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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An Eleven Plus Drum Roll

When a grand announcement is made there is often a drum roll.

We were working today on the roll out of our venture into developing a virtual eleven plus school – and the question of animation and sound was raised by one of the team. We looked for an animated gif of a drummer belting away at a drum – but all the animations looked a little tacky. The executive decision was made to abandon the drummer and his drum. The discussion then grew into the drum that Sir Francis Drake owned. When he was dying in the West Indies he ordered the drum to be returned to Plymouth. The drum still hangs in Buckland Abbey.

Drake vowed on his deathbed that if anyone attacked England he would return to fight.

When Napoleon was brought as a prisoner to Plymouth it is said that the Drake’s drum made a deep and resounding sound. The drum sounded again in 1914 when the First World War started.

In 1918, at the end of the First World War, a drum was heard on the battle ship the Royal Oak when the German fleet sailed into the Scapa Flow to surrender. No could find the drum or the drummer. When the Royal Oak dropped anchor the drum roll stopped – victory had been secured.

The drum was also heard during the retreat from Dunkirk.

Drum rolls are used in many epics of pageantry. Up in Scotland (where there is no eleven plus) a drummer often accompanies a piper or band of pipers – warning of a brave fighting spirit and a desire to win.

If any readers would be kind enough to roll their fingers in a mini drum roll across the key board that would be a spirited and joyous way for us to announce our virtual eleven plus school.

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