The Burnham and Highbridge Town Band which was originally known as the Burnham and Highbridge Services Band, was first formed in 1945 at the end of the hostilities in Europe. Mr. C.W. King, a local musician undertook the teaching and conducting; he was latterly the Band’s President for many years. As a result of the keen interest taken by local businessmen and others, the Band expanded and became a full Brass ensemble. In 1947 it was given official status by the then Urban District Council which made it possible to give public performances and the band has continued to provide music to the people of Burnham and Highbridge up to the present day.
At the end of 1950 Mr. Fred Lewis took over the post of Bandmaster and enthusiastically carried on the efforts of Mr. King’s to promote and expand the Band. In 1952 the Band entered its first contest at Exeter gaining fourth place from an entry of 20 bands; from then on the Band climbed through the contest sections and by the 1960’s when under the direction of Mr. W.S. (Tommy) Farr, was competing in the South West Championship Section and Nationally in the Second Section. Unfortunately, Mr Farr, after many successful and happy years directing the band, was obliged to retired through ill health. The Band then came under the baton of Mr. E.W. Heath who has remained Musical Director until the present day.
In 1980 the Band was obliged to vacate the practice room at the Clarence Hotel. Burnham, as a result the members built their own Headquarters in Worston Lane, Highbridge. This required a large effort from most of the members, but the principal driving force came from the considerable efforts of Gerry Ham who’s planning, organisation and enthusiasm made the project successful. After 2001 the Band gave up Contesting choosing to concentrate on Concert work for the Community.
By the end of the summer season of 2003 the Band had provided 56 continuous years of musical entertainment to the local community.
(Information supplied by Sid Golding)