Ardingly Autumn Show


Game Fair 2015

Scribe Mike Boxall


A Family Day


The Cinque Ports Corps of Drums at the Autumn Show & Game Fair

Ardingly, 4th October, 2015


The Autumn Show & Game Fair at the South of England Showground has become something of a family day for The Cinque Ports Corps of Drums. Drummer Smithers’ wife Pam, daughter Lucy and grand-daughters Lily and Ruby were there, as was Drummer Dunn’s wife, Norma. The Drummers Byrne had their younger daughter Niamh with them, and Drummer Fairfax had brought her husband along too.


Maybe it’s the fact we’re there in support of ABF The Soldiers Charity, maybe it’s the opportunity to bring family dogs, maybe it’s the free sandwiches and cakes provided, but this engagement has a character all its own. With our grandstand view of the arena we enjoyed watching assorted gun dogs, sheep dogs, ponies and donkeys do their stuff. But before long it was time to kit up for our first performance.


Forming up beside the Punch and Judy stall (“That’s the way to do it!”) we marched round to the arena playing Galanthia. Halting in the arena we stepped off to our Soldiers SelectionKiss Me Goodnight, Sergeant Major/Reveille/There’s Something About a Soldier/Soldiers of The Queen. After halting for polite applause from the audience we stepped off again with The Great Escape followed by Killaloe.


At the halt we then played three Retreats - The Ash Grove/Flow Gently Sweet Afton/Mandora followed by See the Conquering Hero Comes. Stepping off again, we exited the arena playing Children’s Love and our Sussex Medley – Sussex By The Sea/Let The Hills Resound/The Royal Sussex.




Our lunchtime sandwiches and cakes were enjoyed to the sight of a man in a fox suit being ‘hunted’ by an enormous pack of ravening children. When this cunning evasion of The Hunting Act 2004 was over we assembled beside Mr Punch again for our second session in the arena.


After marching on to The Adjutant we halted to sound the bugle fanfare Westminster. We then stepped off in slow time playing The King of the Fairies, breaking in to quick time for Euterpe. After halting we set off on our ‘going round in circles’ evolution to a 1914-18 Medley – It’s a Long Way to Tipperary/Goodbye Dolly Gray/Hello, Hello, Who’s Your Lady Friend?/Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty.


We followed this with our Londoner Medley – Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner/All My Life I Wanted to be a Barrow Boy/My Old Man Said Follow the Van before halting to play Trumpet Tunes and The Jigs. After a good round of applause we marched off to Sussex by the Sea and Medicine and Duty.


We subsequently learned from the ABF organisers that donations on the Sunday of our performances exceeded the previous day’s. It’s good to think that our thoroughly enjoyable family day had also helped the ABF in their mission ‘to give lifetime support to serving and retired soldiers and their families’.


Mike Boxall


More photos @ 2015 Gallery


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