Saturday, 26 January 2013 09:18

Laa Columb Killey

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The weather did its best to disrupt proceedings at the 100th Laa Columb Killey in Ballabeg on Thursday 28th June. Like the rest of the British Isles the Isle of Man has suffered from a wet summer so far. However the people of Ballabeg and Colby rallied round and prepared the field, erecting marquees and putting up bunting.

Even though it stayed dry the organisers decided that the Fancy Dress award and opening ceremony should take place in Ballabeg School hall. This gave the band a challenge as the opening ceremony includes the singing of the Manx National Anthem, the Royal Anthem and the hymn “We Thank Thee Lord for this Fair Earth “ accompanied by the band. But with the hall being full of children and parents, the band ended up playing in one of the strangest places they’ve played in a long time, the school kitchen, which is not designed to take 16 players and their instruments (including 3 tubas).


Following this the band escaped the confines of the kitchen and made their way over to the field, which was starting to resemble Glastonbury, mud everywhere. Another change from previous years the band were asked to play in the Tea Tent rather than on a stage out on the field. The band didn’t need much persuading!


As the band were setting up, the long tressle tables were already fully laden with plates of home made sandwiches and cakes ready for the hordes to come and enjoy a traditional Laa Columb tea. A huge distraction to bandsmen and women trying to concentrate on playing music!


The band started playing before everyone was allowed in the tent which gave the ladies of the Tea Tent a chance to have a dance to Schneewalzer and Sussex Folk, before getting in to their strides and making sure the plates on the tables were never empty.


After an hour of playing and watching everyone enjoying the legendary tea, it was the bands turn to enjoy the food and hospitality. This was followed by a further stint of playing before finishing for the day.


This is the 75th continuous year that Castletown Band have been involved in Laa Columb and the band decided to commemorated it by producing a set of postcards with photographs of the band over the years. These will now be available to buy at all the bands concerts.


Yet again it was another enjoyable day at Laa Columb - roll on next year!


Report by Brian Osborn 11/07/2012

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