Durham Pride - A drummer's tale

Will the rain ruin the day? Will the stilt walkers ever make it down hill? and will Bridget ever pull off those 8" heels?

Monday the 29th of May and the weather was…crap!

Typical for a Bank Holiday – wet and dismal and suitably soggy for Durham Pride.

The band I’m in (“The Bangshees”) are often asked to be part of walking parades, particularly the flamboyant gay ones.

We started at the Palace Green, right in front of the majestic Durham Cathedral. We were at the front, alongside the awesome stilt walkers who were dressed to impress! The transvestites were out in full force with all their amazing garb and ridiculous heels, that I’d never pull off…

As we started to drum there were cameras from all angles and our band leader Shelley gave us “The Look” reminding us to smile, and of course, look fabulous!

The crowds were out in full force at the road-side, all the way down from the cathedral. I was worried about the stilt walkers managing the hills…I don’t think stilts were invented for hill-walking? Nor were those 8” heels worn by the bravest and most impressively cross-dressed.

Our band made a tremendous racket (in a good way), resulting in many people shimmying in time to our festival rhythms! The acoustics were helped by the buildings on either side echoing our din and amplifying our already loud drums.

We worked our way downhill all the way to “The Sands” (a big field basically) with a stage, fairground, stalls and very happy people, many of whom were dressed to kill with rainbow accessories everywhere.

Our band then drummed the festival-goers into the park; The atmosphere was electric.

Jedward were amongst the acts booked to entertain the audience, however, once the parade had ended, I made my excuses and left. I wanted only good memories to remain and I’m not sure Jedward would have enhanced my experience of the day – no offence to Jedward fans! All 5 of you.

In all, despite the wet weather, I very much enjoyed being a part of such a joyous occasion and judging by the many happy faces around me, everyone else did too.

Bridget Carter

The Stilt walkers have just seen the hill they have to walk up..

Topless Unicorn men dragging a princess along to her destination...Typical pride!