Angola to Oberhausen Pipes and Drums, a very busy year
The RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums are, at present, in the midst of the busiest season to date.
Our year kicked off with a tour of Germany to take part in a series of arena displays as part of the ”Musik Parade” programme. Over the past five years the Waddo band has become a firm favourite with the German audiences and the organisers were delighted to have them back once again.
Having deployed to Germany the band performed at three widely-spaced venues on consecutive days.
Back in the UK, the Pipes And Drums continued to provide ceremonial support to the station and the wider RAF as well as engaging with the public locally at venues like the Lincolnshire Show and the Lincoln Armed Forces Day. On a historical note, our band started life as the No 1 Group (Bomber Command) Pipes and Drums and their first engagement was at the Lincolnshire show in 1967.
In the same week that our Pipe Major Finlay MacGhee travelled to Luanda, the capital city of Angola to celebrate The Queen’s Birthday with Consular staff at the British Embassy, the band performed at the Grantham Carnival and a graduation ball at the RAF College Cranwell.
One of the more pleasurable local engagements for the band personnel happened when we returned to Cranwell on 4 July to provide ceremonial support and to welcome the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford to the RAF Police Dog Trials.
Magnificent surroundings, on the Orange in front of the college itself and a very warm Lincolnshire day helped to make the event a great success.
On hand to add a bit of gravitas to the proceedings was retired Air Dog Buster who had completed 5 tours in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, he helped to save countless lives and injuries in his bomb locating role.
To maintain the very high level of musical performance we compete in Pipe Band competitions to see how we compare with the bench mark set by the best civilian and Army bands. At the recent Corby Highland Games, Waddington fielded two bands. Against very strong opposition both bands took silverware, the top grade was won by a very strong combination of RAF Waddington and Halton.
Both bands are looking forward to competing in the World Pipe Band Competition in Glasgow in August.
While the “Worlds” is being held in Glasgow a number of our pipers and drummers will be performing with the RAF Massed Pipes and drums at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
They will be taking the field with the Waddington competition band in Glasgow and then dashing back for the evening performance in Edinburgh.
The RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums is the biggest and busiest of the 5 RAF Pipe Bands. The band wears the RAF Tartan, the colours of which can be interpreted in many ways, the blues reflect the changing mood of the sky’s they protect, the white stripe for the clouds and the blood red stripe in honour of all those who gave their lives in the service.
For further information please contact Pipe Major Finlay MacGhee at the Waddington band room or visit our website www.rafwaddingtonpipeband.com.