200 young people from The Boys’ Brigade (BB), were joined by Allan Wells MBE, for the annual Beating Retreat ceremony at Edinburgh Castle on Saturday 10 May 2014.
The event, the 57th consecutive holding of the ceremony, featured the Massed Pipes & Drums, 10th Leith BB Bugle Band, Central Band of The Boys’ Brigade and 3rd Johnstone Brigades Band; and saw each band march across the drawbridge and perform a short routine on the Castle Esplanade to the delight of the gathered crowd of spectators and dignitaries.
Chief guest was Allan Wells MBE, the former Scottish and British multi-title winning athlete. He said:-“I recall my time in the organisation very fondly and seeing members of The Boys’ Brigade again brought back many happy memories of my time as a BB member.
“Beating Retreat is a landmark event for The Boys’ Brigade and I was honoured to play a part.”
Michael Cummings (15), 4th Dunfermline, said:-“What an amazing experience it was playing at Edinburgh Castle. It was so different from where we are used to playing. The memory of playing in the band in such a stunning location will last a lifetime.”
Ian Montgomery, The Boys’ Brigade Edinburgh Battalion President, said:- “It was a privilege for us to welcome Allan to our flagship event. Promoting sport and active lifestyles are important aspects of our programme and Allan’s achievements are an inspiration to our young people.
“Given the Commonwealth Games year in Scotland, Allan’s involvement in our event was all the more fitting.
“It is always fantastic that our BB musicians from across Scotland have the opportunity to play in the heart of Edinburgh. These bands have been rehearsing for many months in preparation for the event and their professionalism and talent shone through.”
Beating Retreat is a military ceremony dating back to the 16th century when drums were used as signals in the battlefields.
Beating the Retreat was the cue for troops to retreat from battle as light faded.