History

Shaftesbury Town Silver Band

 

The Band Hall, Bleke Street, Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 8QA

Registered Charity 272454

Shaftesbury Town Band started life in 1869 and was known as “The Penny Whistle Band” (due to the fact that it consisted mostly of whistle pipes!).

It later became a Fife and Drum Band. Early records as to who was in charge are sketchy, but it is known that from 1895 to 1898 Mr. Ben Strange, a local boot maker, took on the job of Bandmaster, handing over in 1898 to Mr. George Hillier, a watch and clock maker from Salisbury Street, Shaftesbury, when a Dr. Wilkinson of “Avishayes”, Shaftesbury became Honorary Conductor.

Please click the attached History of Fovant Band for more detail on the beginnings of the band and amalgamation into Shaftesbury Town Silver Band. - Contributor unknown but thanked enormously.

In 1898 the then Prince of Wales was visiting Shaftesbury, and for the occasion the Town Council became interested in the Band and assisted with the purchase of instruments and military style uniforms. It was then it became known as Shaftesbury Town Band and took on its format as a military style marching band. It is not known how well the visit went, but we have to assume that the Band made a favourable impression as they celebrated their centenary as Shaftesbury Town Band in 1998!

Photo below circa 1920

Most players in this photo unknown, however we have been recently informed...(Jan 2017), that Charles Mullins, trombone stands second on the right at the back and Tom Hall is third on the right.

The History of Shaftesbury Town Silver Band

In 1903 Mr. Inkpen from Tollard Royal moved to Salisbury Street and became Bandmaster. He started technical classes for beginners and young men came in from many outlaying districts, (Motcombe, Tollard, Ashmore, etc.). We can only assume that it was some of these players who then kept the Band going during the 1914-18 war until a local plumber and decorator, Mr. Tom Wareham, took over as Bandmaster on his return from the war.

1949 saw another major change when Mr. Reg Dicker – retired Corporal Major & Euphonium player of the Blues – took over as Musical Director of the Band, with Mr. Charlie Butt as his Deputy. The work of these two men saw music being composed for the Band, and the re-introduction of technical classes for beginners (which have evolved into the current Brass Roots section). Twenty years later saw the centenary of the original “Penny Whistle Band” with a special concert given in the Town Hall.

1973 was a milestone year for the Band when, having been moved from pillar to post, they were one of the first bands in the south of England to boast their own Band Hall. They now owned an excellent selection of instruments and a set of uniforms which made them a credit to the town, and they could now rehearse in the same space each week and store all of their equipment safely.

Shaftesbury Town Silver Band on Parade

Fovant Band

Shaftesbury Town Silver Band at Shaftesbury Carnival

It was in 1975, after 26 years in charge, that Mr. Dicker had to retire due to ill health, Charlie Butt was unanimously voted in as new Bandmaster. Without a doubt it is due to the hard work and loyalty of Mr. Butt and Mr. Dicker that Shaftesbury Band has supplied the Forces with many trained musicians (male and female) and also one lady member to the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

Mr. Butt retired as Bandmaster in 1993, but continued playing with the band until 2009, and the unenviable task of taking his place was given to Mr. John Pritchard, who directed the Band and conducted, while the job of leading the Band on its many marches was taken on by Mr. John Pike.

 

1995 saw more changes when Mr. Stephen Hawkes was appointed as Musical Director. Mr. Hawkes stated his aim to return the Band to the contest circuit by the year 2000. In the same year Colin Gay took on the job of Directing the Brass Roots section of the Band.

Shaftesbury Town Silver Band won in 2005!

 

 

Mr Hawkes stepped down in 2007 and the Band has had several years of upheaval with various changes of Musical Director - including the brief return of Mr Pritchard.

In 2009 the post of MD was taken on by Rev Clive Thomas - percussionist with the Band, thus bringing the Band back to a more settled regime.

In 2014 Mr Martin Hill became MD of the Band following the retirement and therefore relocation of Rev Clive Thomas.

Since then the band has returned to contesting and entered the South West Area competition held at Torquay in March 2015. Whilst the Band didn't win, it was a great experience for many first time contesters and one to be repeated.

Back Row L to R:

Clare Chapman, Holly Chapman, Robyn Chapman, Mike Harvey, Mike Walden, Richard Manuael, Sharon Hawkes, Tony MacDonald, Mike Carpenter,James White, Stephanie (White) now Sanders, Chloe Collins and Alex Drake.

Middle Row L to R:

Ray Humphries, John Fanner, Mick Ridley, John Turner, Roz Franklin, Beki (Keeling) now Lowe, Anna Penny, Lisa, Pat Edwards

Front Row L to R:

Glyn Chapman, John Pike, Greg lowe, Neil Harvey, Martin Hill, Sue Keeling, Zena Croxford, Tracey (Lowe) now Hill and Steve Hawkes.

Photograph was taken and is used with the kindest permission from Maxine Bridger, showing HRH Countess Sophie of Wessex with Mayor Cllr Richard Tippins, meeting members of the Town Band: Mr Greg Lowe, Chariman, Mrs Tracey Hill, Secretary and Mrs Sharon Hawkes, Principal Solo Cornet.

Also shown, 3 people to the right of Mr Greg Lowe is Mr Ray Humphries MBE.

Although a member of the band he was attending with his Shaftesbury In Bloom Hat.

On the 23rd September 2015- HRH Countess Sophie of Wessex paid a visit to Shaftesbury.

Firstly she visited the Trinity Centre and then met local community groups including some of the Shaftesbury Town Silver Band members.

 

HRH asked some questions about the beginnings of the Band to which Mr Greg Lowe responded that Shaftesbury Town Silver Band have been formed since 1869.

HRH also commented on how young the members were to which Mrs Sharon Hawkes confirmed that we have members in the training band from 6 and in the main band into their seventies.

Shaftesbury Town Silver Band have won the Best Musically Talented Band award at Shaftesbury Carnival 2015!

 

Shaftesbury Town Silver Band agreed to partake in the Carnival Band Parade for 2015. This was in the main as a sign of respect for former Chariman Mr John Pike who suddenly passed in February and the late withdrawal of another Band.

 

We set off at 6.27pm on the Saturday evening from the CO-OP playing Death or Glory and paraded to the Town Hall where the band were skilfully dismissed and fell out into standard Band formation. We then played Thaxted (I Vow to Thee My Country), Thunderbirds and Deep Harmony before falling back in to parade formation and Marching off to Death or Glory.

 

There was then a swift walk to the far side of the cattle market ready to start the carnival.

On the Carnival parade route the Band had already agreed to stop outside the Town Hall where Blaze Away was played in honour of Mr John Pike and A Hip Hip Hooray cheer was led with head dress removal.

At this point Mrs Brenda White who was out-walking with the Band was ushered towards the Town Hall to collect the award!

The Band were amazed and thrilled to have won the Best Musically Talented Band award as we hadn't entered with the ambition to win, just to partake. The award rounded off a very poigniont carnival this year

Shaftesbury Town Silver Band have won the Best Musically Talented Band award at Shaftesbury Carnival for the second year in a row!

Shaftesbury Town Silver Band agreed to partake in the Carnival Band Parade for 2016. This was in the main as a sign of respect for former Solo Trombone Player Mr John Fanner (shown here to the right) who suddenly passed in May.

 

We set off at 6.12pm on the Saturday evening from Budgens and paraded to the Town Hall where the band were skilfully dismissed and fell out into standard Band formation. Mr Steve Hawkes presided over then band where we then played The Cossack and Lil' Darlin before falling back in to parade formation starting to play and then Marching off to All That Jazz. The music selected were all Johns favourites.

 

There was then a swift walk to the far side of the cattle market ready to start the carnival.

On the Carnival parade route the Band had already agreed to stop outside the Town Hall where a Hip Hip Hooray cheer was led with the head dress removal protocol in honour of Mr Fanner.

For the second year in a row, Mrs Brenda White who was out-walking with the Band was ushered towards the Town Hall to collect the award!

 

The Band were amazed and thrilled to have won the Best Musically Talented Band award as we hadn't entered with the ambition to win, just to partake. The award rounded off a second very poigniont Shaftesbury Carnival.

Photos can be seen in our gallery. GO TO PHOTOS