The drum section from the band of 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron Air Training Corps recently headed the line-up of entertainment at a Parachute Regiment Association Dinner.
The Bedworth Branch of the Parachute Regiment Association normally meets up with the Nuneaton Air Cadet Band during the town's Armistice Day Parade, which has always been held on the 11th November. Being the youngest regiment in the British Army the Paras form up as the last veterans Association contingent immediately before the cadet forces. On one occasion they broke with tradition and fell in behind the Air Cadet band and sang along with the music. There's always lots of banter about how much the Paras appreciate the fact that the RAF always took them into action, ”shame they never dropped us in the right place”. So when the Squadron was approached by the Regiment and asked to perform a display of drums during the Associations dinner, they jumped! (pun intended) at the chance.
Many former members of the regiment, some of whom had seen active service in the Falklands War and many other campaigns, attended the Bedworth Branch of the Parachute Regiment Association, Dinner and Dance at the Saunders Hall Club in Bedworth.
The guests of honour on the top table included Lieutenant-General Louis Patrick Lillywhite, CB, MBE, QHS, former Surgeon-General of the British Armed Forces
The evening started with the entry of the Regimental Association standards after which George Duffus, branch chairman read out a letter from HRH The Prince of Wales, Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment.
Then it was time for the young percussionists, from the Nuneaton based Air Cadet Band to show what they could do as they started the evenings musical program by performing their own repertoire of beating signals and marches on drums alone. Much to the obvious delight of the assembled diners, the cadets stole the show and performed an almost flawless routine which ended with their rendition of the Sailor's Hornpipe, which, much to the surprise of the dinner guests required their participation.
After the display both Lieutenant-General Louis Lillywhite and George Duffus spent some time talking to the cadets and congratulated them on their excellent performance.
Flight Lieutenant Paul Hincks, Officer Commanding 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron said, “The cadets have worked very hard to get ready for this evenings performance and they put on a magnificent display. Everyone I spoke to afterwards said how impressed they were and asked me to pass on their thanks for an excellent display. Some of the cadets involved had never performed in this type of public display before and they should all be very proud of themselves for putting together such an entertaining routine.”
He added, “By the way if anyone is wondering about the title of this article it's yet another play on words, a Paradiddle is a series of strokes performed by percussionists and tonight the cadets were performing for the Paras”.