of Tewkesbury Town Band
(1838 - 1947)
Town records show the existence of a Town Band in 1838 when on June 28th of that year it led a procession through the town of Tewkesbury to celebrate the coronation of Queen Victoria. The same records show that in 1860 there was a Tewkesbury Rifle Corps Band whose uniform of salmon-coloured trousers, scarlet-faced tunics and plumes graced the town [and people complain about today's uniform!! It does sound quite colourful though!].
1874 saw the appearance of the Tewkesbury Philharmonic Band, followed in 1877 by Tewkesbury Philharmonic Society, whose first concert was given under the baton of Mr George Watson (later the Watson Hall in Tewkesbury was named after him). Ten years later the town band appeared again giving a concert at the Philharmonic Hall (now the Watson Hall).
In May 1900 the Tewkesbury Bugle Band headed a parade to celebrate the relief of Mafeking (Boer War) and the sovereign's birthday. The remainder of the decade proved to be a busy one, the band playing for the proclamation of King Edward VIII in 1901 at the coronation festivities, heading a torchlight procession through the town.
1900-1941 saw the town band at it's peak, proving to be very popular in and around Tewkesbury, averaging eight public appearances a year.
In 1904 the band gave a concert to raise funds for a new bandstand to be erected in Victoria Gardens. In order to ensure a quality bandstand their target was to raise £50 - that would buy us about four music stands today!!
The band in 1910
The Great War of 1914-1918 saw very little of the Town Band but records show that at the end of the war in November 1918 there was an amalgamation of the Town Band and the Territorial Band under the baton of Mr A C Collins. Practises took place at the "White Bear" public house in Tewkesbury. [Keith would have been in heaven and practised very hard!!!!].
|1920 saw the Town Band playing at the unveiling of the abbey war memorial and in 1922 at the Tewkesbury war memorial at the Cross.|
Between 1922 and 1934 the Town Band retained it's popularity in the area giving some 55 public appearances.
May 5th 1937 saw the Town Band heading a parade to celebrate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and playing for public dancing in the streets. This was the last public appearance of the band however as by September the band had ceased to be. The lack of funds and an increasing popularity of the radio are given as prime reasons.
A short reformation was staged in 1947 but then no further activity until 1974 when the current Town Band was formed, since when it has progressed to its present state. It is very much a family band with no less than twelve of its members being related.
This information was kindly researched and provided by Mr Peter Williams. He has lots more if you would like to know about it!!
If you know anybody on these old photographs, or have any additional information about the bands' history, then please let us know.
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Copyright © 2001 Melbo Productions. All rights reserved. Tewkesbury Town
Revised: November 13, 2009