Battle of Flowers August 2008

Monday - Tuesday - Wednesday

The Trip

The Jersey trip commenced from Chesterfield with the 9 locals loading the vast array of equipment on to the coach before setting off to pick our remaining family up at Duckmanton, before joining the M1 at the new junction 29a and heading towards Nottingham to collect the rest of our party from Eastwood.

The first set back was the fact that a slow puncture had been detected in the coach tyre and the tyre fitter had been called out to change the wheel whilst the instruments and baggage was stowed, then the journey was underway after this slight delay with the party of 31 all aboard.

Making good speed, the coach after one stop completed the long journey down to Bournemouth to collect the "Thrifty Hire" van before completing the trip down to Poole Harbour where the massive job of off-loading the coach and reloading the transit van with the uniforms, instruments, personal baggage and the copious amount of food to feed the party throughout the week, and for the first time members were called on to carry some items aboard due to an overloaded transit.

With everyone on board the ferry, even the reluctant members who although looking forward to the engagement had been dreading this part of the trip. But once the crossing had commenced, the sea sickness became a secondary issue to the events that unfolded later.

Bon Voyage

All lined up and ready to go....... Except Chrissy and Daniel ( Still in BK )

Senior members of the band, Trevor Julie and Sara joined with the bandmaster to assist him in making a "proposal of marriage" to his long standing partner Becky. Through a conversation with the "Cabin Manager", who then contacted the Captain (Fran Collins) of the vessel, a scheme was hatched to 'lure' Becky into the surprise proposal. The lady captain invited the 3 senior members along with Kevin and Becky up to the ships bridge under the auspice of giving an impromptu tour of the bridge, where the proposal could be witnessed in the presence of the ships officers and overseen with cameras and camcorder the unsuspecting Becky was escorted to the bridge tour.

The moment Kevin pops the question

Following the impromptu talk, which to the band party became rather interesting when the captain and first officer continued to point out their tasks and routines on the daily crossing of the busy shipping lanes. The interesting part commenced when the first officer asked if there was any more questions, Kevin went into his brief proposal speech with the camcorder and digital cameras prepared to record the moment for posterity.

Taken completely by surprise to this proposal and production of the engagement ring (Becky's own choice whilst window shopping months earlier), the only words to describe the scenario is to say that Becky was all at sea with the shock and excitement of the occasion, it was a fantastic pleasure to witness this joyous occasion of love and contentment on the couples faces at this momentous time. It is hard to describe the scene at that precise moment, the captain and officers faces as the excitement took over.

After receiving the blessing of the captain and a re-enactment of the ring placing for the cameras, the party left the bridge to await the ships tannoy announcement to the entire ships crew and passengers including the rest of the traveling band members, who immediately gave the happy couple their blessing with 2 hastily arranged duty free bottles of champagne in a toast to mark the announcement. Shortly afterwards a further ships announcement endorsing the ships crew, band members and passengers on board with the presentation of a further bottle of champagne to the couple.

Celebrations continued for the rest of the voyage, putting the nervous travelers in the band thoughts of travel sickness well from their minds, the buzz of excitement continued through to the parties arrival at the St Lawrence Community Centre on Jersey.

As in the past, within minutes of our arrival at the accommodation the sports hall was converted into a communal dormitory and the food rations had all been stashed in the kitchen area, quickly followed by all the cooking utensils in full flow.

An evening meal was the next item on the agenda, which everyone was quick to take advantage of before the Youth Centre facilities were brought into contention for the remainder of the evening until the tiring members slowly retreated to the bedroom area for some well needed sleep after the long days actions.

The Bedroom - Who Dropped The Bomb

After a settled nights sleep the members started to waken early tuesday morning to the smell of the full english breakfast being cooked in "Bill's Grill" (the kitchen) including the usual selection of cereals for the ones not requesting the Sausage, eggs, bacon, mushrooms, black pudding beans, tomatoes and toast.

All the 31 members opting to take the service bus down to the islands capital with the majority going to the Waterfront Complex to enjoy the pleasures of the refurbished flumes, rapids and wave machines whilst the remaining 10 chose the shopping avenues and markets checking to find the bargains on the tax haven.

It was agreed to meet up in Liberation square for the traditional Jersey Ice Cream before entering the newly constructed Bus Station for the journey back to the St Lawrence Village and the challenge of eating some of Natalie's World famous LASAGNE (if it's not World famous - It should be) and preparing to party the night away with a suitable selection of drinks to help celebrate the now very welcomed engagement of Kevin & Becky.

During the evening our own Karaoke challenge was non stop with everyone eagerly contributing with songs all night, only to be interrupted by the un rehearsed very funny fancy dress dance routines performed by Callum, Danny Anthony and Josh.

Billy & TrevO

Billy & Trev-O - "Fields of Athenrie"

excellent & Very Funny by Nat.

Nat - "Simply The Best"

The dances and outfits had the shocked members into absolute hysterics.As the evening went on excellent and humorous impressions of Tina Turner, Girls aloud and Phoenix Musketeers versions of Simply the Best, Penny Arcade, Fields of Athenry and Summer Nights........ This continued well into the night and following morning, at around 1am some of the members started to disperse to their beds for some well earned sleep.

Oh What A Night.....

Click on the Photos below to Enlarge

Hey Macarena Gay Girls The Green Billerettes Penny Arcade

A good nights sleep yielded one or two woosey heads the next morning and another great "Full English Breakfast"...

Rising reluctantly Wednesday morning to face the cooked breakfast or cereals an impromptu practise was agreed to help clear the fragile heads of the night before's party revelers. The weather although dry and bright was still breezy making going to the beach out of the question, so the day became free and easy to start off, but changed to a competitive move when a game of football followed by rounders was organised between the members on the adjoining St Lawrence FC football field.

With everyone showing signs of fatigue after all this physical activity an early tea was prepared from the large selection in the fridge, including further contributions from Natalies lasagne supplies. Now the race was on to prepare for the evening visit to the Jersey fun fair were all the younger members could let their hair down and enjoy themselves.

Click on the Photos below to Enlarge

Big kids Have Fun lil Beth and charlotte Anthony & Liam Beth & Shereen

Returning to the centre a Horror DVD helped keep the party quiet until the early hours and time for bed once again.

A little later than usual next morning, breakfast eventually got serious as the members crept out their cribs, 'Bills Grill' had changed into Trev's 'Greasy Spoon' as Billy succumbed to a few more Zzzzzs in the lounge, but with no particular rush before the visit's band business commenced from lunchtime onwards.

All the instruments, uniforms etc. stashed in the transit van in preparation for the midday pick-up by the coach for the band to take up their position in readiness for the main 'Battle' parade and with the sun breaking through to provide a very hot day for the 106th celebration of the Jersey 'Battle of Flowers'

Adrenalin at a peak, the members boarded the coach to be escorted to No:4 parking zone to meet Zandra the bands 'minder' for the duration of the days parade. Whilst changing into uniform, news filtered through that following on from the success of leading the 'Moonlight Parade' last year, the 'Musketeers' had been chosen to lead off the parade from the First Tower end along with everybody 'chomping at the bit' ready to get started, the band awaited the official 'Battle' starting call.

Follow This Link For :

The Day Parade

The Moonlight Parade

The Rest Of The Week


Lottory GrantChesterfield Borough Coat Of ArmsMusky