Portsmouth shoppers left emotional by Royal Marines Band’s festive surprise

Adam Peers, 24, left, and Lisa Pessoll, 34 Picture: Sarah Standing (151972-4882)
Adam Peers, 24, left, and Lisa Pessoll, 34 Picture: Sarah Standing (151972-4882)

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SHOPPERS in Gunwharf Quays were left in tears after witnessing the rousing Christmas performance by Portsmouth’s Royal Marines Band.

The band, which is based at HMS Nelson, were recording a special Christmas show at the shopping centre.

A total of 47 members of the group took part in the display, performing the evocative festive tune, Carol of the Bells.

Tessa Bolton, 77, was visiting Gunwharf for the day.

She said: ‘I was just in tears. I have never ever ever felt like that before but it just made me so proud to be British.’

Friend Pat Hollis, 79, added: ‘With all the terrible things going on in the world it’s lovely to see something nice happening.

‘It was just wonderful to see them performing. It’s so special to see the Marines in Portsmouth.’

Colour Sergeant Ann Miller, 35, has been in the Royal Marines Band for 18 years.

She watched the action from the sidelines with her two children and her father.

‘I thought they were fantastic,’ she said.

‘It was great to see them coming in from different sides. It’s so important for the public to see the guys presence in uniforms.’

The video is being created to raise awareness of navy personnel serving overseas at Christmas.

It is expected to be released on Tuesday, well in time for Christmas.

Yvonne Clay, senior marketing manager at Gunwharf added it had been a ‘pleasure’ to host the naval band.

‘When the Royal Marines travel home from duty overseas, Gunwharf Quays is the first landmark they see as they enter into Portsmouth’s harbour,’ she said.

‘It’s therefore our pleasure to have hosted this very special performance from the Royal Marines Band – we always aim to surprise and amaze our guests and we certainly think we’ve achieved that today.’