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Band plans reunion with Norwegian pipers

PIPE DREAM ... Roy Sloane, above, is hoping to bring former Boys Brigade band member together to welcome visitors from Norway. Below, the old band on the march in King Street, South Shields.

PIPE DREAM ... Roy Sloane, above, is hoping to bring former Boys Brigade band member together to welcome visitors from Norway. Below, the old band on the march in King Street, South Shields.

 

EX- Boys’ Brigade band members will step back in time when they have a reunion with Norwegian friends.

Former members of the 12th South Shields Boys’ Brigade Pipe Band are to welcome fellow pipers the Haukerod Skolekorps, from Sandefjord, to the town.

The two bands played together in Norway and South Shields during the 1970s and 1980s.

The group travelled overseas to countries including the Czech Republic and Germany, to play with other bands, during their time together.

Former Boys’ Brigade member Roy Sloane, who is arranging the reunion, to take place later this month, said they forged a special relationship with the Haukerod Skolekorps.

He said: “We were very close to them and a lot of old friendships are still there. We met in the 70s and the friendships are still going on.”

Mr Sloane, 45, who is now a policeman in London, also organised for the former band members to visit South Shields’ Norwegian twin town of Sandefjord to meet up with their old friends.

He said: “It was good fun to go over there and nice to see a lot of band members from Norway. Some of them said they would love to see South Shields again, so we’ve arranged for them to come over.

“The town has changed a lot over the years – some bits are better and some aren’t – so it will be interesting to see what they think of it now.”

Roy, who plays the bagpipes, has hired the 90s room at the Glitterball club, in Ocean Road, South Shields, on March 29 for the get-together.

The Boys’ Brigade, the Girls’ Brigade and Girls’ Venture corps were affiliated, and Mr Sloane is hoping former members from each group will turn up for the event.

He said: “A lot of us haven’t seen each other for more than 20 years.

“We’ve got about six members from Norway coming at the minute, and I want all the groups joining in together. The band touched a lot of people, so anyone who was involved in any way is welcome to attend.”

The pipe band was so influential that it set Mr Sloane up for his future career. He now lives in Cambridge, but visits South Shields as often as he can, and learned to play the bagpipes during his time with the 12th South Shields Boys Brigade.

He went on to play in the Army’s Black Watch Band, and now plays at weddings and other events.

He said: “It kept me on the straight and narrow.”

“We had a lot of fun when we played together, and it would be great if everyone can come to the get-together.”

The event starts at 7.30pm.

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull

 

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