EFFORTS UNDERWAY TO RESTORE LOCAL 'PRIDE'

MOVES are afoot in Dromore to drum up interest in restoring a lost 'pride' to the local bands scene.

The 'pride' in question is the town's long since defunct Pride of Down Flute Band.

Efforts are underway to revive the once thriving band and get it up and marching again, albeit on a limited basis.

One of the former members behind the move said, "We're trying to get the band going again, but we would only be committing ourselves to five or six nights a year.

"We were thinking it might suit former bandsmembers who would like to take it up again but couldn't spare the time for a fully active band."

Though it's still early days for the revival efforts, only a handful of potential members have answered the drum roll; as our picture shows, it was a different story 26 years ago.

Back then a large crowd of spectators turned out to watch the Pride of Down Flute Band parade in its new uniforms, accompanied by visiting bands, some local, others from as far afield as Londonderry, Downpatrick, Ballymena, Dundonald and Kilkeel, among other places.

The band paraded from the Orange Hall to the grounds of Dromore High School, where awaiting spectators looked on as Mrs. E. Paisley formally presented the new uniforms, as dedicated by the Rev. A. Chambers of Bessbrook.

Skeogh Flute, Drummiller Accordion and Ballymacormick Accordion bands provided the musical accompaniment at the platform.

Among the other flute bands taking part were Pride of the Orange and Blue (Londonderry), Sgt. Lindsay Mooney Memorial (Londonderry), Red Hand Defenders (Downpatrick), Blackscull Orange and Blue, Kinallen Sons of William, Pride of the Maine (Ballymena), Ballybeen Defenders (Dundonald), Lisburn Young Defenders, Dundrum, Gilford True Blues, Pride of Ballinran (Kilkeel) and Star of the North (Dollingstown).

Anyone interested in helping restore the Pride of Down Flute Band should go along to Ballaney Orange Hall on Monday night, from 7.30pm.

Said the former member, "We need both drummers and fluters and anyone who wants to come along will be made very welcome."