If it’s June, it must be the Lions Funfest – a day of activities and entertainment
for disabled people and their carers. The weather was favourable and the venue a
well-appointed school. All the regulars from previous years were there – the bouncy
castle, the miniature railway, belly dancers, and Elvis. He turned out to be a remarkable
Tommy Cooper impersonator as well as a plausible Elvis, and provided an impromptu
performance for some of the Cinque Porters lucky enough to be idling in the right
We carried out three spots during the afternoon, and as ever, the emphasis was on
involving as many of the beneficiaries of the day as possible. We did some marching,
gathering followers as we went, then did some static playing so that the youngsters
could join in. The bass drum was brought out to the front and very quickly appropriated,
with Dmr Lidinson maintaining a watching brief. Working through the repertoire was
challenging without Dmr Lidinson’s steadying influence on the bass drum – his replacement
played in a somewhat random manner.
(Click on pictures to enlarge)
Dmr Byrne, Entertainments Officer for the day, distributed percussion items from
our bag of goodies to the volunteers, and handed out personalised Certificates of
Achievement and Cinque Ports keyrings to everyone who played with us.
We were delighted to welcome another regular Funfest guest – Bb flute player Travis
McCall: Old Whitgiftian , erstwhile Drum Major of Fleet Corps of Drums, former member
of the HAC Corps of Drums and a Lion himself, he always attends the Funfest and has
joined us in previous years.
An interesting collaboration took place when Elvis was invited to lead the Corps.
Coached by DM Fairfax, he marched, countermarched and halted the Corps, then announced
he would be carrying out an inspection. Then with a final “Getyeraircut” he sauntered
back to Graceland (well, his tent).
One young man, sitting in his wheelchair, was invited in a kindly manner by Dmr Byrne
to join in the next tune. He admitted to doing a bit of drumming and got up and walked
easily to the nearest Side Drum. We hadn’t witnessed a medical miracle – it turned
out that he had been sitting in his sister’s wheelchair while she was off doing something
As we repaired to the Boys’ Changing Rooms after our last performance, we reflected
on another successful Funfest. Well done the Lions.