PENARTH’S ROYAL SUPREMES BAND BIDS FAREWELL TO ITS “MUM”

Members of the Penarth Royal Supremses marching Jazz Band form a guard of honour outside St Augustine's Church in tribute to theuir late founder

Members of the Penarth Royal Supremes Marching Jazz Band form a guard of honour outside St Augustine’s Church at the funeral of their late founder

Mrs Dawn Flanagan

Mrs Dawn Flanagan in her days at the helm of the Royal Supremes

Penarth’s famous Royal Supremes Marching Display Jazz Band  – which has appeared in many town parades and public events – today bade farewell to its  co-founder Mrs Dawn Flanagan whose funeral was held today at St Augustine’s Church.

Mrs Flanagan, who was in her mid-70s , passed away peacefully on January 28th at Holme Towers Penarth  surrounded by her family.

Although she might not have been a household name herself, the ‘Royal Supremes‘ – the highly disciplined precision marching band she co-created –  became part of the essence of Penarth and something the whole town enjoyed on high days and holidays .

Nicola Darlington - in full regalia holds the photograph of band founder Mrs Flanagan

Nicola Darlington – in full regalia holds the photograph of band founder Mrs Flanagan

Back in the 1960s Mrs Flanagan and her husband Mick had been the amongst the first to move into the then-new Billybanks council estate in Penarth (on what was called  High View Road).

Mick later worked as a scaffolder on the building of the subsequent “royal” blocks of the Billybanks development.

The 30-strong  band was born in 1982 and Mrs Flanagan poured so much energy, time and effort into it she became known as the band’s “Mum“.

The band was based in what was then the Harbour View Community Centre. Its members (all local people – including Mrs Flanagan’s three daughters)  were kitted-out with  immaculate navy blue uniforms and grenadier-style hats with red cockades.

With its kazoos, drums, glockenspeils, marimbas, cymbals  and complex drill routines, it became a became a familiar sight and welcome sound at scores of  Penarth’s public events.

The band also competed with considerable success against similar marching bands from other parts of the Britain and – wherever it went – flew the flag for Penarth.   The pride it generated locally literally banged the drum for the Billybanks community .

Band members in uniform leaving the church after today's funeral service

Band members in uniform leaving the church after today’s funeral service

Although the Royal Supremes band is no longer active – today, to mark her passing, some twenty former band-members donned their distinctive uniforms once again to march ahead of Mrs Flanagan’s funeral cortege along Belle Vue Terrace to St Augustine’s Church.

The wreath spells out the letters "P R S" for Penarth Royal Supremes

The wreath spells out the letters “P R S” for “Penarth Royal Supremes” – the name of the band with which  the late Mrs Dawn Flanagan will always be associated

Police cordoned off local roads as the procession made its way in brilliant sunshine with   to the church service . More than 200 mourners attended to pay their respects.

Today’s moving funeral service, was taken by the vicar of St Augustines, Father Mark Jones and arranged by Green Willow of Dinas Powys .

It was an event which marked not only the passing of a popular and much respected lady but also, perhaps, the closing of a proud chapter of Penarth’s social history.

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Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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6 Responses to PENARTH’S ROYAL SUPREMES BAND BIDS FAREWELL TO ITS “MUM”

  1. AK says:

    I remember the bands competing on Cogan Rec., or in the leisure centre when it was wet.
    Social history, indeed!

  2. Penarthal says:

    Amazing how much time some people are prepared to give to the community.Mrs Flannagan deserves to be remembered as a Penarth heroine. I wonder if today’s mobile phone generation would be disciplined enough to put in the hours of rehearsal required.alund8181@hotmail.co.uk

  3. Mark Foster says:

    The Billybanks Council estate seems to have had such a wonderful warm cultural history yet all I hear about is people denigrating it and its former residents. I wasn’t here at the time but perhaps somebody could elucidate. I personally would rather see poor Billybanks people living there than Labour Party politicians.

  4. maria says:

    I lived there. Fantastic communoty, real friends and ‘proper’ neighbours who you knew by name. Real commubity parties and spirit.

  5. maria says:

    I lived there. Fantastic communoty, real friends and ‘proper’ neighbours who you knew by name. Real commubity parties and spirit. My heart goes out to the family xx I was in the Shakespeare Starsvfor a while, good memories

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