On Sunday 7th July and on a glorious English summer's day, the band travelled to East Grinstead Sussex to give an open air concert in the gardens of East Court, with the backdrop of a beautiful English Country Mansion.
Temperatures reached the upper 80s(f) or top 20's (c) - whatever your preference, It was extremely HOT!
Once again this was a new open air gig for the band and although the bandstand was constructed temporarily with an awning cover, it did not make a fantastic difference in reducing the intense heat as we sat on stage in full mess uniforms! However, our sympathy went out to our Director of Music for the day, Major. Jason Burcham RM, who kindly volunteered to stand in for David Cole. For some reason he chose to conduct the event his long frock coat - as you see pictured!Jason describing the next piece
However, credit to Jason who did a great job in keeping the audience well entertained and encouraged them to join in and parpticipate when required. At one point he even had some of the older members out of their seats to imitate Lanacster Bombers in flight as we played "The Dam Busters!!"
The Concert was the usual mixed variety to suit all, which was as well, for we had quite a few younger audience members out on the green.
Jason in spite of his spirited exertions seemed remarkably cool during the interval despite somehow ending up behind bars (seen here). Michael Rice in the rear looks only slightly concerned!!Jason behind bars
Many audience members did as the publicity suggested and brought their own chairs and picnic tables or blankets, together with assorted food and drinks that we could see included wine, pimms etc: all to make for a very relaxed and perfect summer's afternoon. Not only for those in the immediate lawn in front of the stage, but also for the many in the huge park over the wall beside it.
The whole event was even more remarkable for it just happened to clash with a certain Wimbledon Tennis Final and the Grand Prix at Silverstone. This may have had some bearing on the audience figures of course, but to be honest, we still managed to attract a goodly sized attendance none the less.
Below is our sales desk manned by Jan Blandford who is also being instructed on how to work Michael's Movie Camera to record some of the concert!