Too old to march

Does your band march?


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More and more Australian brass bands are unable to participate in street marches because so many of their members are now too old for marching any distance. When the city of Brisbane Australia honours its war dead on 26th April the march of ex military personnel takes longer about two hours but there are not enough marching bands. They solve the problem by ferrying bands back to the starting point to march a second time and a band seated beside the saluting base strikes up with march music whenever no marching band is within earshot and cuts out when a marching band approaches. Anzac Day marches in the outer suburbs and nearby towns take place in silence. Have any bands found a safe method of putting their band on wheels?
 

GER

Active Member
Have played on the back of a flat bed wagon a few times, and once on a hay trailer being pulled by a friendly farmers tractor. Things are a bit tight, and you usually can't sit in an orthodox band layout, but never been any danger of falling off. Usually use steps to get on and off.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
It’s not quite the same as the OP’s situation but there is overlap with it. In various of the Towns in Somerset (which isn’t where I live) they hold Carnivals every year. As I recall (from several decades ago) the Carnivals do have many dislplay ‘floats’ in them and those floats are typically based on articulated lorries, a flat bed trailer is pulled by a standard lorry type tractor unit which is driven at walking pace.

Of course a carried group of musicians isn’t like a marching band but it does give the organisers the possibility of enhancing the event with a decorated mobile ‘stage’. It might be worthwhile investigating Carnival Floats to see what ideas, concepts and practices could be adapted to local (to you) needs.

Edit. I wonder whether some form of ‘open top’ bus could be made to work.
 
Last edited:

4th Cornet

Well-Known Member
Similar to GER I've played on the back of a lorry a few times in the days before risk assessments, prolific litigation etc.

Whilst generally safe, I was usually relieved to complete the job without anyone being injured. The methods of getting onto the trailer, the 'safety barrier / rope' around the edge, the stability of seating never gave me much confidence.
 

Slider1

Active Member
More and more Australian brass bands are unable to participate in street marches because so many of their members are now too old for marching any distance. When the city of Brisbane Australia honours its war dead on 26th April the march of ex military personnel takes longer about two hours but there are not enough marching bands. They solve the problem by ferrying bands back to the starting point to march a second time and a band seated beside the saluting base strikes up with march music whenever no marching band is within earshot and cuts out when a marching band approaches. Anzac Day marches in the outer suburbs and nearby towns take place in silence. Have any bands found a safe method of putting their band on wheels?
Grimly Colliery cracked it with an open topped Bus:):):)
 

Slider1

Active Member
It’s not quite the same as the OP’s situation but there is overlap with it. In various of the Towns in Somerset (which isn’t where I live) they hold Carnivals every year. As I recall (from several decades ago) the Carnivals do have many dislplay ‘floats’ in them and those floats are typically based on articulated lorries, a flat bed trailer is pulled by a standard lorry type tractor unit which is driven at walking pace.

Of course a carried group of musicians isn’t like a marching band but it does give the organisers the possibility of enhancing the event with a decorated mobile ‘stage’. It might be worthwhile investigating Carnival Floats to see what ideas, concepts and practices could be adapted to local (to you) needs.

Edit. I wonder whether some form of ‘open top’ bus could be made to work.
I'm sorry, but I didn't read your Edit regarding a bus until I sent in my 2 pennorth:)
 

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