The Cinque Ports Corps of Drums was invited to take part in The International Military
Xmas Tattoo in Leiden, Holland, on 9th and 10th December 2017. Eighteen members of
the corps, an accompanying young lady and the Drum Major made the trip to Holland,
staying at the ECC Holiday Inn in Leiden.
The Corps practised its tattoo routine in the venue adjoining the hotel on Saturday
morning for the first performance that afternoon. The other participants in the tattoo
were: the Quirinus Band & Bugle Corps (a British Army style RIFLES Band and Bugles
from Germany), the Band of Liberation (a Remembrance Band from Holland), the Kunst
en Genoegen (Art and Pleasure) Marching Band and Young Band from Leiden. Also featured
at the Tattoo were singers Lily Kok, Marnie Baumer and Burgemeester van der Werff,
and a local youth gymnastics team and baton-twirling group.
Under conductor WO1 (Bandmaster) Richard Douglas* of The Band of The Royal Irish
Regiment, all the performers came together for a finale comprising Hallelujah, Abide
With Me, Last Post, a lone piper, the Dutch National Anthem and Auld Lang Syne.
After three enjoyable and successful performances over the two days, the Corps returned
to the UK immediately after the last performance on Sunday afternoon. It was far
from an easy journey. Setting off in six inches of snow with the coach air-con stuck
on ‘cold+++’, delays at the Channel Tunnel meant a night on the coach and a late
arrival in Dover at dawn on Monday.
* Bandmaster Douglas was made an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.
For an account of the trip seen through the eyes of the Corps mascot, a teddy bear
called Little Geoff, click here. Little Geoff's Big Lie Down (Links to a new Little
Geoff page with the account below and pictures.)