Bright and early everyone
woke up in anticipation of the Parade, but looking out on to the field
it was not only raining but flooding had taken place around the Island.
With less than 4 hours to go before the collection time everyone feared
the worst. With the reputation of "Never Having Rained On The
Battle" it looked like this year would be a first. Strangely
enough with one hour to go the rain stopped and there was a small
shiny outline of something that resembled the Sun appear above the
Island. Quickly everyone started to change, half ready, for the collection
and short trip down to the sea front for the Afternoons events.
With the Floats and Entertainment already parked up at the ends of the Roads awaiting being fed in from both ends meant that the Road was completely empty so it was a smooth and quick March straight down from Lay by 5 to Stand C in glorious Sunshine. With the crowd starting to take their seats and places it was a somewhat strange experience as there was nothing else on the carriageway but the crowd were clapping, singing, taking Videos and Photographs nevertheless.
After 50 minutes and no issues along the way the band turned round at the bottom end and stopped for a brief Water Stop and Toilet Break before falling in and setting off back down the Main Parade route.
As the Band approached
Stand A they noticed the BBC & ITV TV Cameras filming on a large
remote Camera fixed to a swiveling Arm. Low and behold just Yards
from the Band being filmed breaking into a Dance, The Herne Bay Sea
Cadet Band, who were actually marching down the opposite side of the
road, shuffled over the central reservation in front of the quickly
approaching Musketeers and started to perform a Drum Solo immediately
in front of the TV Cameras, meaning the Musketeers had to stop and
take a short break until the Sea Cadets had shuffled back over the
central reservation on to their side of the road and the seated stand
they should have been Entertaining. Not the best of Banding Etiquette
specially as ten minutes later they would be passing the same Camera
set up with the whole road and as much time as they needed to do what
ever they wanted.
Bearing in mind that the Grande Finale was scheduled for 4:30pm and the time was still only 3:20pm the band ignored he over active Marshalls and Stewards and did what they were booked to do. They counter marched and headed back off down the main Parade in front of the Paying spectators and Entertained the crowds packed in the main stands.
The Gap was not a large one and could be closed within one song but the Floats behind would not be able to keep up so the Band performed several dances to keep the Party atmosphere and slowly but surely the parade closed up again.
The Band played 8 or 9 more dances and even stopped several more times to Entertain the Crowds along the route ensuring they did not complete the Circuit too early and in plenty of time to rest in preparation of the Grande Finale.
Bang on 4:30pm the Floats and Entertainers slowed and parked up ready for the Grande Finale. In a second explosion of Confetti the Parade was officially over but not for the Band as it quickly reformed and set off again playing as they marched along the street back to Lay by 5 where the Coach was parked.
Friday arrived and following a Fun Packed day it was time to prepare for the Moonlight Parade. The Band headed down on time to Lay by 4 ready to be slotted into the Parade. Following several photographs and a chorus of Happy Birthday to one of the young girls on the St Lawrence Float the lights were carefully turned on in anticipation of the start. It was just then that a call for Entertainment in front of Mr Battle and the Main VIP Stand.
Unfortunately someone had let them down so in typical fashion the Band geared up, fell in and headed off down to the Main Stand playing as they went. Within minutes the Band was in front of Craig Phillips and the Packed Main Stand playing as they arrived. The Stand erupted and Mr Battle clapped along to the music as the local TV Station and Radio Station replayed the Music over the PA System which then reverberated along the whole Parade route. 3 songs down and the Band stopped just 15 seconds before the Big Count Down for the Parade to start.
After the Big Bang the Band moved in to position lead Mr Battle and Miss Battle of Flowers down the route towards St Lawrence.
Within Minutes the Band had reached the half way stage and with an immediate turn round they headed back down the main route not even stopping for Water.
The Band quickly completed the parade in record time so without hesitation, and following just a 5 minute water break they set off and headed back down the Parade for a third leg with still 20 minutes to go before the anticipated "Laser Show" to close the Moonlight Parade.
Nevertheless they continued to Dance and perform all the way back down the First (Third) leg towards and past the Main VIP Stand. Once past the Main Stand they decided to swap sides and head back down the Sea Front (Fourth Leg) just in time to witness the Laser Show close up.
Below is a Video clip capturing the return run back down the Parade by a Spectator in one of the Main Stands
Jersey Battle of Flowers - Moonlight Parade Return Stretch
Once the Laser Show started all the street lights and float lights were turned off leaving the whole Promenade in darkness for 15 minutes. At this time a lot of the Public changed positions to see gain a better vantage point for the Show but this resulted in them entering onto the already crowded road around the Bands and Floats.
Once the Show had finished the Band set off again along the very crowded road, playing louder than ever to warn the people on the road that they were coming. Due to the limited space the Band changed from Three Files to Two Files and even down to Single File in places, before returning to Two Files, then Three. As a treat we also allowed the Drummers to go on the Front Rank, which Liam, David, Josh & Yogi gleefully accepted. With Four Side Drummers and the Band being in Threes it left a solitary Side Drummer stuck on the second rank....... Until the road cleared and low & Behold the Band were now in Fours.
It didn't take long to negotiate the Main Stands and as the Band entered Lay By 4 the Officials and Stewards Clapped as the Band broke into yet another Song. It was at this Point that several of the people on The Optimist Float stopped doing what ever they were doing and stood up clapping and acknowledging the Bands performance. "Thank You Optimist"
The Band now left the Parade Arena but continued playing along the closed roadway to the delight of the people stood lining the roadway. The Final touch came as the band finally dismissed, shattered at their Coach. The House opposite were holding a Post Battle BBQ & Drinks on the Balcony and all their guest started cheering and shouting for more. Tired but still buzzing from the Parade, the whole Band trekked across the road and lined up on the pavement outside the Balcony and started playing "Don't Stop Me Now", which went down a treat with the 20 guests on the Balcony and also the other 30 or 40 people who had stopped to watch as they left the Parade.
Finally at 11:15 pm on Friday 14th August the Jersey Battle of Flowers 2015 was over.
Now it was time for St Ouen's & Sark Festival which would be starting in a little over 12 hours time.
Follow the Full Story of the Whole Week
All comments written are purely an opinion of the event by members involved. These are not by any means intended as derogatory or defamatory in anyway to the organisers or the people involved.
Registered Charity Number 1122519
Copyright © 2004 Chesterfield Musketeers Showband
Revised - Sunday, August 23, 2015
This site is designed & maintained by Kevin Oldfield BMMD