Meet the Team

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Media & Broadcast Director - Andy Cracknell

Hello Everyone - 

It great to finally be able to bring to you a project we've been working on for a while. Military parades and ceremonies have always been a passion of mine and I think it is important that as many people as possible get to know about these.

 

As Vice-Chairman and Deputy Standard Bearer of The Royal British Legion - Felixstowe Branch I feel that ceremonies, parade and military awareness should be promoted as much as possible. 

If you feel we should be covering something or you would like to be involved, please get in touch via the contact page.

 

We'd love to hear from you. 

Assistant Media and Broadcast Director - Gareth Butler

I attended my first military event at the age of 4 by my Father and Godparents. The were working on The Royal Tournament and not only did I have the great privilege  of watching the show for ten consecutive years but I was also take backstage. From that day to this, I have been a huge supporter of military ceremonial events.

 

I have had the honour of attending rehearsals and special performances of some of the worlds most famous military events and talking to many of the masterminds behind these culturally important performances. Not only is it fantastic to see what my country does best, but it is also a huge privilege to get a glimpse into the cultures of other nations as they show off what they do best.

 

Military tattoos and ceremonial spectacles show off these skills in a way that no other form of entertainment does  and I am very proud to be involved with "Ceremonial News" which will promote and support these great traditions.

 

I am also in the process of producing a series of tattoos (watch this space) and I am also busy forming a new Robert Burns Club through The Robert Burns World Federation to celebrate the works of this great poet....this will also be a nice excuse for me to work with some great pipers and drummers...and have a dram or two in the process!

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Drum Mayor and Band Liaison - Chris Smith
Chris was born in London in May 1982, his first memory of Military bands was at the 1988 Royal Tournament.
In 1993 he joined the Boy's Brigade and quickly joined the bugle band as a drummer, in 2004 he joined the Territorial Army and became a drummer with the London Scottish pipes and drums (A coy) London Regiment, before moving to the London Irish Rifles Bugles, Pipes and Drums (D Coy) London regiment as Drum Major.
 
Chris is still an active member of the Army Reserves and has served one tour of Afghanistan in 2007.

Regional Reporters

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Cambridgeshire - Steven Carr

Hi,

I’ve been around the military for my entire life and for the first 15 years moved around many times with my parents. My Dad was in the RAF which gave me the chance to see lots of different things, including a near private Vulcan display at RAF Finningley at about 6 in the morning, and a wonderful 3 years in Germany.

I am the Memberships Secretary & Webmaster for the Huntingdon Branch of The Royal British Legion, which is my way of giving back to the forces community as I’m unfortunately not able to serve. I’m also very honoured to be one of the branch Standard Bearers, carrying the Huntingdonshire District Standard.

 

I’m looking forward to working as part of the team and bringing you all the ceremonial news from Cambridgeshire.

West Midlands - Ashley Garrison-Brown
Hello everyone, My name is Ashley and I am a researcher and regional reporter for Ceremonial News covering the West Midlands. As far back as I can remember I've been fascinated by the pomp and pageantry of parades and ceremonial events. I was glued to the television during broadcasts of the Royal Tournament and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
As I became older I began to appreciate the significance and importance of remembrance I started to take an active part in parades. Since 2002 I've been a member of the Sea Cadet Corps and took every opportunity to participate in a variety of local parades and ceremonial events, marking every possible occasion.
 
In 2015 I became a standard bearer for my local branch of the Royal Naval Association and in 2018 I joined the ranks of standard bearers of the Royal British Legion when I represented my local branch during the Great Pilgrimage 90 commemorations, culminating in a parade through the streets of Ypres with more than 2,000 others.
I'm really looking forward to attending so many more parades and ceremonial events.
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Wales - Scott Taylor

I was born in Wrexham, North Wales in 1988. It wasn’t long that my mother and I joined my father in Northern Ireland where he was serving with the 1st Battalion The Royal Welch Fusilier. We later moved to Berlin and were there when the wall came down, then to Tidworth where my father left and we returned to Wrexham.

 

One of my first memories was hearing a thudding noise outside of my nursery. It was no normal nursery. It was a military nursery in Berlin. The thudding was revealed to us when we were shown the bands outside, marching up and down practicing, possibly for the Berlin Tattoo. A few years later my love and passion for military music was cemented when my grandfather took me for a walk to Hightown Barracks.

 

The 3rd Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers corps of drums were playing and the first thing I asked for when I returned home was a drum. Through the years, I have witnessed and took part in some amazing events. Some of my highlights were watching the last beating retreat of The Royal Welch Fusiliers regimental band in Wrexham, my first Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 1996, and playing for HM the Queen twice whilst in The Army Cadet Force corps of drums. One of my all time favourites was playing the Royal Marines score of “The Gael” from the 1997 Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Caernarfon Castle. We joined the Bands of the Adjutant Generals Corps and The Royal Welsh for the finale and played the haunting song! Of course, my dream like a lot of young military side drummers was to be a Royal Marine Bugler, which sadly, wasn’t meant to be, but I still really enjoy watching them wherever I can! In 2019, I was lucky to be a part of the reformation of the corps of drums at Hightown Barracks, the same corps that initially got me interested in military music when I was a child.

 

We are now an association corps of drums, the Royal Welsh Corps of Drums Association. We work closely with 3 Royal Welsh. I’m now completing a degree in Photography and Film and would love to work with the military on projects in the future. My final project is capturing veterans as they shield through their windows. I have really enjoyed it so far and hope to take it further in the future.