As summer fades and normal weather – rain – returns, we have been serenading the end of the season with the sound of bagpipes. Lots and lots of bagpipes! And drums… and dancers …and fireworks… and, did I mention bagpipes?
We have, or course, been hosting employers at our annual outing to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (pictured, above). Every year we invite approximately 40 employers from across Highland region as a thank you for their support for our Armed Forces, and the event is the highlight of our social calendar. This year was no exception and our business guests began the evening with a reception at the Radissson Blu before heading up the Mile to our seats in the stands. The show was as impressive as always, ending with the inevitable lump in throats as the lone piper took to the castle ramparts for a final farewell. (Given the strength of the wind that night, we can only assume a very strong safety line was in play to prevent it being his final, final farewell!)
From Edinburgh, up to Aberdeen and yet more skirling pipes as the Massed Pipes and Drums of the RAF ran through their dress rehearsal of Beating the Retreat, before performing at Balmoral for HM Queen Elizabeth the following day.
The RAF musicians had been drawn from bases all over the UK, only coming together for the first time on the day of the dress rehearsal, and yet turned in a faultless performance for the watching employers and business partners.
Some great networking was had afterwards by all in Gordon Barracks – thanks to Lt Col Geraint Davies for hosting us.
Time then to head back south and a visit to the Stirling Highland Games and Sruighlea Festival (no, we don’t know how to pronounce it either).
Employer engagement in the Chieftain’s Tent before watching the competitors running, dancing, throwing and, erm… piping, made for a great day out and a chance to speak to key contacts about the value of employing Reservists.
And finally, across to the West to Clydebank and our Gold ERS Award holders, the Golden Jubilee Hospital. They were hosting a gala event to celebrate 70 years of the NHS and our trusty gazebo manned by Head of Engagement Dai John received many visitors during the day.
We were delighted that we were able to bring in some support from many of our military colleagues and units, so huge thanks to 225 Medical Regiment, 32 Signal Regiment, 7 SCOTS and local detachments of army and air cadets.
And so to the rest of September and further travels ahead for this Roving Reed, with trips to London, Orkney and Cyprus in the diary. Fortunately reinforcements have arrived in the shape of our new P/T REED Roy McLellan, so he will also be out and about on the patch meeting our employers. Listen out for a knock at the door… the REEDS are on the road and may well be calling on you sometime soon!