Battle of Flowers Aug 2007

With everything needed for the week stashed aboard the coach the members settled down for the long ride down to Poole Harbour Dorset.

After collecting the hired van in Bournemouth, the next stage was loading the vast amount of luggage, uniforms, instruments and the packed freezer boxes into the vehicle.

A smooth crossing enabled the 'Condor Express' to make up the short delay to arrive on schedule and meet up with the 'Battle' Bands coordinator Margaret Fitzgerald at St Helier Port and then commence the short coach drive to our accommodation in St Lawrence village.

Within minutes of our arrival the Community Centre soon resembled a mini Butlins Holiday Centre with all the air beds quickly inflated and all the facilities being brought into use and of course the first hot meal was set out in the dining area...........

MORE NEWS & GOSSIP BELOW BETWEEN THE PHOTO'S

 

 

Busking In Liberation Square

Saxophone Solo Piece

First night in our new sleeping environment proves trying for the light sleepers, as the incessant snoring fills the air. However, well aimed missiles in the offending direction, the light sleepers gained some revenge. Although the manager strenuously denies any participation in the snoring malarkey, a pair of stiletto heeled shoes finished up by his bedside, and on a show of hands he lost his case 24 to 1 that he was one of the main offenders, still in denial he still strongly denies.

Up early Tuesday morning to the smell of sizzling bacon, eggs, sausage, black pudding, mushrooms, beans and tomatoes, cholesterol counts was the last thing on anyone's mind. Toast and cereals were available for the youngsters and faint hearted, so a good lining on the stomach was assured before the days forthcoming activities ahead.

Here They Come - Conga

There They Go - Conga

This turned out to be retail therapy for the elders and the aqua pool for the youngsters, until we all met up again in Liberation Square to sit and eat our Jersey Cream Ice Creams in the glorious sunshine. This turned into an impromptu concert on the paved area as our members entertained the passing public with their breakdancing and other dancing skills and unbelievably collecting money in the process. This gave us the idea to approach the authorities for permission for the band to present a programme of music in the same spot on Wednesday lunch, shortly after the party left to catch the bus back to St Lawrence village.

At the accommodation the rush was on to shower and change before everyone headed of to the local pub for a meal of their choice and to meet Dave Js 'twin' - the only mustachioed cat in existence, we believe (and yes it's real, check out the photos)

Saxophone Fanfare Warm Up

Dancing To The Crowds - Liberation Square

 

Having contacted the Tourist Board we were granted permission to go ahead with our programme and busk at the same time. So the transit van was loaded with all essential items of uniform and instruments and for after, bikinis, costumes and towels etc. for use later on the beach and the members travelled down to the square on the No7 bus.

All changed and ready and set out in style on the steps of the square, a rousing one hour programme was enthusiastically received by the lunch time crowd which yielded a very welcome monetary donation.

With everyone changed again and the van re-loaded everybody set off to walk across the road and the promenade to the beach for a few hours sunbathing and paddling.

With time to spare the party left the beach to catch the bus back up to St Lawrence to enjoy a cooked meal, shower and change before leaving for a night at the fun fair.

Thursday, the big day, not only have we the first 'Battle' to look forward too, but we must not forget the football grudge match. Vets ( average age about fifty-nine and a quarter it seems) versus the Young Uns (average age about twelve and three quarters they sound) to play on the outdoor five-a-side pitch specially prepared. Having been well and truly stuffed last year the Young Un's were hell bent on revenge, but, the Vet's had a secret weapon the uknown, yet quality player Dave H, so they were pretty confident. With having extra days to train the Young Uns, were gradually gaining in confidence and even rehearsed free kicks and penalties.

The game set of at a brisk pace with the Seniors fielding just 4 players and the Lads fielding 5 in a formation that included a "Rush" keeper. Even though the Vets snook in to a 2 goal lead, the tenacity of the lads easily pegged it back to 2-2 for half time. Patience, skill and the secret weapon soon stretched the youngsters to edge into a comfortable lead. As full time approached and the youngsters were becoming more frustrated the score line epitomised their plight, going down 10 - 3 to the triumphant elders, all this recorded on camcorder for posterity.

Kieran Bracken - Dancing on...... "The Street"

 

Miss Jersey & Mr Jersey

Busy Practicing

 

Non Stop Hard Work ( tut tut )

 

On to the main 'Battle' and after a slight mix up with the coach driver as to where we should be, we arrived at our required start point, with time to eat our packed lunch before the start.

This year we started at the stadium end performing our dance routines to the packed seated stadiums all the way up the route, attracting great applause from the 8,500 paying watchers and the many thousands lining the roadside on our way past. After a quick stop for water we turned round for the return march down the other side, the band continued to rouse the crowd as the colourful 'Battle' floats dancers and bands progressed, terminating back at the stadium end before disbanding.

With a good job done, the band were free to return to their accommodation and prepare for another pub meal at the 'British Union' pub in St Lawrence.

The next morning we awoke to the smell of Bacon etc..... the full English breakfast heralded the last full day on the island and after everybody had eaten, the party decided to split, with some opting to go shopping, and the rest to sunbathe on the white sandy beach.

Playing In The Sunshine

Swingin' Safari - Saxs

Sophie & Jade " On The Fair"

Charlies Angels - In The Pub

Although having to leave the beach early so as to prepare for the 'Moonlight Parade', but before that most of the luggage had to be packed in readiness for an early departure in the morning. Whilst this was being carried out, our evening meal was cooked and the second uniform loaded into the transit. This was the first wearing of the 'Alexandre Dumas' outfits for about ten years.

The coach arrived at 7:00pm to drive us down to the starting point same as Thursday afternoon, with members suitably half changed in readiness. On making contact with the 'Battle Co-ordinates" we are astonished to learn that because of our popularity in the main 'Battle', we had been elected to lead off the 'Moonlight Parade' on this only our second visit.

With the Adrenalin rising on hearing this news, the members needed no incentive to start fixing the glow lights to the uniform, instruments and on their person, including flashing drumsticks that lit up on contact with the drum in red and blue. All the lights complimented the blue of the tabards and the midnight blue velvet capes as the night drew in.

The band lined up as requested awaiting the boom from out at sea to herald the 9:00 pm commencement of the '2007 Moonlight Parade', on the co-ordinates signal the band moved off. We started at a brisk pace presenting a musical dance routine at every tier of the stands in the stadium again drawing loud applause as the crowd clapped and sang along to the Musketeers music.

This encouraged the players even more as they marched past the ever growing crowd along the route, as the floats started to pass by on the ther side heading down the promenade.


Final piece - Liberation Square

Warmed Up & Ready To Go.......

Reaching the end of the arena, drinking water was provided prior to the band being fed back into the parade on the other side between the colourful illuminated floats, to continue entertaining the arena and stadium crowds back to our starting point. Proving such a success, the Musketeers were asked to play several tunes to the crowd beyond the barriers to give them an insite to what they had missed by not buying tickets, all in all at the end, all the members were elated at the reception and success received as they watched the fireworks bursting into colour in the night sky, before they headed off in their coach.

Rising early Saturday morning for breakfast and then commencing loading the transit van before the coach arrived at 9:00am to transport the party to St. Helier port for the morning ferry.

With everything running smoothly, the ferry made good progress to Poole, and the transport for home awaiting our arrival, the baggage, instruments and members were soon transferred onto the coach and a very happy band were making their way home.

Ps - Sorry rabbit.

And They're Off

Shopping In St Helier

Thank You Margaret & Thank You Jersey..............

 

Dave and his Twin........

This is a genuine photo with no colouring or adjustments to Dave's Moustache..... and the CAT does exist...

It Can Be Seen At The British Union Pub in St Lawrence

Tash the CatDave 1 - Official Photographer

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

 

The Photo's below are courtesy of BBC Jersey Battle of Flowers - Follow the Link for Full Details and Photo's

 

Courtesy of BBC JerseyCourtesy of BBC Jersey

Courtesy of BBC Jersey Courtesy of BBC Jersey

Courtesy of BBC JerseyCourtesy of BBC Jersey

Courtesy of BBC JerseyCourtesy of BBC Jersey

Courtesy of BBC Jersey

Lottory GrantChesterfield Borough Coat Of ArmsMusky

 

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