Band Debut in Lewis
The Band had the honour of leading the first ever march for Independence in the Western Isles. Travelling by planes, trains and mini busses getting everyone to the island, with all the kit proved to be a huge logistical operation.
Passengers on the ferry from Ullapool to Stornaway were surprised by an impromtu performance on the deck – the band hadnt been together for a few weeks so took the opportunity to have a quick practice on deck.
Nerves were in tatters by Saturday lunchtime when the band had their full uniforms on for the first time ! The Jacobite theme had been kept under wraps until they were ready to go. The Blue Bonnets (made by the team that made all the headgear for the TV series Outlander) will be the trademark of the band, and were very well received by all the Indy Supporters who turned out to march with us. After a quick warm up at the campsite (which luckily was full of people on the island for the march) the band headed to the ferry terminal to welcome the marches coming in on the ferry, then headed to the start point.
The warm welcome and reception of the crowd made all the work over the winter worthwhile, so thanks to everybody who took the time to show their appreciation. And huge thanks to the team at Outer Hebrides for Independence for inviting us, being such wonderful hosts and taking such good care of us!
Once the job was done, it was time to relax, enjoy the island and do some serious team building. The ceilidh in the golf club was a fabulous night … and the festivities went on late into the night back at the campsite. But what happens on Lewis stays in Lewis. We did learn a lot of things we need to tinker with to make marches fun more smoothly and have changed lots of behind the scenes in time for the next march in Glasgow.
We had a few hours to relax and explore a part of the Island on Sunday before our ferry home, so took the opportunity to visit the beautiful Callanish standing stones, the Broch and the beach before heading to the ferry.
Friendships have been forged for life, we’re longer just a band – now we’re a family !