Leading the Parade at the Hazel Grove Carnival Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band proud to support local charity fundraiser
Roaming the Region
 
In the fifties and sixties, the Band built up a solid reputation, performing at fetes, celebrations, processions and charity events in Manchester and the surrounding area.

The Fianna Phádraig Pipe Band has been a familiar sight over the years at processions, garden parties and celebrations of all kinds, both locally in Wythenshawe and throughout the Great Manchester area and beyond.

Whit Walks

image_116_1

St. Anthony's church nearing completion,
with a view of the Green Hut, bottom right.
Thanks to Ian "Gonzo" Dewis for the photo.

As far back as the mid-fifties, as we have already seen, the Band was a regular participant at both the Whit Walks held in Manchester City Centre and the walks organised by the outlying parishes during Whit Week and on the occasion of other feast days and celebrations during the year.

 
Further afield

image_116_2

The Band marching down Dunkery Road in the fifties,
with Brian Lee, Jimmy Hickey, Mike Rafferty
and Mike Barker on the front row.
From the Fianna Phádraig Pipe Band photo collection

The sound of the pipes has been heard over the years at parish walks further afield... in Openshaw, Eccles and Bolton, in Blackburn, Bury and Macclesfield...

The green kilts have swung at garden parties and fetes in Middlewich, Northwich and Sale...

The drums have resounded at St. Patrick's Day celebrations and all manner of festivities in Ashton-in-Makerfield, Bury and Earlestown...

 

Earlestown

Earlestown... a great favourite amongst the pipers and drummers over the years. The Band played at the St. Patrick's Day walks in Earlestown (St. Patrick's church, Newton-le-Willows) for several decades, initially alongside its sister band, the Terence MacSwiney Pipe Band.

 

image_116_3

Front row (L to R): Terry Dowling, Bill Lisgo, Peter Cummins, Jim O'Connor
Second row: Carl O'Connor, Vin Grainger, Ray Lonergan, Peter O'Connor
Third row: Ged Traynor, John Hyland
Fourth row: Rob Mahoney, Brendan
Fifth row: Tony Rowlstone, Chris Flynn, Mike Hennessy

 

A period of some ten years or more separates the photo above from the one shown below. Both photos were taken at the St. Patrick's Day parade in Earlestown. You will notice that some of the faces are the same, with just a few more miles on the clock...

image_116_4

Front row: Terry Dowling, Paul Grainger, Jim O'Connor, Vin Grainger
Second Row: ?, Barry Doohan, Steve Leigh, Bernard Grainger
Third row: John Bannister, Brendan
Fourth row: Jonathan Hall, Gary Slann, Kevin Fitzmaurice, John Fitzmaurice

On home ground

image_116_5

Playing in Woodhouse Park.

But the Band has perhaps never been prouder than when called upon to perform on home ground, for its local community, in front of its own people. Over the years, the pipers and drummers have performed at open days in the local schools, at garden parties in the local parks, at celebrations in the local parishes, at fundraising events for our local hospital...

 

 

Check out below a selection of the Band's local engagements over the past 65 years and more.

 

Terry Dowling, Mike Barker, Brian Lee, Jimmy Hickey et al playing in St. John's Club in the late fifties. At the Whit Walks in the early sixties, with Terry Dowling, Brian Lee, Jimmy Hickey, Jim O'Connor... Unknown venue in the eighties, with Steve Leigh, John Bannister, Mike Kane, Kevin Fitzmaurice, John Hyland, Jonathan Hall, John Fadyan and Ray Lonergan. Leading a procession at St. Anthony's in the seventies. Playing for the Wythenshawe Hospital League of Friends in the fifties, with the great John Faulkner on the mace. Peter, Ken and Bill playing at an Indian themed mass at St. Anthony's (2000s). Playing at a wedding at St. Peter's Church, Newall Green. A procession in the heat (1980s). At the Marian Procession, heading towards Platt Fields? Jim, Ray and Peter in the 90s. A procession in the sixties, with Bill Hennessy, John Mahon(?) and Mike Higgins on the side drum, Tony Sherratt on the tenor drum, and Terry Dowling, Peter Cummins and Bill Lisgo on the pipes. Peter, Ken and Bill playing at an Indian themed mass at St. Anthony's (2000s). Peter, Ken and Bill playing at an Indian themed mass at St. Anthony's (2000s). Bill, John, Jim and Peter in the rain at St. Anthony's (early 2000s). Woodhouse Park in the 70s. Manchester walks in the 60s, with Mike Birral on the mace. Outside St. Anthony's in the 60s, with the usual suspects, plus Peter Hussey and a very young Bill Lisgo on the second row! At Wythenshawe Park in the 80s, with the Fianna Phádraig Dancers, performing at the foot of Cromwell's statue. In the late fifties, with the old uniform. On Oatlands Road, Woodhouse Park in the 70s. Our dear friend Chris Hyland, sadly missed by all his colleagues in the Band, can be seen on the other side of the bass drum. On the playing field at St. Anthony's Primary School in the sixties. Marching through the streets of Wythenshawe in the sixties. Back on Dunkery Road in the late fifties.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Newton-le-Willows/stpatrick/index.html

 


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