Town Band

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)

5 responses to “Town Band

  1. I remember joining the town band as a beginner in mid 50’s for a little while and learning the euphonium at the back of the Clarence. The assistant bandmaster or teacher at that time was a character called Danny Howells! Sometimes we had to practise at his house in Burnham Road! (He must have had some pretty good or deaf neighbours)!
    I used to go with a mate, Harold (Butcher) Hemmings. I believe Harold kept it up and was a full member of the band for many years?
    I recall they let me play the cymbals in one of the Highbridge Carnival parades which started at the ‘Artillery Arms’ in Hutspill Road!

  2. Pingback: Latest News: Read John Rigarlsford’s Memories.. « Capture Highbridge·

  3. My brother Peter and I both played in the band in the 1970’s and I remember Syd Golding, Tom Farr, Harry Hemmings, Gerald Ham, Richard Ham, Michael Ham, Chris Thomas and many others.
    Sadly my brother Peter died recently and his funeral is this Monday 09:30 at Worle crematorium in Weston Super Mare. If any one from those days remembers Peter and would like to come to the funeral please do. Or if anyone wants to send some flowers please send them c/o Elms Funeral Directors, 50 Baker Street, W-S-M.


    John Mathias

    07772 087637

  4. Pingback: Remembering Highbridge Town Band and Players « Capture Highbridge·

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