The Pride of Ardoyne Flute were formed in 1972 by Victor Hanna, an outlet for the strong musical and cultural traditions for the small but vibrant unionist and Orange community in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast.

Davey Graham and Ernie Stockman taught local youths the flute, both men being medal-winning flautists with Hillview Flute, with instruments borrowed from other bands until funds were raised to purchase their own. The first practises took place in two local clubs now long gone, the Jolly Roger and Butts Inn, and the public first saw the Pride when they took to the road for their first 12th procession in 1972. That day 8 flautists accompanied by 4 drummers paraded, bedecked in the simple but always smart combination of white shirts, black dickie bows and black trousers. In the early days some initial help came from a surprising source. The Army Regiment in the District at the time were the Paratroopers, and their commander Major Farrell took an interest in the band to the extent he supplied a set of Army Regimental drums. Uniforms over the year have been diverse, ranging from blue tartan jackets to jumpers knitted on a knitting machine by local woman Mrs Crosby! Today the band is going strong, parading regularly during the year, and even though its approaching its 40th year, still proudly bearing the name of its community on the bass drum. The band practises on Monday nights in the Concorde Community Centre Ardoyne Road, with a 7pm start for new learners and a 7.30pm start for the full band. All new members, whether experienced or not, are very welcome to the ranks of Pride of Ardoyne Flute Band.


Article written by Quincey from the
Drum Beat section of The News Letter
and
Ulster Bands Forum