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2014 Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette

After the Jamborette page 2 - Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has been held on the Esplanade in front of Edinburgh Castle every August since 1950. Military bands from around the world take part in the Tattoo, putting on shows of piping, drumming, dancing, band music and other things - in past years there have been synchronized motorcycle riding, a bicycle-mounted band from the Netherlands, and construction workers playing tuned pieces of pipe salvaged from the old stands, to name just a few. The theme of the 2014 Tattoo is "Our Home, Friends and Family".
While we were planning our trip, I mentioned to the Scouts that for the first time since I started taking groups to Blair Atholl, we would be in Scotland while the Edinburgh Military Tattoo was going on, and I was hoping to be able to attend a show while on my after-Jamborette touring. I showed part of the DVD from 2012, and the Scouts declared that it would be "awesome" if we could arrange to attend the Tattoo as a group. And so, we did...

The Tattoo starts with the arrival of the Producer, Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, and other officials.

A piper brings a toast to the Brigadier in the traditional Scottish Quaich, and they share some of Scotland's National Drink. (No, not Irn Bru)

Buglers climb up into the stands, a band marches onto the field...

... and the opening fanfare entitled "Ready to Go!" starts the evening's entertainment. 

After the fanfare, the Castle gate glows red, and the Massed Pipes and Drums march in...

... and they keep on marching in, until the Esplanade is full of pipes and drums, a truly impressive sight (and sound). This year there were more than 260 pipers, from Scotland's regiments as well as Ireland, Oman, Australia, Tasmania, Canada, France, and England. 

Highland dancers and fiddlers join the pipers and drummers to end the opening number, "The Departure".

After "The Departure", we begin "A Journey Around the World" with The Band of the Armed Forces of Malta, an island nation in the Mediterranean. 

The Maltese dancers end their set by forming a Maltese Cross.

The !Ngobamakhosi Zulu Dance Troupe from South Africa performed some very athletic dances, accompanied by battle songs from KwaZulu-Natal !Butho.

Returning closer to home, the next group were dancers...

...and fiddlers from the Shetland Islands, the far North of Scotland. They brought their own standing stones to perform next to.

The Nagaland Folkloric Group from the northeast of India performed traditional songs and dances from their Hornbill Festival. 

The Tattoo Highland Dancers were next, performing a piece featuring Dougie MacLean's "The Gael", and accompanied by the Shetland Fiddlers and the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. 

This is the champion Highland Dancer of Scotland - it's easy to see why she's a champion!

The Singapore Armed Forces Central Band, Music and Dance Company and Military Police Drill Team were introduced by appropriate designs projected on the face of the Castle.

Then, the Massed Pipes and Drums returned, with one of the largest pipe and drum groups ever assembled on the Esplanade.

The New Zealand Kapa Haka Dancers and the New Zealand Highland Dancers performed together, with a unique combination of highland dancing, sailor's hornpipes and native Haka.

The Scots sailors arriving in New Zealand are challenged by the native Maori...

...and a truly fearsome challenge it is!

The Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force Steel Orchestra marched in from an appropriately-decorated Castle gate.

This year marks the 350th Anniversary of the founding of the Royal Marines. 

The Royal Marine Commandos put on a demonstration of a surprise attack.

Once again the Castle is redecorated, to mark the beginning of the Grand Finale.

Fireworks burst out over the Esplanade...

... and over 1150 cast members and musicians march onto the Esplanade


The mascot of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Shetland Pony and Corporal Cruachan IV, makes his entrance to the Tattoo as part of the finale. 

Erskine Stewart's Melville School Choir sang from the Castle gate. 

The Tattoo came to an end with the haunting notes of the Lone Piper from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle. 

Then, it was just a matter of getting 9,000 or so spectators out of the stands and down the Royal Mile...
We waited out the crowd, then followed along, cutting down to the tram stop and back to the Scout Hall for a short night's rest before leaving for the airport before 6AM.
It's been a great trip, and I, for one, can't wait for the next one in 2016...

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