Friday the 14th had us scooting across county lines to play at the Stewarton Bonnet Guild Parade, Friday is the fancy dress component of the whole week long multi event gala and the brooding clouds and wind chill weren’t stopping anyones fun.
In shirt sleeves and goose pimples we headed out of the school gates accompanied by a box of crayons, Harry Potter, some hippies, Willy Wonka, Elton John and assorted Disney characters. I think the ancestral McGeachys might be from here.
Saturday is a whole other level of parading, we do a short march, hang about in a shower of ill timed rain then escort the Corsehill Queen in her horse drawn carriage to the village square. What they do here is a mystery to pipebanders as we’re shooed away round the corner being deemed too noisy. There were a lot of people watching so you’d hope it was tasteful.
Further up the street, when they’d finished doing whatever they do at the square, groups of serious folk in chains of office began congregating near us. When the main group approached a quick scan noted no signs of affray, the Queen looked radiant and her Pages looked nervous, as they should do. The Grand Kilbarchan Concertina Pipe Band lead the parade along past the floats; first we were w i d e, astride the street, then we were narrow, squeezing between cars and lorries, then were w i d e , then we scooched over to the right and bunched up then w i d e again and marching fearlessly past agricultural machinery.
The glowering clouds had prompted many conversations about capes but when we turned onto main Street and began the march back to the school the sun burst through and thoughts flew to sunscreen or lack there of. I got a wee bit sun skelped about the coupon but I’ll live, the doctor says I can go back to work in 3 weeks.
Many of the band made the slow peregrination to Clyde Port and played for the MV Nautica but Hazel Tenor and I drove Abbi to her work because we’re cruel that way.
Sunday is an evening parade and it’s a more sombre affair; the Stewarton Bonnet Guild are joined by most of the civil, private and uniformed organisations in the village as they gather for an act of remembrance at the War Memorial. Piper Dickie played ‘Flowers of the Forest’ before Piper Bateson’s ‘Johnny Cope’ concluded the minutes silence. Pipey was frantically trying to explain what he wanted to happen with hand gestures and scowls when what he needed was a whiteboard and pens.
With the ceremony over we headed back down the hill, under the railway bridge and over the roundabout, then like a well oiled machine pipers and drummers began drifting across into a long file and we arrived at the church in two lines and formed an honour guard which played everyone to the church. Then we went home.
Thanks to The Medic for getting me there in electric comfort and to Scooby for carrying The Hats drum back for him, pair auld sowl.
Next up is Helensburgh