Beating retreat, end of term.

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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by simmons.p » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:44 pm

Now I sure would like to have seen that! Could I gather that its unsightliness was caused by the attempts at doing it?

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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by DavidRawlins » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:02 pm

There is a rumour that once it appeared to be performed. There was said to have been an accomplice on the bridge who caught the mace and dropped it on the other side of the bridge.
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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by jhopgood » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:42 pm

Mr Drum Major wrote:rumor has it that the senior drum major 4 years ago could do it with the lightest mace, nicknamed by us "butters" in lieu of its unsightliness!
Rumour also has it the my predecessor as OB Editor, Paddy Drake, also managed it. I still have a photo of him leading the St Matthews Day parade over London Bridge just after the war.
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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by kerrensimmonds » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:50 pm

Am sad that Paddy is no longer here to tell the tale!
One poor drum major did drop his mace during Beating Retreat last Saturday - though he recovered himself quickly and professionally, and in mitigation it was very windy. I felt for him, however, his anguish showed in his facial expression afterwards.
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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by cstegerlewis » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:11 pm

Senior Drum Major in my day (forgotten his name could definitely do it, and also performed the 'triple toss' (3 complete revolutions in the air) during Beating retreat.

I never managed retreat, as I was not that good :oops: but did a few lunch parades before giving up.
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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by rrawlins » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:32 pm

I have been following with interest the chat about Beating Retreat, and particular with reference to Drum Majors. I was made Senior Drum Major when I was in the GE, and had the great privilege of leading the Lord Mayors Show through London for 3 years, and leading the Beating Retreat, which was far more terrifying. Just to clear a few things up from my experience - 3 drum majors was the norm if we had enough able, although i remember when I joined the school there were only 2 for the Barnes Wallis parade in London (Ben Luxmoor and Alex Kader), and I was so inspired by them that I took it up and found it I was suited to it. The Beating Retreat of 1984 was the first to use more than 3 drum majors, as we had 4 and the great Dave Elliot, who was Bandmaster at the time, designed the whole Retreat around having four drum majors. I think I was the first to perform the triple toss, which I did twice in my final retreat, but I'm not sure others discussing this issue realise just how much training ths requires - I took the heaviest mace home for the holidays and did 2-3 hours training every day. My lasting regret has always been, why couldn't I have been so passionate about something that was actually useful!

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