The music being played is "Crags of Tumbledown"
Being played by the Band and the Lorne Scots Canada

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The Band and Drums web site
Who's Who
in the
Band President

Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Eric W. Davidson MBE. DL.

The Band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Lancashire
The Fusiliers Museum
Moss Street

0161 705 1577

Musical Director

Catherine M. Brooks G.Mus

Philip Mather
Band Sergeant Major

Stephen Ribchester

Drums Sergeant Major

Sam Jackson

Drums Drum Major

Paul Cupik

20th Anniversary Week End Dinner and Concert

The Band
Minden 2007 at Wellington Barracks

The Drum's
Remembrance Sunday 2008 at Wellington Barracks

Drum Major
Ches Hodgson

Drums Mascot
L/Cpl Drummer

Another massive success for the Band & Drums.
(Article by William St Maur Sheil.)
My wife and I went out to Canada to cheer on the Band and Drums - and enjoy a little bit of touring round the Rockies and Vancouver while over there.
Once again our Association Band has been invited back to Canada, to take part in the Canadian International Military Tattoo. The Band and Drums travelled out to Canada on Wednesday 11th June and returned a week later. Judging by the ovation given to them by the huge audience on both nights at the Tattoo, their music and marching were enormously appreciated. Once again they have succeeded beyond any reasonable expectation, for a band which normally can only meet to practice in their spare time, in the evening and at weekends; this has to be a huge achievement. They were as professional as any regular army band, and probably better than some. We have every reason to be very proud of them.
Every year, the organisers of this Tattoo, which takes place at Hamilton, Ontario (just South of Toronto, the commercial capital of Canada) invite one carefully selected and well-known foreign band or display team to share the limelight with their Bands and Drums, and their own Canadian displays. Early in 2007, we heard that our part-time, amateur band had been invited again. What an honour! What recognition! Not just invited once, but so highly thought of that they had been invited back. To give some idea of the standard expected of visitors, other displays or bands, invited to take part in previous Tattoos, have been the world famous American Marines Silent Drill display team, the US Army Hellcats Drums and Bugles and the REME band of the British Army.
The Musical Director Mike Thomas, the Drum Major Charles Hodgson, and 32 members of the Band and Drums were able to travel, and had only three days, including the first day of the Tattoo, in which to recover from the journey and rehearse. It cannot be the easiest of tasks to co-ordinate the different musical styles and marching routines for those parts of the Tattoo when they combined with the other bands. The Saturday routine must have been particularly punishing with rehearsals all day, followed by the Tattoo, lasting 2½ hours. Everyone seemed to have plenty of energy left for the party to celebrate the success of the first night, which went with a real swing at the Pheasant Plucker, just round the corner, until the early hours. We all needed to wet our whistles, even those not playing instruments. Having fallen out at midnight ourselves, I did note that the band members maintained the best traditions of the Regiment by appearing next day showing no effects of the party at all, while no doubt the pub was having a frantic time trying to replenish their supplies for another session after the Sunday performance.
A massive thank you must be given to Colonel Orange, the Commanding Officer of the Lorne Scots, and Drum Major Ian McGibbon of the Lorne Scots, our allied Canadian Regiment. Through their support and recommendation the decision was made to invite the Association Band and Drums to Canada. In particular, our thanks to Drum Major Ian McGibbon, who came to Bury for this year's Gallipoli Commemoration with Pipe Major Kevin Cranley, and whose liaison then, and over many months since, has smoothed the wheels for this trip. It was he who made almost all the arrangements in Canada, and who looked after the Band and Drums while they were there. He was also very helpful to us, while we were in Hamilton, even when he was at his busiest.
He is hugely proud that he and his men wear the primrose hackle, so that the link with our two Regiments is reflected not just through our shared interests, but also in their uniform. He now has a LF badge to add to the RRF badge already on his mace. The Lorne Scots Band & Drums will be attending the Gallipoli Commemoration and official opening of the Museum next year, with many supporters.
The Tattoo took place in a vast indoor Coliseum, with mock castle walls and entrance at the far end, through which all the performers entered. I will try to describe a little of the Tattoo itself, partly to encourage others who might like to go out to Hamilton, should the Band be invited out again.
The guest of honour on the first night was General Gary Stafford, Deputy Commander Land Forces in Canada. Once he had been driven in and welcomed, the Tattoo itself started with a fanfare by the trumpeters of the LF Association Band and Drums, which was done very well. As they marched off, they were immediately followed by the appearance through the Castle doors and the stirring sound of the Massed Pipes and Drums of the two Canadian Highland Regiments taking part. These were our own allied Regiment, the Lorne Scots, with the Drum Major out in front, looking absolutely magnificent in all his full dress uniform, and the Pipes and Drums of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders of Canada. Also on parade were the Dundas Pipes & Drums, and the Pipes and Drums of the Hamilton Police. Their massive sound really filled the Coliseum.
Then on came the Massed Military Bands, with our Band and Drums, marching alongside those of the Hamilton Light Infantry and the Windsor Regiment. All the tunes played were well known tunes, which always adds to the pleasure of the audience. After playing and countermarching, they formed up for a finale conducted by Mike Thomas of a very good rendition and arrangement of Alouette. The performance was greeted with a huge ovation as they marched off.
There was further music from the Pipes and Drums, while we were entertained by the lovely Schiehallon Highland dancers. Then, because this year is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec city, we enjoyed watching the charming dancers and singers of the French Canadian Mackinaw Folklorique Group, laughing and smiling as they performed, and full of fun.
Finally before the interval, our Band and Drums came on again, on their own, to thunderous applause, and were joined after a while by the Lorne Scots Pipes and Drums, which made a really enjoyable combination of the two Regiments working together. Great music and great marching.
After the interval, we had the massed military Bands and Drums and the massed Pipes and Drums. Then a very moving vignette, in which the local Afghan community had volunteered to take part, and in which appeared a section from the Royal 22e Regiment (known as the Van-Doo's, from the French title, as they come from the French part of Canada). These very smart and very competent, confident looking young men had only just returned from a successful tour in Afghanistan, and this little act was called "Afghanistan Thanks Canada". It was all explained by a good commentary, and started with some Afghani mullahs, spotlit in the Arena, shouting their demands for the restrictions imposed by the Taliban on the Afghan population, and then whipping and chasing out of the Arena some groups of young Afghanis who dared to relax and enjoy games, and some girls who dared to attend school. After some bombing noises, on came the young soldiers and off ran the mullahs, and Afghan life returned to comparative normality. It was interesting to hear the Corporal's words of command made in French.
It was done very well and the Afghan Consul-General from Toronto was the other principle guest. It was good to see this public thank-you to the Canadian Armed Forces, supported by the local Afghan community. It would be very nice to see the local Afghan and Iraqi communities in UK show some public appreciation of our servicemen and women. On the Sunday the chief guest was General Charles Belzile, who had commanded the Royal 22e Regiment, and then gone on to command the whole Canadian Army, now the Honorary Grand President of Royal Canadian Legion. It was clearly a very much appreciated and moving chance for him to speak to these fine young men of his own Regiment
After the Grand Finale, with lots more music and all the participants back in the arena, and after singing the Canadian and our National Anthems, it was all over. The Sunday performance was just as successful.
Well done the Band & Drums! We so nearly did not go, and we are both very glad indeed that we did. It was an honour to be involved with them. They deserve our very fulsome thanks for what they achieve for the Regiment, not just on this trip, but over the years. Originally a small quorum from the Band of the 5th Battalion, who refused to give up back in 1967 when the 5th Battalion was disbanded, and started up again in the Regimental Club. They grew over the years, and through all sorts of problems, into the brass band we knew, until they became a "military band" in 1997. Now over 50 strong, they perform at about 50 functions a year, with the Corps of Drums performing on average about twice every weekend. No wonder they are good. I think their stick drill is better than that of the Royal Marines, but I am biased. It was a great pity some of the younger members were unable to travel, many because they are still at school, and sadly, their exams clashed with the dates. What a wonderful experience it would have been for them, and we can only hope that another chance will come their way.
Particular thanks must also go to the Band CQMS, Jane Brooks. I understand that most of the organisation at the UK end for the trip was her responsibility. That is a huge undertaking when you think about it, with all the individuals to co-ordinate and get to the airports on time, and all the uniforms and instruments to pack up and despatch. Although he tried to pass all the credit to Jane for her organisation, I am confident that a great deal of work was also done by Col Eric Davidson behind the scenes, and everyone was very sorry that he was unable to travel and be with them. When I found Mike Thomas on Saturday after rehearsals, the pleasure with which I was asked immediately whether I had heard of Col Davidson's MBE, was testament to the affection and respect with which he is held by the Band and Drums. Hardly surprising, after the way he has nursed and supported them over the years, especially his help to raise the funds for buying uniform and instruments, until they have reached this latest achievement. Everyone was really delighted by this much deserved honour.


Gallipoli Dinner Bury Town Hall and the Sunday Parade 2008
click on any photo to enlarge it
Minden Day 2008 at the Barracks

Band and Drums Engagements 2010

The Music played on this site is
The Band of
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

Click on any of the CD photo to see it enlarged
The CD is available from Col Eric Davidson
Price £5:00 or £6:00 with p and p
Eric's E Mail Address
0161 705 1577