Wednesday, June 03, 2009

In praise of marching bands

click photo to enlarge
"There's a band coming!" shouted my wife. We were in Kingston upon Hull and she was at the King Street end of Holy Trinity church whilst I was at the opposite end, the Market Place, taking photographs of the building's reflection in the glass curtain wall of some offices, a shot I've done before. Judging by the loudness of the skirling pipes and booming drum, and given that Holy Trinity is claimed to be the largest medieval parish church (by area) in Britain, I calculated that by the time I got to her the band would be gone, and all I'd get was the swinging kilts and rear ends of the bandsmen as they disappeared towards Fish Street.

I wondered, as I finished my architectural photography and walked swiftly towards where the band would pass, whether it's just we "older folk" (and perhaps young children) who are stirred by the sight and sound of a marching band. Then, sure enough, the band passed across my path a hundred yards or so away, followed by grey haired men in dark blazers and slacks, some with sashes laden with badges: perhaps veterans (though no caps), a friendly society, or some such group. By the time I got to King Street the marchers were filing into Holy Trinity by the west door. However, the bandsmen (and women) were standing under the statue of Andrew Marvell, in the shade of the trees in front of the old Grammar School of 1583, chatting. I took a few shots of the informal group from a distance, and reflected further that such bands bring welcome sounds, colour and tradition to our towns and cities, and are well worth a short dash to enjoy their musical offering. Long may they continue to march.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 94mm (186mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f5
Shutter Speed: 1/160 seconds
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On