Cloughfern Young Conquerors / Lambeg


Was good to return to Cloughfern where our successful year had started with the Battle of the Bands event. This time the Cloughfern YC were having their annual outdoor competition which we have attended over the last 4 years. This year the event was not just a parade, but a family fun day, and the Diamond area in the massive Rathcoole estate had been filled with families and kids enjoying the sunshine and the activities provided including bouncy castles, amusements, and even an appearance by May McFetridge. 

When we arrived we were asked to lead the parade, and it meant that once we had finished we could watch the rest of the bands as they finished. Willie John was out the front with the mace, that meant a replacement on the cymbals who proved to be totally useless, although he was heard to comment that if his cymbal playing ever gets to the standard of Mr Heaney's drum majoring then he'd like to think he would know it was time to give it up! Harsh words indeed.

The band played well and gave a flawless performance of the Drum salute and Blackthorn jigs in front of the judges who were from Scotland. 

They obviously liked what they saw as the band won another 4 prizes. Best Senior Drum major (sponsored by Specsavers) Best Drum Corps, Best Melody Flute and Best Overall band. 


After our afternoon in Cloughfern it was off to Lisburn (via the Omniplex) for the annual parade organised by the Orange and Blue flute band from Lambeg.

Darren joined us as Willie John moved back onto the cymbals and we gained a couple of drummers. No pressure on Darren obviously, I mean would we ever think of mentioning to him that Willie John had managed to win that very same afternoon and that anything other than a first prize tonight would be looked upon as a failure? Of course we wouldn't even think of passing such comments!!! 

A new route for this parade, which I have to say was very enjoyable and a new finishing point at the Orange Hall where we enjoyed the disco. I have to say many performances on the dance floor that night left a lot to be desired. You know who you are. I have only 3 letters to say to you. DVD. The camera doesn't lie.

Good turn out of bands which is very pleasing as we've had a great friendship with this band for many years now. They must have had over 40 which was superb as there were at least 3 other parades on the same night. Good to see Lisburn young Defenders out in fine form and also Ballylesson who have brought in a large group of youngsters and it was great to see them walking with good numbers and playing really well. They have a new uniform this year and deserve huge credit. 

Just for the record, 4 more first tonight. The Colour Party weighed in with a first prize (I know, about time.) Big Darren was able to cope with the pressure and won the Drum Major prize (much to the grass cutters disappointment) also best melody Drum Corps and Best Melody Flute on the night and 2nd Overall.

Donaghadee were hot that night and deserved to win it.