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Researching The History Of Amersham Brass Band


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#1 Perks

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 06:08 PM

Hi

I am native to Amersham, and have been a player in the Amersham Band for the past 20 years or so.

I have been charged with the task of documenting the history of the band and thought that I would post on here a request for any information about the band. It may not be finding people or genealogy, but I think this catagory is the most appropriate.

The band has had three distinct phases in its history.....

Phase One - The band was founded by George Ward in 1890, as part of the Sons of Temperance movement in Amersham, unfortunately this only lasted 18 months when the band voted to move away from the Temperance movement, there had been one or two instances of the bandmembers breaking the pledge!, and became known at Amersham Town Band.
The band sucessfully played at the Amersham Flower Show and Fete, held by the Oddfellows and Foresters friendly societies, marching down the high street to the meadow each year in the summer. They also played at the recruitment meeting held on 11th September 1914 at the Town Hall. Old Amersham, rallying the recruitment drive with 'patriotic selections' Unfortunately the band fell away due many of its numbers being recruited.

Phase Two - The band was reformed in the 1920's although we don't know when, they bought their first brand new uniforms for the Torchlight Jubilee Parade in May 1935 and proudly wore them whilst marching down the High Street to Shardeloes Park for the evening entertainment. The band was lead by Herbert Fountain but once again the band fell away during WW2 and was officially disolved in 1951.

Phase Three - The band was reformed in 1977, following an inaugeral meeting in 1976 in The Swan, Old Amersham, attended by Jean Archer and Eric Corns.

The band has since gone from strength to strength and has just celebrated its 120th year by qualifiying for the National Brass Band Champiobships in Harrogate. The band now boosts three bands, the main band, a training band for learners both young and returnees, and Vintage Brass for those who wish to meet in the daytime and play and enjoy a coffee.

If anyone has any information, artifacts, photographs or indeed has a member of the family that played in the band, particularly in Phase Two where information is scarce, it would be great to hear from you.

We are working with the Amersham Museum and if all goes well hope to exhibit the history of the band at the museum in the future.

Many thanks

Caroline
Amersham Band

#2 Jane7

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 06:20 PM

My father played in the band, I guess in the 1930's. He is in the photo in Jean Archer's book on Amersham. Middle row, far left as you look at photo. His name was John Atkins, he was born and lived in Amersham untill around 1939. He didn't say a lot about it only that he enjoyed playing very much.

Kathy

#3 Perks

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:03 PM

Hi Kathy

I have looked in the book and can see your father oh the left on the middle row. Thats great information thanks. I am slowly building information and names from the 1930's band.

I now know that in that photograph is Les Keen, second from left on front row, whom I knew from the 1970's/1980's band. the Two Saunders brothers I now know where James and John. Gilbert Bryant, maybe Frank Peers.

I have discovered that they are photographed outside The Red Lion Hotel in Chenies, having played at the Buffalo Church Parade. Below is an article from the Bucks Examiner about the event. Those uniforms that they are wearing were new in 1935 and were bought for 48/3/2 for the Kings Jubilee parade in Amersham on the May bank holiday that year!

Do you know what instrument he played?

Bucks Examiner

5th July 1935

Buffaloes Annual Church Parade

On Sunday, the 30th of 'Flaming June' and how well was the name justified on this occasion, the Buffaloes annual parade which has now become a muck looked for event) took place, and it was amidst great excitement and interest that the long column paraded down the one time quiet village street, Heads popped out of windows, and many doors opened when the Amersham Brass Band opened with rousing strains of martial music, and led the parade from the 'Red Lion' Hotel to the village church, where the Rev H Smith DD was in readiness to conduct the service.

A unique situation was created by the fact that the band was allowed to accompany the singing of the hymns, 'Fight the Good Fight', 'Onward Christian Soldiers' and 'Eternal Father' inside the Church.

The address by the Vicar was delivered with his customary facility and in well chosen terms he welcomed the members of the Order, and spoke with an unusual insight on the aims, ideals, and objects of the Buffalo movement.

During the service a wreath was placed in the church by Bro. F W Neale, and a few well chosen words delivered by the Vicar at the same time, in memory of good Brothers who gave their lives in the Great War.

Immediately after the service the Buffalo Broken Link was formed on the greenward, during which the Buffaloes hymn 'Absent Brethern' was sung, followed by 'The King'

The procession then returned to the 'Red Lion' Hotel where teas were served by the Host (Bro Duncan) his wife and daughter, and many other helpers.

A collection was taken en route and inside the church, the proceeds of which will be divided between the Watford and Chesham Hospitals.

All visitors and Brothers spent a most enjoyable day, and it is hoped that this annual function wll do much to help the cause of 'Buffaloism'



regards

Caroline

#4 Jane7

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 05:49 PM

Hi Caroline,

I think he played the cornet or trumpet but can't be sure of that. I did know the photo was taken in Chenies but not exactly where, and didn't know what event it was. The newspaper article was very interesting. Thanks for all the info and if I recall anything else I will let you know.

Regards

Kathy