we passed Downshire and well done to them, they gave us a good battle. Just what we needed to waken us up.

Below are a selection of photographs of the band in action. (Thanks to Ulsterboy)

Colour Party Drum Corps

Here is a clip of the band in action:

Tonight we were awarded:
1st Blood & Thunder
1st B&T Drum Corp
1st Style & Appearance
3rd Colour Party
3rd B&T Flute Corp
2nd Bass drum

I enjoyed the parade tonight, its good to see the Sons of Ulster Shankill being rewarded with such a good turnout for the hard work they put in through the season.

John Keenan
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman