Waving the flag (and tights) at Battle Proms

Battle Proms at Burghley House - visitors to the event. EMN-140607-183943009
Battle Proms at Burghley House - visitors to the event. EMN-140607-183943009
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Review by Chrissie Redford

Britain’s Andy Murray may have crashed out of Wimbledon and the England team limped home from the World Cup, but there was no shortage of patriotism in Stamford at the weekend for the annual Battle Proms.

Battle Proms at Burghley House - The Rockafellas singing trio. EMN-140707-074958009

Battle Proms at Burghley House - The Rockafellas singing trio. EMN-140707-074958009

Thousands of people attended the event on Saturday, setting up picnic tables in front of the Elizabethan mansion for some four hours of thrilling entertainment.

Some chose to dress up for the event and set out their feast on tables lit with candelabra, while for others the proms tradition ruled in bowler hats topped with Union and English flags or flashing trilbies.

Did I mention my Union flag stockings?

Fans of the event, many from South Holland, revelled in the festival atmosphere at Burghley House with the orchestra, cavalry displays, horsemen, flypast and fireworks.

The finale had them on their feet and waving flags to proms favourites, such as Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory.

No doubt it was the war veterans we have seen at many events in recent weeks who helped inspire such patriotism at the Battle Proms.

This year’s event was particularly poignant as it commemorated 100 years since the start of World War 1.

Wartime songs by The Rockabellas, gun salutes by an original World War 1 13 pounder field gun and a thrilling Spitfire aerial display were greeted with thunderous applause from the crowds.

There was also a recital of Laurence Binyon’s poem For The Fallen, in memory of those who died in the Great War. The open-air picnic concert ended with a stunning firework finale to the backdrop of the Light Cavalry Overture, by which time any British reserve among the crowd had been finally worn down, with everyone linking arms for Auld Lang Syne.

A fabulous night that left everyone singing and smiling – and looking forward to next year.