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Well Played the Band

Cup won at Skegness

Our thanks to ourwelwyngardencity.org.uk for allowing us to reproduce the following article which appeared in the Welwyn Times on Thursday, 20th September 1934 on page 1 with the photo (at the top of our History page) appearing on page 5.

“The towns baby the two month old Welwyn Garden City Band, went to Skegness on Saturday to compete in a Brass Band Contest, and with magnificent precocity it returned with a silver cup for a performance that was described as “the best musically, and on the march, that was entered by any junior band that had never won a prize previously.”

The members of the band left Welwyn at 8a.m in full uniform and made the long journey by train to Skegness. At 11.30 a.m. they played their test piece. “The march of the Princes” at the Tower Gardens, and in the afternoon, from 3.15 p.m. until 6 p.m. they marched, with fifty nine other bands round and round the streets of Skegness, as part of a monster carnival procession. The bands were judged during this march for their deportment, which meant that the band had to march “at attention” for the whole of the long afternoon. The heat was intense but any relaxation of discipline, even an undone button, might have been fatal to the band’s chances, for no one knew when the eagle eyes of the judges would be on the marchers.

After this exhausting pilgrimage, the Welwyn Band, with other competitors, took part in a mighty massed band concert conducted by Lawrence Wright the composer, and then after collecting the cup, and celebrating the victory appropriately, the band left Skegness at 9.15 p.m. to arrive back at Welwyn at 12.35 a.m. One among several delightful incidents that happened during this eventful day took place while the weary Welwyn contingent were waiting for their train. Some eight or nine bandsmen, undaunted by their efforts during the day, serenaded a fried fish shop with the strains of “Abide with Me” to such purpose that they were rewarded by a complimentary fish supper.

On Sunday evening the cup which is a handsome silver trophy, 10 inches high was on show in Bridge Road, while the band gave a short concert. A large crowd was present.”