Trinity House is a fascinating building going back to the 17th Century but with the internal areas and frescoes beautifully restored following bomb damage during WWII. In any event it was a great place to meet for a welcome glass of champagne on one of the hottest days of the summer.
We moved down to The Tower to watch not one Sea Cadet marching band but over twenty travelling from afar afield as Scotland and in their colourful War of Independence outfits a Sea Cadet marching band from Pennsylvania State in the USA.
It was a splendid spectacle as each band in turn displayed their marching and music skills in the moat fronting the Tower and before a very large crowd of onlookers from above.
They were judged by members of the Royal Marines School of Music, who in their immaculate uniforms and tightly fitting peaked caps, resplendent with the famous red band, looked a formidable panel to impress. But impress they did as the routines were both imaginative and intricate yet they never missed a beat or a step.
For those of you with some military knowledge the Royal Navy marches differently to the rest of the armed forces with no stamping of feet so as not to damage the deck of a ship! The grassed area of the Tower’s moat therefore accommodated this style very well.
It was a long day for the participants with some as young as 8 and unfortunately the heat got to a few needing the attendance of St John’s ambulance demonstrating how tough the conditions were. However we got through it and made our way into the Tower on the shaded grass area just below the place where so many have had their heads removed.
I was privileged to be invited to award one of the prizes with the broad beaming smile on the face of the recipient showing how much it meant to them.
My thanks go to Commander Phil Patterson RNR for hosting me so splendidly throughout the day. Also my thanks to one of our own, Liveryman Martin Coles, Chief Executive of “Marine Society Sea Cadets” (MSSC) who made the whole event possible through his team’s organisation and funding. A splendid day indeed.
Graham F. Chase Master