Jersey The Battle of Flowers 2011 - The Main Parade

Action day today as the party woke on “Battle Day”, Mark prepared the fry-up ready for the imminent surge as his understudy Nick stood by waiting to replace him as he left to transport Alison, Becky and the injured Karim to Hospital to have his arm put in a full cast (a blue one of course to match the uniform or 2nd choice red to match the accessories). The arm injury actually working in Karim’s favour as he was listed for kitchen pot washing duty tomorrow and has now been released from these duties and replaced by Liam. Liam was reinstated late last night once again for the third time following a disciplinary hearing, but sadly overlaid, again this morning and was formerly Sacked.
Mark did comment on the early bedtime behaviour Trevor was getting now he has some female company and the fact that they were also late risers for breakfast. This just received a broad grin of agreement (we suppose).

Breakfast over, pots washed and van loaded with uniforms and instruments the members can relax till the time comes to don half uniform for the short coach ride down to the “Battle” arena. Most of this time was taken up by the girls having a short snooze then titivating their hair and makeup, whilst the boys enjoyed polishing and tuning the drums out on the veranda.

For the Third year running our driver arrived on cue and then delivered the band to the wrong lay-by, again. After correcting the error and collecting the packed lunches the band soon completed their lunches and changed ready to march down to Lay-by 4. This was an ideal opportunity to show off in front of the gathering crowds and two of the 6 Marching Bands on show. The Third Band was following closely behind. Just before stopping in position Mark decided to test his mace in the stronger than normal wind. Everything went well on the launch but as the mace returned it started to veer to the left before Mark could catch the mace it had completely strayed some 12 feet off centre requiring Mark to be a little more dextrous than usual to reclaim his Mace.

After a brief 5 minutes the first band was slotted in between the floats on the Southbound Carriageway and just 2 minutes later The Musketeers headed off in hot pursuit. With all the 18,000 seated tickets being sold in advance queues had been forming all day for the traditional cheap seats. Due to the hard work put in by the Battle Organisers there were more Photographers and interest from differing Countries, Media and Sponsors than usual.

With extra TV Camera’s in attendance it appeared to be a competition between ITV and BBC to get the closest to the members during their Parade Displays. Mark then decided it was not worth the risk as there were too many people walking around the Band and with the unpredictable wind it was best saved for another Day. The first leg of the Parade was quickly completed with the added Bonus of performing a signature Dance right in front of the Islands dignitaries sat in the Main (£32 per Ticket) Stand.

A quick turn round at the Top end soon saw the Band back in front of the Sea Side Stands and performing a different set of Dances and routines along the way. This year the parade ground to a halt as there was difficulty with some floats turning and others exiting the arena. This gave the Band time to perform a Slow Ballad to the Main Stand which ended with an almighty cheer that took the Band by shock until it was realised the appreciation was for the soloist.

The ending of the Parade was near and as the adrenaline was building so was the vehicles waiting to turn. This included an annoying BBC Jersey van that tried it’s hardest to block every access point to the Exit before deciding to join in the final display of “Great Escape” in front of two of the Bands awaiting their return journey down to their start point.

The Day Parade was over albeit not in the fashion that the members would have liked but our Van was in sight and it was time to change and enjoy the returning floats and Dancers. This also gave time for our Coach to return from his moonlighting trip to the airport, at last.

Back at the Centre it was time to change into civvies and partake in a light drink as the Double House Burger, Salad and Chips were prepared. Whilst Tea was being served all of the four TV’s in the Centre were tuned in to the local News Channels on Terrestrial and Freeview. Over the years apart from the glancing view of the Islands own band no reference has ever been made to a visiting band, but with such an abundance of TV Crews on offer it was hoped that a little mention may be made. With this being aptly named “The Battle of Flowers” and over £250,000 being spent on the Flowers for the Floats all the TV Programs naturally seem to focus on the floats.

After watching all the bulletins and Specials the customary 1 second clip of the Bands was shown
All hope was lost until in a closing promo clip a full panoramic view of the band was shown along with a full 5 second run through the ranks from one of the main Cameramen. This brought a loud cheer from the members who quickly and excitedly identified themselves.

Tea over the now familiar rush for the showers was accentuated as the decision was taken by the younger element at the last minute for a trip to the fairground, but some of the elders preferred to lounge about in their pyjamas for a lazy night. Seven o-clock and the party boarded the service bus to go down town and enjoy all the fun of the fair before catching the 9:30 bus back up to the centre and a chance to see the latest round-up of pictures downloaded onto the laptop with a couple of drinks before most retired to bed, although some of the youngsters continued playing a ‘friendly’ game of ‘poker’ for a while longer.

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Lottory GrantChesterfield Borough Coat Of Arms


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 organisors or the people involved.