In more recent times the band has formed a strong partnership with the holiday tour company Isle of Wight Tours. IOW Tours specialise in arranging reunions for groups or institutions around the country. Often at these events a service of remembrance is held on the Sunday and our band is often asked to provide music before the service and then for the hymns. Once the service is over the band will usually play a concert for the audience which is always well appreciated.
The reunions take place all over the country and has meant that the band has had the opportunity to travel to many different venues around the country. Places to visit have included Torquay, Caernarfon, Huddersfield, Weston-Super-Mare, Coventry, Sittingbourne, Sandown, Portsmouth and West Wittering.
Organisations that we have played for include RAF & Defence Fire Services Association, HMS Newfoundland, Korean Veterans, HMS Ganges, HMS Hermes, English China Clay, HMS Collingwood and South Atlantic Medal Association.
With the trips that have taken us further afield we have often been able to make the occasion into a weekend often playing another concert on the previous evening. For example, we travelled to Caernarfon in 2009 for the Korean Veteran’s Association and were able to arrange a concert just down the coast in Llandudno at the local Methodist church there. This was to help the church raise funds for good causes.
On one trip to Torquay the band played on the quayside on what turned out to be a fairly windy concert. Keeping the music on the stand was the main aim for most of the players that day! We have also had the opportunity to play at several momentous occasions. HMS Newfoundland were able to hold their service at St. Ann’s Church in Portsmouth Dockyard which is the mother church of the Royal Navy. In 2011 we were also invited to play for the Korean Veterans at the National Memorial Arboretum at Lichfield whilst they retired their colours.
In 2016 we supported IOW Tours at the Go Travel Show in the Olympic Park in London. This was an opportunity to advertise our services for holidays and events that groups are looking to arrange. For the past 10 years the relationship with IOW tours has been a mutually beneficial one and one we hope will continue into the future.