William King Memorial
Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall
Thursday – 8pm
Back in 1973, it was felt by the young people of The Fountain that the time was ripe to reintroduce a flute band to the area. With this in mind, permission was sought from the King family to dedicate the band to the memory of William King who had died at the hands of a republican mob in 1969. From this, a fundraising committee was set up to gain the funds necessary to start the band off, but with the local support it wasn’t long before the first kit of instruments was purchased and the band was ready and willing to learn.
The band practiced at the home of Mr. Myles Stott in Fountain Street (an old pub) and under the tuition of Uel Magowan ‘flute’ and Ronnie Gallagher ‘drums’ (both were veterans of the No Surrender flute band) the band soon reached the stage when they were ready to parade. A simple uniform of crimson and orange pullovers, white shirt and bow ties was chosen and the band was dedicated on April 6th, 1974 in the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall by Dean Good from St Columb’s Cathedral.
There then followed eight years in which the band enjoyed playing at parades throughout the province and gained a reputation for top playing. During this time they traveled to Scotland on four successive seasons to take part in the annual 12th July celebrations, a trip they were to make again in 1992. Unfortunately, those early years were not without tragedy for they saw the loss of two much loved and admired members. Firstly Bobby Stott was killed by IRA terrorists in 1975 and in 1977 David Walker was killed in a road traffic accident on his way home from a band parade. And sadly in 1996, they lost another member, Robbie Shields who’d only been with them a few years as drum major. They will always be remembered as hard-working bandsmen.