William King band teams up with new Fountain Forum

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The William King Memorial Flute Band has organised another community event this year in the Fountain on the afternoon of June 14 in conjunction with the newly established ‘Fountain Forum’ group.

Band chairman John Rankin told the Sentinel that the band were delighted to be associated with the Fountain Forum and to be involved with work that will help all the residents of the area.

He said that the band has had a big influence on community and youth work over the past 40 years.

He stated that the band would be supporting totally the groups who intended to work for the improvement of the fabric and infrastructure of the housing stock and the regeneration of dilapidated streets.

In recent meetings with the residents and the residents of the Abercorn Road area the Forum has been discussing the proposed refurbishment of the factory on the junction of Wapping Lane and Abercorn Road and its conversion into eighty flats for the rental market.

Opposition to this project is high in both areas and further meetings are planned.

Mr Rankin says it is hoped a majority of residents in both areas will make their views known when they study the full implication of the proposals.

At a recent awards dinner in Belfast for the Flute Band Association the current conductor of the William King Memorial Flute Band, Derek Moore, collected the trophies for 1st place in the two categories that the band had competed for in the yearly national competition.

The band were placed first in both the Melody Flute and Melody Plus grades with a substantial winning points margin over their nearest rivals Ballycoan Flute Band from Belfast.

Speaking to the Sentinel, Mr Moore, paid tribute to the continuing effort and drive shown by the band members to maintain their status as the premier melody flute band in the Northern Ireland contesting scene.

He stated that after their 40th anniversary year in 2013 and the vast amount of public performances and rehearsal time required for events like the Anniversary Day, Relief of Derry Symphony, Walled City Tattoo and the normal band commitments, as well as bringing out a new CD ‘Our Director,’ he was pleasantly surprised by the continuing enthusiasm being shown.

On top of the work that has been done on the performance front the band has also made a one hour documentary on their history and the unique ties with the Fountain area of Londonderry.

Mr Rankin, who has been involved with the band from its inception in the early 1970s, said that the chance given to the band during their anniversary year and the fact that it coincided with the UK City of Culture year was simply too good to miss.

He thanked the Big Lottery Fund who provided the finance for this project and all the people who had worked to get the film made. No firm date has been set for the unveiling of the film but the band intend, as is their usual way, to make a big public event out of the occasion.

The William Kings will be going across to Belgium at the start of July to take part in commemorations for the 100th Anniversary of the First World War and will march in Ypres at the Menim Gate and also at the Somme to the Ulster Tower and the Thiepval Memorial.