France Concert Tour 2013


Cadishead Band, sponsored by the Hamilton Davies Trust, set the wheels in motion over twelve months ago for their fifth overseas tour and their second to the Berny Riviere campsite at La Croix du Vieux Pont, which is approximately an hour east of Paris.  The tour started on Saturday 25th May.

The coach arrived at 5.45 am and was loaded with military precision by the men of the Band, we then set off going via the Channel Tunnel Terminal in Kent. We arrived at Berny Riviere at 8.30 pm (French time), and the staff from Canvas Holidays were there to meet and greet us and hand over the caravan keys.  Once settled into the homes for the week, some of the party hit the bar to unwind before bed.
The first concert of the tour was on Sunday afternoon at the pool bar, conducted by our Musical Director, Mr. Craig McFarland, making his debut on a Cadishead Band Tour as the MD.  The concert went really well and the Band played a total of 18 pieces out of the 55 that were in the concert folders.


On Monday the Band left the site at 2 pm for the short trip to the Museum de L’Armistice and the Wagon de L’Armistice, which is situated outside Compiegne. This is the place where the Armistice was signed, which marked the end of World War 1 on the 11th hour of the 11th month in 1918. The Band formed up and marched along the railway tracks to the front of the Museum.  Here the Band played the hymn tune “St. Ann”, followed by “Sunset”, and then Karen Thompson said the Eulogy, which was followed by ‘Last Post and Revielle” and  the national anthems of Great Britain and France.  This was a most moving homage to honour the place where World War 1 finally ended.

The Band then moved on to Compiegne and to the Town Hall for the second concert of the tour.
Following the concert, the Band and supporters were invited into the Council Chamber of the Town Hall for a reception given by the Mayor.   A presentation was made to the Mayor of a Band Photo & a mounted Band Badge by the Vice-Chairman, Secretary, John Roach and David Dee along with a letter from the City Mayor of Salford, Ian Stewart and a gift from the City of Salford, which were presented by the Deputy Mayor of Salford, Councillor Christine Hudson.



On Tuesday it was off to Rheims where we were due to give a concert later in the day.  We had free time in Rheims and a lot of the group made their first stop at the Notre Dame Cathedral. As we all met later to get changed at the coach for the concert the heavens’ opened, as we were to play outside we had to abandon the concert, got back on the coach and returned to the site.


Vic-Sur Ainse

On Wednesday we met at 9.30 am for the short trip into Vic-Sur Ainse, where we found a canopy has been erected by the Council for the Band to play under and also chairs were arranged for the audience as well.   The sun was shining and there were some nice warm areas to sit in.   We were greeted on arrival by the Mayor of Vic-Sur Aisne. After unloaded and set up, the band played a 2 hour concert.  Again the concert went well with most introductions done by the compere in French for the 17 pieces played.   The Mayor was presented with the Band photograph and framed badge by the usual presentation party and Cllr. Hudson made a presentation on behalf of the City of Salford.  John Roach presented a basket of flowers to his contact from the Tourist Office, which she was delighted with.

Later in the day, nine players volunteered to go to play at the Beach Bar at 6.30 pm for an hour, then we set up for our third concert of the day in the Bowling Alley where the band put on an evening concert Big Band Style.


Rest Day

Thursday was a day off playing for the band, some of the party were off to either Park Asterix or Disney Paris or by train into Paris for their own free day.   Others just relaxed around the site.


Friday marked our final full day on the site and the last of our concerts ( a total of 7 performances in 6 days).   We were off at 9.30 am to Pierrefonds for a concert at 11 am. in front of the Town Hall.  We were welcomed by Mme Le Mayor before settling down to the 2 hour concert.  During the interval the Band and Cllr. Hudson made presentations to the Head of Tourism for Pierrefonds as way of thanks for organising the concert venue.
The tour concluded with our Band Tour Dinner and Awards Ceremony, special presentations were made to John Roach and David Dee for all their work in organising this tour, which had been a great success.


Saturday morning came all too soon as we had an early start. The caravans had to be cleaned before we left and the coach was loaded in the parking area by 8am.  Everything and everyone was loaded by 8.45 am and we bade farewell to Berny Riviere for another time.