1998 Tour - Portugal

In May 1998 we went to Portugal. This was very much a musical trip, with the Band giving a total of eight performances under its Musical Director, Allan Jones. The majority of Band members and their supporters, left Manchester Airport on the evening of Friday 22nd May. A small advance party had left the previous evening, the whole party consisting of 45 players and 35 supporters, of whom 6 were children. We quickly settled into the Hotel Cidadela in Cascais near Lisbon, which was to be our base for the week.

The eight performances differed greatly in their venues and music but all were greeted with acclamation by the audiences who were present. There should have been a ninth performance, on the Promenade Stage at the "EXPO '98" International Exhibition in Lisbon. Unfortunately, however, it was a rather wet evening and the stage lights failed, making it impossible for us to play. This was a great disappointment, as the "EXPO" concert was to have been one of the highlights of the trip. However, the other performances on the "EXPO" site made up for this, particularly when the Band played "Rule Britannia" outside the UK Pavilion.


Saturday 23rd May - The Band played at the Residence of the British Ambassador to Portugal, Roger Westbrook. He was giving a dinner to entertain the Lord Mayor of London, Richard Nichols, who had been the British Representative at the opening ceremony of "EXPO '98" the day before. During the performance presentations were made by Allan Jones to the Ambassador and to the Lord Mayor.

Sunday 24th May - In the morning the Band played for Holy Communion in St.George's Church, Lisbon, which is a British church where services are held in English according to the rites of the Church of England. The service was attended by the British Ambassador and the Lord Mayor of London, as well as the regular congregation and visitors. In the evening the Band gave a public concert in the church.

Tuesday 26th May - In the afternoon the Band gave a short concert for some of the pupils of St. Julian's School, Carcavelos, followed in the evening by a public concert in the school courtyard, in the style of "Last Night of the Proms".

Playing at St Julians

Wednesday 27th May - This was "EXPO" day. We were the first British Band to play there. Two short concerts were given, one outside the UK Pavilion (see picture) and one outside the European pavilion, after which we were entertained to a buffet by Bill Martin of the EU pavilion and Dennis Healey of the UK Pavilion.

Thursday 28th May - The Final concert of the trip was given in the Teatro Gil Vicente in Cascais. The first half of the concert was given by a local Band, Banda da Sociedade Musical Uniao Paradense, with the Werneth Concert Band giving the second half.

This was a rousing finale to the trip, which had been thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part.