The Silver Band has just completed a very successful marching season with engagements in Penicuik, Biggar, Innerleithen and of course our own Beltane Festival when we were out playing all week except Monday. We are indebted to all our members who managed to turn out on those occasions and to our friends from other bands who helped us out as required, from time to time. This is very much appreciated especially as it is estimated the Band marched over 10 miles during the Beltane Week alone, playing a mind-boggling 36 separate pieces of music along the way, (plus a few repeats like the Beltane Song). This is all in addition to the average parade of over 2 miles in each of the neighbouring festivals. We are equally grateful to the organisers and supporters of these festivals for their very kind hospitality and sustenance, which helped our older players (self included) to recover quicker than might otherwise have been the case.
New “firsts” for the Band at this year’s Beltane included marching across Priorsford Bridge during the Cornets Walk and also across the footbridge over the Cuddy – the latter to keep us away from the larger than normal turnout of horses on the Saturday morning. We also played an impromptu verse of the hymn tune “Deep Harmony” during a brief stop in the parade on the Northgate in memory of our stalwart Ian Melrose who died earlier in the year – very emotional for a lot of us in the band as this was the very last piece that the Band played under Mellie’s exuberant conductor’s baton.
Our proudest occasion during the Beltane was on the Wednesday night up at Neidpath Castle when, in a break in tradition, we interrupted proceedings to present our Baritone player, Ian Swanston with a 50 year medal for his outstanding achievement and commitment to the Band. Thank you Ian and we look forward to you celebrating playing at your 50th consecutive Beltane Festival in 2 years time.
The Beltane also marked the end of Stephen Baird’s 5 year tenure with the Band as its Musical Director – Stevie has resigned due to increased work commitments and responsibilities but we are indebted to him and thank him for all his efforts over this period – not least 2 highly successful and enjoyable trips to Germany with the Band. Stevie will continue living in Peebles and hopes he will be back helping us out playing Christmas Carols in December.
Finally a reminder that we are holding a Coffee Morning in the Burgh Hall on Saturday 5th August – £1.50 for a cup (or two) of Donna’s excellent coffee. We will also hopefully be playing on the High Street in Aug/Sept, weather permitting. Thanks again to all the support from the good folks of Peebles. As always if anyone wishes to come along and play (or learn to play) an instrument please look into the Band Hall on one of our usual rehearsal nights of Monday or Thursday from 7.15 pm onwards or phone our band secretary, Davy Cornwall on 07976 242433.