Barrie 2018 – Tales from a Band Tour II

Part Two

After two days of concerts and a fair amount of travelling and with temperatures into the high 30s a day spent in Barrie was very welcome. Even more welcome was a ‘pool party’ laid on at the home of one of our host families. Although not verified by the Guinness Book of World Records, Tewit Band now holds the record for most people in this particular pool at one time: 30…plus some crazy adults!

Meanwhile the ‘official’ HIP delegation was touring City Hall and an exhibition dedicated to Sir Robert Barrie, the man whose heritage brought Harrogate and the City of Barrie together.

During the tour we did notice a couple of very familiar pictures outside the Mayor’s Office.

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Readers of Part One will remember that a Yorkshire flag was presented to Barrie at the welcoming reception. By Friday it was proudly flying alongside the flags of Barrie, Ontario and Canada outside City Hall.

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In the afternoon we were introduced to the history of Barrie on a walking tour led by Town Crier, Steve Travers. In his inimitable style he told us tales of the characters who had made early Barrie and pointed out features and buildings that we might otherwise have missed.

Barrie has a great waterfront (and a beach!) and it was here that we headed in the afternoon for something new for all the group: dragon boats. We were all asked if we had any experience in a canoe or kayak. ‘Yes’, said some. ‘Well forget all that’, said the instructor! A little light paddling to start and then a tightly fought race (the photo shows the blue boat clearly ahead!) before heading off for a foray along the shoreside and a view of where the Band would be playing on Sunday.

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Saturday was a different experience altogether as the Band set off for Blackdown Cadet Camp. Tewit performed as part of a massed band of 106 musicians for an hour and a half in the middle of a parade of 1,274 cadets in full band uniform on a military parade ground with temperatures over 30 degrees (mid 80s in old money). This certainly required endurance, stamina and concentration which Tewit pulled off effortlessly.

Sir Thomas Ingiliby, who acted as the Reviewing Officer, said afterwards, “I will never forget the faces of the Canadian cadet band when the Tewit Youth Band performed a few numbers in the Band Rooms afterwards: they were absolutely gobsmacked by the musical ability on display and sat open-mouthed during some of the solos.”

Thank you to the Blackdown Cadets for not only making us feel so welcome but also for providing the following video of the visit.

After a visit to the Base Borden Military Museum the Band returned to Barrie.

Look out for part three which will feature Kempenfest and a rather unusual concert venue.