Pomp and ceremony as Guardsmen impress at Redcar

POMP and ceremony paid a brief visit to Redcar when 48 drummers and musicians from the Corps of Drums (and whistles) from both the Coldstream Guards and the Grenadier Guards, Beat the Retreat and gave a demonstration of their skills.

It was a low-level event because of the security required, but was still attended by more than 350 members of the public outside the Tuned In building on Majuba Road last Wednesday evening.

The event was designed to introduce children to the Corps drum school, based at the Infantry Training Center at Catterick Garrison, with the possibility of creating a young people’s Corps of Drums band in Redcar and Cleveland.

The Corps was welcomed by the Deputy Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Councilor Malcolm Head and his consort, Sue Head. The Corps then marched from the Tuned In center to a stretch of land in front of the building to give a 30-minute display of marching and static music, much to the delight of the crowd who had gathered to watch.

The Guards performing the March Past in front of Deputy Mayor Councilor Malcom Head and Mrs Sue Head, Councilor Bill Clarke and Lt Colonel Jonathan Huxley Picture: BRIAN GLEESON

At the end of the display there was a march past the Tuned In center with Councilor Malcolm Head and the Commanding Officer of the Infantry Training Centre, Lt Colonel Jonathan Huxley of the Royal Irish Regiment, taking the salute.

Guardsmen impress at Redcar

Guardsmen impress at Redcar

After the salute, the guardsmen stood down and encouraged children in the crowd to examine the instruments and drums and even have a go at drumming.

Councilor Bill Clarke, armed forces champion for the council and ward councillor for Guisborough, said: “Both myself and Councilor Billy Wells were on a visit to Catterick Garrison recently and asked if it would be possible for the Corps of Drums for the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards to come and visit Redcar and Cleveland and put on a performance for our residents.

Councilor Malcolm Head, Mrs Sue Head and Lt Colonal Jonathan Huxley

Councilor Malcolm Head, Mrs Sue Head and Lt Colonal Jonathan Huxley

“They kindly agreed and we thought it might be a good idea to form a local Corps of Drums youth band with the support of Captain Chris Hoggard and the regiments at Catterick Garrison. Forming a youth band all depends whether there is enough interest from our schools and young people but we are really hopeful we can get it off the ground and enjoy performances by our very own youth band in the future.”

Captain Chris Hoggard, (RIFLES) Infantry Training Centre, said it was “the first time since the Royal Tournament in 1999 that a massed Corps of Drums of this size has come together to Beat the Retreat, a public display that can only be performed by the Corps of Drums”. He added: “We decided to try and use the opportunity to offer people in the local area to see some of the bands perform and to generate interest in military music.”

One of the Guardsmen was Lance Sergeant Liam Seer-Baylon of the Grenadier Guards.

L/Sgt Liam Seer-Baylon, Grenadier Guards

L/Sgt Liam Seer-Baylon, Grenadier Guards

Originally from Derby, he has 13 years in the service, is married with a young son, Alfie, and now trains new drummers. Asked about his visit to Redcar, he said: “I love the seaside. This is the first time I’ve been to Redcar and it looks amazing.”

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