Clandon Park House 2013

Home of the Queens Royal Surrey Regt Museum

Scribe Mike Boxall

The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regimental Museum

Clandon Park House

28th April 2013

 

The last weekend in April saw us on our, by now traditional, spring visit to Clandon Park House, home to the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regimental Museum. The museum is an inspiring location for the first real run through of our display routine for the year.

 

Fortunately this year someone had hidden the Drum Major’s ‘nasty pills’, so the morning’s practice passed off relatively quietly. Our attempts at crown counter-marches threatened to disturb the calm but otherwise it was an effective practice in the spring sunshine.

 

The early afternoon saw us kitted up and ready to go on. Despite the serious worldwide shortage of metal polish, almost everyone in the Corps paraded with bright shining belt buckles.

 

Our friends the 2nd (Queen’s Royal) Regiment of Foot, 1809, a group that re-creates the life of a British regiment of line infantry during the Napoleonic Wars, were encamped on the grass behind the display area. Their white tents, Regimental Colours, varied uniforms and ladies in Empire line dresses made a colourful backdrop to our performance.

 

At the Drum Major’s command we marched on playing Galanthia to a good-sized crowd of spectators. Halting facing the House, we then brought our bugles up for the fanfare Westminster. As the last bugle note faded away the drummers brought us in to the King of the Fairies and we stepped off in slow time.

 

I for one was relieved when we broke into quick time for Euterpe and the Songs of the First World War medley. Slow marching on the sloping gravel took so much of my concentration I didn’t have much left over for playing the tune.

 

Our circling and re-forming while playing Euterpe and the WW1 medley passed off smoothly and ended with us marking time and halting ready for The Jigs. The second time through the Jigs medley our new Bass Drummer, Mark Leworthy, cranked the speed up nicely and we ended the last jig, Rakes of Mallow, flat out.

 

We then marched off to Sussex By The Sea, acknowledging our Cinque Ports roots. If anyone in the crowd of spectators was relieved to hear the last of us they were in for a disappointment. We immediately counter marched and struck up The British Grenadiers to lead on the 2nd (Queen’s Royal) Regiment of Foot, 1809 for their drill and firing display. (see You Tube for the march on URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4teZq5NwDo

 

 

 

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Moving to the lawn at the back of the House we then set up our music stands for a static performance. This differed from previous years in two respects – no side-drums and no ‘Kids Korner’.

 

With our Side and Bass Drummers away practising their drum beating piece, it was left to those stalwarts of our percussion section, Brian Winchester and Chris Morgan, to carry us through our static session. Once we’d got used to the pleasantly restrained drum and cymbal accompaniment, we fluters thoroughly enjoyed ourselves ‘playing from the book’.

 

Somehow the assorted maracas, tambourines and castanets that we rely on to lure youngsters into accompanying us for our ‘Kids Korner’ tunes had gone astray. Given the almost total lack of children at the performance, this turned out not to be a problem.

 

After playing a good selection of marches including Prussia’s Glory, Hazelmere, Trumpet Tunes and Mighty Band of Brothers we retired for ‘char and wads’ kindly provided by museum curator Ian Chatfield.

 

The spectators at The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regimental Museum had given us a good reception in the sunshine. Our next ‘Queens’ audience may be rather more critical – we’re playing for ex-members of 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Regiment, at their annual Reunion in Herne Bay.

 

Mike Boxall   

 

 

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With Thanks to Lee Budd’s Dad for the video which an edited version of the display can be viewed on You Tube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gkhLZwHn64