Opinions and attitudes expressed in signed articles are solely those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers. We do not publish personal attacks on individuals or hysterical abuse.

Home page  Pictures  Glenwood Publications  Facing reality  What's new  Contact us  Ballynafeigh Archives 2001-2006

Articles  Reviews  Feedback  What we're about  links

My favourite Band: Pride of the Hill, Rathfriland

THE YEAR 2003 has been a very special one for me in terms of the ‘Marching Season’.  Previously I had not been a follower of the band scene.  I had always attended the larger parades, such as the Twelfth of July and Black Saturday.  However, apart from a couple of feeder parades in my hometown of Bangor , I was largely unaware of the huge amount of Band parades that take place each weekend during the ‘Marching Season’.  

I was introduced to the band scene in an odd way.  My Uncle, who lives in Ballyduff, Co. Antrim, (and whom I would maybe only see a couple of times a year at family ‘get-togethers’ such as the Twelfth) heard that I had access to the internet.  He came to my home and asked could he have a print out of the latest ‘Parade list’.  He told me of the Kilcluney Volunteers website which gave a comprehensive list of parades.  On learning how many parades my Uncle attended I asked him to take me to a few of them.  The first parade I attended was held in Lisburn for the Pride of Knockmore’s annual band competition.  The rest is history and I have attended more than 25 parades since.

What motivates me to travel to all these parades? Well, I had always had a huge passion for the bands since I was a child.  I just wasn’t aware that all these parades were taking place around the country.  Now that I know of them, I try my hardest to attend as many as possible.  I also run a band website www.loyalandtrue.net  and I’m an administrator for the United Loyalist Bands Discussion Forum I guess that motivates me that extra wee bit too!

Whilst watching these parades, some of the bands started to stand out in my mind.  They had a slightly higher standard than the rest.  One of these bands was the Pride of the Hill Flute Band from Rathfriland.  They’re now my favourite band although I do have several others, which I also follow closely. 

Band parades are more than a social event for myself.  However, I feel a huge sense of pride whilst watching this outstanding aspect of our culture.  It’s a shame that so many people want to destroy it.   At these events, I am even more conscious and proud of my Protestant heritage and culture.  It’s clear to see at these parades that everybody feels the same way.  We’ll be damned if we let Sinn Féin/IRA take this away from us.

I feel that there is something for everyone at these parades.  One parade in particular - the annual Kilcluney Volunteers parade which takes place in Markethill, Co. Armagh - regularly attracts over 60 bands.  Blood and Thunder, Brass, Pipe and Accordion bands are all represented and it takes place in a very family orientated atmosphere.  Long may it continue!

Noel, Co. Down.


Home page Pictures Glenwood Publications  Facing reality  What's new  Contact us  Ballynafeigh  Articles Archives 2001-2006

Reviews Images of the Twelfth  Feedback  What we're about  links

Copyright © 2000 - 2007  Glenwood Publications. All rights reserved.