Saturday 20th June
Armed Forces Day – Torpoint 

Pipers: Nigel, Ian, Alex, Miranda, Keith G, Tom G, David C, John C, Felicity, David T and Allen and Matt (Guest Pipers)

Drummers: Snare – Tom W, Geoff, John R, Eleanor, Tenor – Vic, Fred

Bass – Keith I, and Sue (Guest Drummer)

Drum Major – Andrew

The venue was Torpoint for Cornwall’s Armed Forces Day and the weather was cloudy and windy until the afternoon. There was an excellent turnout of 12 Pipers, 8 Drummers and Drum Major which included two guest pipers and one guest drummer.

By 14.00 hours the Members had assembled in the car park by the school and were ready to tune up. The dress code was No 1s with Bonnets, medals and pipe ribbons but Glengarries were worn as it was deemed too warm for bonnets. By 15.00 hours the Members had made their way down through the top half of the park noting the weaponry and armoury, both old and modern on display. The stalls and equipment were representative of the RAF, Army and Navy which included recruitment, Royal British Legion, Fire and Rescue. There were demonstrations put on by HMS Raleigh, Air Training Corps, 165 (Wessex) Port & Maritime RLC, 6th Rifles, Cornwall Army Cadet Force, Royal Marines, and RAF St Mawgan to name but a few. The park then descended gradually to sea level to the Stage and Arena with the backdrop of the River Tamar just beyond.

The park had been filling up with the general public all morning and the events which had already taken place since 11.00 hours, included the Veterans Parade, HMS Raleigh Recruits Arms Drill display, the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth, and Corps of Drums, Coop Youth Big Band, Carbeile Field Gun Crew, MoD Police Dog Display, All Schools Choir, and Royal Marines Cadets.

The Kernow Band’s slot in the large Arena was 16.30 hours but was delayed by 10 minutes and came after the impressive Corps of Drums. Behind the stage there was shelter and seating provided for the Band for storage of their equipment and refreshments were kindly provided by the Organisers. By then the sun had been shining for an hour or so and there was a good atmosphere among the many families and visitors sitting on the vast area of grassy slopes enjoying the entertainments and sun. Besides the refreshment tents, drink and ice cream stalls there were horse drawn carriage rides provided by the magnificent Lizard Stallions.

The Band looked and sounded impressive as it marched into the Arena led by the Drum Major, playing Battles O’er and there was loud appreciation from the crowds and filming from the photographers. After marching the full length of the Arena they counter marched back and returned to form a circle in the centre. Tunes played during the half hour included the following – Green Hills/Battles O’er, Scotland the Brave/Rowan Tree/Wings/Bonny Galloway, Scotland the Brave/Mairi’s Wedding, Collin’s Cattle/Shoals of Herring, Waters of Kylesku/Skye Boat Song/Morag of Dunvegan, Pack up your Troubles/Tipperary/Home Fires, Cockney Jocks/Rainbow Country/Bluebells of Scotland, Amazing Grace, and Highland Cathedral.

At the finish there was more enthusiastic applause as the Band marched out of the Arena. The Pipe Major then thanked the Band for doing a great job and also the visiting Pipers and Drummer and the Members were dismissed. It had been a pleasant afternoon in really warm weather with a great atmosphere and the Band had more than surpassed itself, and looking back through previous records of events to 2010 it would seem this had been the largest turnout the Kernow Band had achieved so far.