Welcome to British Summer Time! We may have lost an hour of sleep but I for one am hoping we're going to be gaining some serious sun over the next few months. It's been an extremely busy month here at BDC HQ, not only have we had the The UK Drum Show (more about that next time), but a few of us also managed a weekend in London. This allowed us to catch up with friends, old and new, as well as seeing some of the sights you don't normally get to see as a general tourist.
Mountbatten Festival of Music
Friday 4th May saw a few of the partners head down to the Royal Albert Hall to attend the Mountbatten Festival of Music by the Massed Bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines. They are the only military band who can sell out this venue for 3 performances in a row each year. This year also just happened to be the 50th anniversary since the start of these concerts which raises money for the Royal Marines Charity.
The concert was incredible and incorporated music from Elton John, Two Steps From Hell and even a Tribute to the Prodigy which heavily involved the Corps of Drums using their RS1 snare drums, high tension drums and even some Roland RMP 12s. In our boxes we hosted guests from the Tower of London, Royal Hospital Chelsea, Household Calvary and some old friends.
Tower of London
The following night we were invited to watch the ancient tradition of Ceremony of the Keys. This ceremony has taken place every single night at the Tower of London without fail; while London was being bombed during the Blitz, during the Black Plague, during the Great Fire of London, even through lockdown – the Beefeaters and Tower Guard have been ensuring that the Tower of London was safe and sound from outside attack.
We were invited by an old friend of mine, Yeoman Warder Darren Hardy. We started the night off in the most exclusive bar in the world "The Keys" where we were lucky enough to partake in a beverage or two before heading out for a private tour of the Tower and to witness the Ceremony of the Keys. On completion of that we were invited back into "The Keys" before being escorted out of the Tower just before midnight.
It was amazing to meet other Yeoman Warders and hear about life living inside the Royal Historic Palaces.
Royal Hospital Chelsea
Last year we presented some Regimental Series RS1 snare drum to the Royal Hospital Chelsea and it was during my visit then that I was told if we're ever in the area again then just to let them know. So what better way to finish a great weekend in London than with a private tour of the Royal Chelsea Hospital followed by lunch in the Great Hall. Dave Godwin was our guide for the day who gave the group the most interesting and extremely funny tour of their facility. Seeing the very first berths that were made from wood from the captured ships to the facilities they have today is nothing more than amazing.
One of the highlights for me was meeting up with Billy Knowles former Drum Major of the 1st BN Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The last time I saw Billy was at the Colchester Military Tattoo back in 1988, almost 34 years ago!
Everybody thoroughly enjoyed this visit and it was great to get a chance to speak to some of the "old boys" later on in the day over tea and biscuits.
If you like to donate to the Royal Hospital Chealse then please click HERE
Drums, Drums, Drums!
Recently we sent some very special Axial Series drums to our friends at the Spirit of '76 Pipe Band. The band had requested the drums to be finished in our military livery normally only seen on our Regimental Series drums. The band debuted these drums at the The Washington Tattoo's inaugural Gala.
The band performed alongside the Ozscott Highland dancers for the VIP reception before taking to the field later on the evening for the mini tattoo event held at The Winery at Bull Run earlier this month.
Photo ©Erik Lindquist.
Swag of the Month
This month's featured merchandise item has to be the Marching Division and Axial Series T-Shirt. Available in sizes S - XXXL
"We've got you covered"
Head across now to the official BDC Merch shop
That's it for this issue, in the next edition we'll be delving into the UK Drum Show & BDC TV!
Until next time…