Saturday 11th October
Launceston Carnival

Pipers: Nigel, Alex, Tom G, Keith G, David C, Chris, David T, Felicity, John C

Drummers: Snare – James, Tenor – Andrew, Fred,  Bass – Keith I

The historic market town of Launceston, steeped in history with its Norman castle on the hill, was the venue. The town was already filling up with Carnival revellers who were milling round the narrow Medieval streets. The Members parked in the multi-story (as last year) before meeting up in the St John’s Ambulance Hall at 17.30 hours. There was a very good turnout of members, with nine pipers and four drummers. The Dress Code was No 2s and for the next half an hour there was a tune-up and practice in the large parking area opposite the building.

Weatherwise it was cool but there were clear skies and little likelihood of rain. In the town, fast food stalls were set up, the balloon man was doing a good trade and the air was filled with the wonderful catchy rhythms of the strolling jazz band. The Launceston Community buses were already waiting by 18.00 hours to take the Band on the downhill roads to the Industrial Site for the start of the Parade.

Prior to the start, as the Entrants formed up, the Kernow Band played a jazzed-up version of Amazing Grace with the Truro School of Samba Band to the appreciation of the crowds. At 19.15 hours the procession started, the route was mainly uphill back to the Town Centre. The Band looked impressive coming through the St John’s Bridge to loud applause from the families, children waving luminous sticks and helium filled balloons.

The Launceston Town Band led the Parade (junior section under 12 years) closely followed by the Fire Engine and Launceston Carnival Queen. It was a long and vibrant parade containing The Truro School of Samba Band (dancers and drummers), Barnstaple Youth Marching Band, Community Police Cadets, Majorettes, Scout Cubs, comical Fancy Dressers including a parade of Mr Men, and junior motor cyclists, to name but a few of the numerous entrants.

By 20.30 hours the procession had finished and the Band members on dismissal made their way to the St John’s Ambulance Hall for refreshments kindly provided by the Carnival Organisers. It was a good and varied carnival, well supported and the Kernow Band had more than lived up to its good name! Tunes played during the Carnival included the following – Highland Cathedral, Green Hills/Battles O’er, Scotland the Brave/Mairi’s Wedding, Collin’s Cattle/Shoals of Herring, Cockney Jocks/Rainbow Country/Bluebells of Scotland, and a memorable version, picked up at Arnhem, of Amazing Grace.