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Pomeroy echoes to sound of drums as Lambeg exponents bid to make history

By Laura Abernethy

Published 21/08/2015

Keith Buchanan MLA
Keith Buchanan MLA

Pomeroy will be marching to the beat of the drums as two noisy world records could be set tonight.

Lambeg drummers will descend on the Co Tyrone village in an attempt to make two records - for the most drummers playing at the same time and for the most Lambeg drummers gathering in one place.

The participants will have a procession to a local sports field, then play for one minute on the field.

A giant Lambeg drum - the 'Big Yin' - will also make a guest appearance. The instrument is believed to be the world's largest at more than 7ft tall.

Organiser the Moree Community Association is hoping to submit the attempt to the Guinness Book of World Records to make it official.

Spokesman Keith Buchanan said: "It's the spectacle of hundreds of drums in one place that's important. Whether it turns into an official world record or not is only a bonus."

Keith added he was hoping for a big turnout from the local community, despite the instruments being some of the loudest in the world.

He said: "It's only a minute, so there will be no complaining. There's actually been a lot of positive support from the community."

The association holds regular events in the area but decided that this year it should do something a little bit different.

Keith explained: "It's a spin-off of a banner world record that was done in Kesh a few years ago. They got a lot of the banners together in Northern Ireland. It's a similar principle, only with Lambegs."

The Lambeg is a traditional instrument in the Orange Order dating back to around 1870. Many lodges have their own drums intricately painted with images of historical events.

There are a total of around 1,000-1,500 Lambeg drums in Northern Ireland, but many have been left hidden in Orange halls for decades as Lambeg drumming has become less popular.

Keith hopes the event will bring the forgotten drums back to life.

He said: "A lot of Orange halls have Lambeg drums that haven't been used in 40 or 50 years because most halls have bands now."

The event is being funded by Mid-Ulster Council.

After the record attempt, Ulster-Scots singer Willie Drennan will entertain spectators.

Drummers of any skill level are welcome to attend and help break the record. Skinned and unskinned drums can be used, but there is a £10 charge.

The event takes place at the sports field at 7pm. All spectators can attend for free, but donations to the community association and Marie Curie are welcome.

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