A Very Grand Evening ~ Frome Branch Annual Concert with the R.M. Band Lympstone

Following an invitation from the Frome branch of the Royal Naval Association, Maureen and I attended the 2017 annual concert performed by the band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines. Returning for their 22nd concert in support of the Frome branch fund raising event for a variety of local charities. It should be noted that the Royal Marines from Lympstone all volunteer for this event which comes on the heels of “in the mud” and other training.  One very good reason for their return every year is the splendid way in which they are treated by Frome branch RNA.
The evening was a great success, the Memorial Theatre was packed with a very enthusiastic audience who were not backward in coming forward in response to the Bandmaster’s spirited engagement, it was nice to see the local sea cadets getting involved in the proceedings, conducting ceremonial sunset duties.
Following the concert we were invited backstage to meet the branch and the band, another nice touch by these hard working branch members making it a night to remember.
The good news is, it is happening again next year so mark your diaries for Frome in March 2018.
Frome Chairman Mike King has generously offered some very interesting history relating to this annual concert:
During the week of the 14th – 21st February 1942 an advertisement appeared in the Somerset Standard announcing the adoption by Frome of the submarine HMS Thunderbolt and the target of raising £175,000, (£7m by today’s standards), by the people of Frome as part of the war effort. Later it was announced in the same paper that the NOIC Avonmouth Vice Admiral Sir Robert Hornell KBE DSO would be attending a ceremony on the 12th March 1943 in the Grand Cinema Frome, now the Memorial Theatre. He was to receive from the Chairman of the Frome War Savings Committee the badge of HMS Thunderbolt on behalf of the Commanding Officer of the submarine. Unfortunately HMS Thunderbolt never received the gift as she was lost on the 14th March 1943 off Sicily, the badge was not lost and now forms part of the Memorial wall in the foyer of the theatre.
In 1994 Shipmate Ken Ring decided that a commemorative event should take place to remind the people of Frome of the sacrifice made by the crew; Ken decided a concert by the Royal Marines Band would foot the bill and the rest is history.
The first concert was held in March 1995 as a one off however this year’s was the 22nd consecutive concert. During that period the money raised has supported the theatre, which is completely operated and maintained by volunteers many of them members of the Frome RNA, purchasing boats and equipment for TS Achilles sea cadets based in Trowbridge as well as many service charities, individuals and organisations such as the RNLI. Many thanks Mike
Yours Aye
Dan Sherren MSM
Area 4 PRO