AT A TIME when most people are fast asleep, Ballingry's own Allan Campbell will be quietly rehearsing outside Buckingham Palace at one in the morning.

And the British Army's senior drum major, along with all the pipers and drummers he leads, will be parading in silence with him so they don't start a royal rumpus and wake anyone up!

Allan, 34, is in London and getting ready for a role in one of the biggest celebrations the country has seen in decades, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen ascending to the throne.

Ten thousand people are expected to take part in the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, with performers and acts from around the world, including marching bands, dancers, circus acts and a puppet-dragon the size of a double decker bus.

It will also be watched by millions on TV and the dad-of-two told the Times: "We're taking part in the royal pageant, a big parade to Buckingham Palace, on Sunday.

"It's a huge event and one we're really looking forward to.

"In the days before it we'll be rehearsing in the early hours of the morning, around 1 or 2am, as we can't do it during the day as the roads aren't closed.

"It's a lot quieter then so that's when we rehearse, although we'll have to be quiet!"

It's only the eighth royal pageant in history, the first for a platinum jubilee as no other monarch has ruled for so long, and one of the main attractions in the four day bank holiday weekend.

No stranger to big events – and he'll be a leading figure when the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo returns in August – Allan has already been part of the royal celebrations and performed for the Queen last month.

He said: "We were down for the Royal Windsor Horse Show which was the first event of the platinum jubilee celebrations.

"We were there all week practising, with acts from all around the world, and the Sunday night show was on TV.

"The Scottish pipes and drums went on with the Highland dancers from the tattoo, including Sinead and Elisha Scobie from Benarty."

Asked if there were a few extra butterflies with the Queen watching, Allan said: "I wouldn't say it makes you more nervous, it's more pride in the job you're doing, where you are and where you've come from.

"But having the Queen there makes it a bit more special.

"It was great she was there and looking nice and healthy.

"I've met her before and played for her a few times at Balmoral, but didn't meet her at Windsor."

He continued: "It's definitely enjoyable. The first few times you're nervous, all the time I'm constantly trying to remember what's happening next, when and where I stop the band, as if I get that wrong everyone gets that wrong!

"You get told you've got, say, seven and a half minutes and you have to be in the right place at the right time and then get back off again!

"But that's what all the rehearsing is for and I've been doing it for years now.

"At the Edinburgh tattoo it's every night for four weeks, and two shows on Saturday, so you've got to get it right every time."

That musical journey, from the streets of Ballingry to Buckingham Palace and performing for Her Majesty in front of millions watching on TV, started at Lochgelly High.

Allan, who is married to Kirstin and has two daughters, Phoebe, 8, and six-year-old Rosie, recalled: "Funnily enough, the person that taught me is now my brother-in-law, Paul Brown.

"They did the chanter and drums at the school and also had a pipe band that played in competitions.

"I thought I would give it a go.

"I did it for two-to-three years but I left school in December 2003 when I turned 16 and I joined the Black Watch in January 2004."

A soldier first and foremost, his secondary role has seen him ascend quickly and he became senior drum major of the British Army at the age of 31.

He's now based at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh and teaching senior courses on side drum and bugle.

Allan, who was "back in the old practice room" at Lochgelly High earlier this year to teach pupils, said: "I hadn't really known about the music side before I joined up but with the chance to play in the tattoo and tour places like America, it was the best choice I ever made.

"And if I hadn't started playing at high school I probably wouldn't be where I am now.

"It just shows that if you give youngsters the opportunity to play and learn music it's something that can help them in life."