Spectacular night of celebrations
Erewash residents turned out in force to witness the historic Beating Retreat and Sunset Ceremony in Ilkeston town centre last week. (Tuesday 19 June) – with hundreds of onlookers enjoying the colourful event that was part of the borough’s commemorations for the centenary of the end of the First World War.
The Nottinghamshire Band of the Royal Engineers took centre stage, marching into the Market Place playing a popular music programme before the historic Beating Retreat closed the ceremony.
Representatives from the Army Reserve, RAF Reserve, Army Cadet and Air Cadet organisations all attended the celebration event.
Ilkeston Brass and ladies barbershop chorus GEM Connection also provided musical entertainment with Erewash Museum joining in the centenary commemorations by putting on a battlefield display and re-enactment in the museum gardens.
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Chris Corbett, said:
“The Beating Retreat event was truly a wonderful occasion for the people of Erewash. Ilkeston Brass were excellent, GEM Connection entertained us royally and the Nottinghamshire Band of the Royal Engineers created a spectacular scene that will be in our memories for a long time to come.
“We are all delighted that the event was a resounding success and we have received many compliments from both invited guests and the public alike.”
Beating Retreat is a military music ceremony performed in some form by most armed forces in the Commonwealth. Its origins date back to an old Army custom of ‘watch setting’, when a gun was fired at sunset to mark the end of the working day. The later formation of regimental military bands developed this ritual into today’s pageant-style Beating Retreat ceremony.
Phil Giles, Derbyshire County Chairman of East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations, said:
“The event was a huge success with hundreds of local people joining us for the ceremony on Ilkeston Market Place, many of whom were really interested to learn more about training and how they could potentially get involved. I’d like to thank everyone who was involved with the organisation of the event and those who joined us for making the evening a really memorable event.”