Wessex Military Band

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by persins, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. persins

    persins Member

    I have just got back from a fantastic quick trip to Germany for a Schutzenfest with Wessex Military Band.

    The festival seemed to be a bit like electing a new leader of a hunting lodge or country club and was filled with loads of traditional processes involved with the election of the new "King". There was some marching and loads of Beer and Schnapps.

    Once again the Germans were exceptionally hospitable and really went the extra mile to make sure that we were all made very welcome.

    The weekend basically involved us playing for the official bits throughout the weekend and then wholeheartedly enjoying the parties and entertainment going on around it.

    There were so many comedy moments throughout the trip (most of them not quite publishable!!!) that I would recommend this to anyone.

    Has anyone here been on a similar type trip or played at one of these festivals?

    I would also like to publically thank the Wessex Military Band for making me feel so welcome as a dep despite the fact that my marching was probably woeful even when I was sober!!

    I can't wait until next year!!


    (a.k.a. Private Rupert!!)
  2. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    My band is sort of "twinned" with a german band from a small village near the city of Paderborn. We've been there a couple of times, but never at the time of the village's Schutzenfeste. A couple of members of our band however have become close friends with some of the Germans, and have been to the village a couple of times for the festivities.

    Here in Belgium and the Netherlands, lots of villages still have similar traditions. I think they date back to the 16th or 17th century, when every village used to have its "shooting guild" (or something like that, I don't know the correct translation), whose job it was to protect the village in times of war, sort of like a private militia.
  3. Power Tooba

    Power Tooba Member

    Me and a couple of mates went to a Schutzenfest with Wessex two summers ago and the whole experience was absolutely superb.

    Let's be under no illusion, the marching was long and plentiful, but the beer was also very freely flowing and the hospitality of the Germans was excellent.

    Should also add that the guys in the band were really friendy and very welcoming, or should that be entertaining....! a most memorable experience!:tup

    Glad you had a good time as well Simon!
  4. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Having served in Germany in the 70's, I had the pleasure of playing at numerous schutzenfests - they can be a lot of fun!
    On one occasion, we had a rifle display team from the RE's with us. On the last night, they thought it would be fun to put flowers in their rifles (like the rifle club members do with their wooden ones) and goose step (still a slow march out there at that time) whilst we played Old Comrades. Great idea until we got to the saluting dias to find the local British General taking the salute! The RE's RSM was posted back to UK the next day!

    Incidentally, the original tradition of the "king" was that he was the last to shoot the last bit of the bird from the pole. These days, due to the amount of money the king needs to entertain, it's pretty much decided beforehand.

    We did the Hannover fest in 1977 - Silver jubilee year - and one of the pipers swapped his pipes for a crate of beer - then managed to get a lift back to Senelager (where the queens parade was taking place) on a fire engine.

    Those were the days!! ;)