St Patrick's Day Parade London 2009

Full of trepidation for the day ahead the first eight members loaded the coach to commence the trip, heading south for Central London and our first time of participation in Ireland’s patron saint’s day in the city. Next pick-up is at Private Drive Hollingwood and Markham Road Duckmanton to complete the Chesterfield contingency of the Phoenix Musketeers Showband and then post haste via the M1 down to Plumtre Way Eastwood for the rest of our new band.
Just three more members still to pick up along our M1 bound trip before everyone was accounted for. With first time players Trevor and Sam at Donnington Services and then Mark at the last services on the Motorway concludes our latest recruits. At London Gateway Services the members decided to don the uniforms before driving the remaining few miles into Park Lane before disembarking at the required point in readiness. By now some of the debutante 27 bandsmen were getting pretty excited and nervous as the time for the start got closer.
Even at this point with about one hour to go the number of photographers, news media and mobiles taking pictures of the relaxing bandsmen was phenomenal in the build up to the start scheduled for 12:00 midday and the bright warm sunlight and the large gathering crowd making for a great atmosphere to look forward to.

Drum Major Mark Leads The Way

Alan Banging His Own Drum

For the first time in many years the band were lead by an experienced Drum Major and lining up in fours, the ranks compromised of a large number of Brass, Woodwind and Percussion as the call came to move-off .

Drum Major Mark Godfrey called the Phoenix Musketeers Showband to attention and we commenced our way down Piccadilly, Regent Street on our route towards our destination in Whitehall, passing many famous points on the way including Trafalgar Square, Nelsons Column. After attracting much applause en route including getting the Mayor of London Boris Johnson singing along to our music as we past by him, Mark finally directed the band into Whitehall to the dispersal point. Now our serious problem was locating the whereabouts of our coach to enable our members to change, although on reaching the Thames embankment our NEW photographer Rhiannon, still had time to take more pictures for the album using the London Eye as a background for the occasion.

Once aboard the coach a quick change before indulging in some well earned pack-ups before enjoying a while checking out the various sites and surroundings, including Big Ben, The Embankment Street Entertainers and the Houses of Parliament. With the long day of sunshine now evaporating fast, the members retired to their coach seat for a rest knowing a good job had been done on this St Patrick’s Day Parade leaving the drivers, Daniel and Sam to head the coach towards Eastwood, Chesterfield and home.

The Management of the band would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone who worked so hard to get the members kitted out for this very early season engagement, with special thanks to our sewing team of Ann and Sheila for their unstinting efforts during the final days, this was very much appreciated by the members who would otherwise have not been on parade today, and not forgetting the new members contributions on the day itself, everybody take a bow…….

Lottory GrantChesterfield Borough Coat Of ArmsMusky