Charles Watson Memorial band Parade - Clough

Dedication Parade for LOL 263 - Kilkeel


A much depleted drum corps this week due to a variety of reasons. Many of the lads were at the North West 200 (for visitors reading this site, it's the biggest sporting event in Northern Ireland where over 100,000 spectators look on as lunatics on motorbikes try to stay alive while flying around roads at speeds approaching 200mph).

We also had representation at the FA Cup Final (United were robbed) and at a local hockey dinner (get a life Rodney).

However we still managed to put 5 drummers on the road for a parade that we have attended for the last few years, but usually on our way to Ballymena for the Ballykeel parade. However with both events on separate nights this year it meant we were able to complete the full route for the first time.

And again we managed to collect a few awards, Best melody Flute, and Best bass Drummer. It's understood Willie John Heaney spent 2 and a half hours pleading with the judges to reconsider their result in the bass drum category but failed to change the outcome.

With a band of 9 in the Colour Party, a drum major, 5 Drums and 25 flutes we paraded behind the excellent Fifes and Drums band from Belfast who led the event this year.

Our drum major Darren is a bit of a biker at heart and was at the North West, so Willie John Heaney, sporting a new haircut (or was that just his bearskin) decided to celebrate Arsenal's win over Manchester United by leading the band. Obviously it doesn't happen too often!.

The self appointed Number 1 Grass technician in Northern Ireland made an inspection of each and every garden in the village of Clough as the band completed the route and later awarded a certificate to the winning garden owner who pointed out to Mr Heaney that he had just paraded the band across his recently planted flower bed.

After retrieving Willie John from behind a nearby wall where he was having a quick smoke (must have thought he was at work) we boarded the bus and made our way back to Kilkeel for a dedication Parade organised by local lodge Silent Valley LOL 263.

This was a parade we were keen to attend as the lodge secretary is long serving MYD member Ronald McAtee. He will very soon be joined in the ranks by his son. In fact McAtee junior already knows more tunes than McAtee senior.

Links between the band and the lodge were forged manay years ago, when MYD was formed 29 years ago, it was Silent Valley LOL 263 who granted the band permission to use their hall for practice.

It was also good to see Orange Order Grand Master Robert Saulters in Kilkeel for the event, we have had the pleasure of leading Mr Saulters on various parades in the past and he has been a fan of the band for many years now.

A special night for Ronald and the other members of LOL 263, and we were happy to be a part of it.