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Royal Marines on the Green - everything you need to know about tomorrow's concert at Walmer Green

By Beth Robson

Tomorrow the HM Royal Marines Portsmouth and Collingwood Bands return to Deal for the annual Marines on the Green memorial concert.

The free feast of live music will be a special one - commemorating 30 years since the IRA's bomb was detonated at the Walmer Barracks on September 22, killing 11 bandsmen.

Music begins at the Deal Memorial Bandstand on Walmer Green from 2.30pm, and thousands of people are expected to unload their picnic baskets on the grass from the morning to secure the best spots to watch some of the finest military musicians in the country.

The Royal Marines Marines on the Green concert with HM Portsmouth Band led by Lt Col Jon Ridley. Deal Memorial Bandstand, Walmer Green, Walmer. 150718 Picture: Alan Langley. .... (13652377)
The Royal Marines Marines on the Green concert with HM Portsmouth Band led by Lt Col Jon Ridley. Deal Memorial Bandstand, Walmer Green, Walmer. 150718 Picture: Alan Langley. .... (13652377)

About the bandstand: Deal Memorial Bandstand was built in memory of the 11 musicians who were murdered by the IRA. Its construction was thanks to a raft of support from local organisations in the wake of the atrocity.

Responding to the wishes of the public, the first of the memorial concerts was held in June 1991. This was before approval was granted for the bandstand at the end of that year. Work started on August 18, 1992 and the opening concert was on May 2, 1993.

The structure has 11 sides and a plaque on each side is dedicated to the musicians who perished. They are: Msn Mick Ball, 24, Msn Andy Cleatheroe, 25, Msn Trevor Davis, 39, Msn Richard Fice, 22, Msn Richard 'Taff' Jones, 27, Band Cpl David 'Mac' McMillan, 26, Msn Chris Nolan, 21, Band Cpl Dean Pavey, 31, Msn Mark Petch, 26, Msn Tim Reeves, 24, Msn Bob Simmonds, 34.

The Royal Marines never fail to entertain
The Royal Marines never fail to entertain

The programme: Warm up music comes from the Walmer Sea Cadets and the Victory Wartime Band and the organisers have confirmed there will be a RAF fly past to be performed by a Spitfire at an unspecified time in the afternoon.

The Band of HM Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band) will perform an exciting first half. During the second half, the Band of HM Royal Marines Collingwood will be playing a selection of marches, whilst marching from Canada Road towards the Strand where they will continue their musical display, before joining the Royal Band at the Bandstand.

The concert will continue with the rededication of the bandstand and a rousing and memorable finale.

The programme includes a special arrangement from The Greatest Showman film as well a a trombone solo of You Raise Me Up from Msn J Walker and a guitar feature of (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction by Musn M Gregory.

The Marines Marines on the Green concert Remembers the 11 musicians who were killed by the IRA's bomb in 1989.
The Marines Marines on the Green concert Remembers the 11 musicians who were killed by the IRA's bomb in 1989.

Getting there: If you are coming from out of town, the best way to arrive is by train or bus. It is a 15-20 minute walk from Deal train station, and a 20-30 minute walk from Walmer.

South Street bus station is a 15 minute walk.

Cheering on the music makers
Cheering on the music makers

Road Closures: From 1.30pm closures include: The Strand and Dover Road – from the junction of North Barrack Road and Cornwall Road.

Canada Road – from the junction of The Strand to Ardent Avenue.

Access only to Cavalry Barracks and Canada Road during this time. There will be parking restrictions and a route division in place. Signs will be placed along the roads affected.

The road closures should be removed by 6pm.

Dignitaries will lay wreaths during the rededication of the bandstand.
Dignitaries will lay wreaths during the rededication of the bandstand.

Parking: It is best to avoid the local streets around the Strand, which are expected to be logged with the cars of visitors and residents living in the area.

Pay and display car parks are at Deal and Walmer Castles and in Middle Street, Sainsbury's, West Street, and St George's Road.

The best advice is to walk where possible, make use of shared lifts and public transport and arrive early with everything you need.

Disabled parking: Limited car parking for disabled blue badge permits holders only will be provided on the south side of the Lifeboat Station on the Strand, on a first come first served basis. This will be signposted and marshalled. Please ensure you have your Blue Badge pass to gain access. Please note that there is no provision for any other car parking either on the Strand or in close proximity to the Bandstand.

Members of HM Portsmouth Band led by Lt Col Jon Ridley
Members of HM Portsmouth Band led by Lt Col Jon Ridley

Seating: There is a very limited amount of unreserved seating for the public which is located directly in front of the Bandstand. This is available on a first one first served basis and can not be pre-reserved.

People come out in their thousands to watch the concerts
People come out in their thousands to watch the concerts

Refreshments/toilets/first aid: The shops along The Strand will be open including a newsagents, fish and chip shops and the Paddling Pool with its cafe area.

Portable lavatories will be sited on the green and public toilets at Marine Road Paddling Pool will be open. Toilets at The Lighthouse, The Stag and The Drum Major pubs are available for customers. The Royal Marines Association Club allows non customers to use the facilities when they pay for a wrist band.

First Aid is provided on the day by the Red Cross. They will be located on Walmer Green in a prominent position.

Flag waving to Land of Hope and glory
Flag waving to Land of Hope and glory

The cost: The concert is free to attend.

Programmes, proudly produced by the East Kent Mercury newspaper, are available on the day by donation. Proceeds help with the running costs of the bandstand including maintenance and insurances. Volunteers will be collecting for the bandstand trust to help keep these memorial concerts, and the weekly shows each Sunday, running for years to come.

Spectators are asked to give generously to help the band play on.

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