Past Concerts and Events - 1890s

Details of concerts by the band before the 1970s are very limited. Unfortunately early band account books, which would have provided some pointers to non-charity concerts simply by recording a payment, were mislaid during a bandroom move a number of years ago. Concerts listed here are from the chance appearance of a document detailing the event. (Local paper cuttings, old programmes, Gravesend Corporation minutes etc.)
This page also details some musical events attended by other bands, but which may be of interest to the reader.
1890 Date Venue Time
  1890 Band Stand erected in Fort Gardens.  
1891 Date Venue Time
1892 Date Venue Time
Sat 13/02/1892 Advertisement in "The Era":
Wanted, bandmaster, for Gravesend Town Band. First-class Cornet Player preferred. For particulars, apply E. Dennis, Sec., 15, Windmill-st., Gravesend.
1893 Date Venue Time
1894 Date Venue Time
Wed 25/04/1894 Corporation Of Gravesend Whole Court minutes line 53 shows -
"Gordon Recreation Ground (Sunday Music).—The Town Clerk reported he had received an application from the Gravesend Town Band and Gravesend Excelsior Band to be allowed to play in the Gordon Memorial Grounds on Sunday afternoons during the summer months. The applications were referred to the Paving, Lighting and Works Committee."
Wed 27/04/1894 Corporation Of Gravesend Paving, Lighting, And Works Committee minutes line 59 shows -
"Gordon Memorial Ground (Sunday Music).—After consideration of the subject by the Council the Committee recommended that the Gravesend Town Band and Gravesend Excelsior Band be permitted to play in the Recreation Ground during the summer months on alternate Sunday afternoons."
Fri 14/09/1894 Gravesend Town Band onboard the Passenger Steamship Koh-i-Noor, owned by Palace Steamers Limited. This trip was the first annual benefit for Capt. J.R.Holland, a native of Gravesend. The Ship sailed from Clacton Pier around the Sunk, a lightship, and back to Clacton. Music played included Hearts of Oak, A Life on the Ocean Wave, The Bay of Biscay, and other nautical airs while a number of papers, parcels and periodicals were transferred to the Sunk. 14.45-16.45
1895 Date Venue Time
1896 Date Venue Time
  1896 Various Corporation Of Gravesend Committee minutes show that -
  • Gravesend and Milton Choral Society was granted the use of the Town Hall for weekly rehersals on a Tuesday evenings as long as it did not "interfere with Municipal meetings or purposes".
Fri 13/03/1896 Corporation Of Gravesend Paving, Lighting, And Works Committee minutes line 53 shows -
"Music.—Read an application from the Gravesend Borough Band to be allowed to play on the Promenade on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings during the summer months. The consideration of the application was deferred until similar applications from other bodies had been received."
Corporation Of Gravesend Paving, Lighting, And Works Committee minutes line 31 shows -
"Music.—With reference to the application by the Gravesend Boro. Band, for permission to perform selections of sacred music on Sunday afternoons and miscellaneous music on Wednesday evenings on the promenade, referred to in former minutes, the Town Clerk was directed to intimate to the Secretary that the Committee would not be averse to permit such perfomances if they were rendered by a band selected from the best members of bands now existing in the Borough."
Corporation Of Gravesend Paving, Lighting, And Works Committee minutes line 43 shows -
"Gordon Grounds.—A letter having been read from the Gravesend Town Band, which had been strengthened by several members of the Borough Band, requesting permission to perform selections of music on the Promenade on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons, the music to be suited to the day, the Committee recommended that permission be given during the pleasure of the Council, and invited the bandmaster to attend their next meeting to confer on the subject."
19/06/1896 Corporation Of Gravesend Paving, Lighting, And Works Committee minutes line 65 shows -
"Gordon Grounds (Music).—Read letters from the Bandmaster, asking that an enclosure should be arranged in which the performers could play without being unduly pressed by the children and the public generally, and that the Council should reconsider their decision with regard to collections on Sunday. It appeared that under the present system five performances had realised only 17s. 1½d. net. It was referred to the Mayor, Chairman, Deputy Mayor, Alderman Cooper, and Councillor Archer to inspect the band-stands in the Terrace Gardens and on the Kent and Essex Estate, and report to this Committee, and meantime the Town Clerk was directed to inform the Bandmaster that the subjects referred to by him are under the consideration of the Committee."
Wed 29/07/1896 Gravesend Town Band came 2nd in a contest held in Gravesend winning a prize of 5 and a cornet. (Conductor: R.J.Marke, Test piece: Gems of Albion).  
1897 Date Venue Time
  1897 Various Corporation Of Gravesend Committee minutes show that -
  • "On Monday the 21st day of June, 1897, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon precisely." The whole court gathered "To seal a humble address to Her Majesty on the occasion of her having attained the sixtieth year of her reign, unprecedented alike for its length and for its glory." The Mayor unveiled a Statue of Her Majesty, which he had presented to the Corporation, in front of the Municipal Technical School in Darnley Road. "The Mayor, Aldermen and Councillors then, attended by the Bands of the 7th Battalion of the Tower Hamlets Militia and 1st Kent Artillery Volunteers, marched through the town to the Mayor's Paddock by Milton Church".
Sat 15/05/1897 Gravesend Town Band, 3rd place, Reading Contest (Second Section). (Conductor: R.J.Marke, Adjudicator: James Ord Hume, Test piece: Wales)
5th position in March Contest
Sat 22/05/1897 Article mentioning Gravesend Town Band contesting on p7 in the Reading Mercury  
Wed 07/07/1897 Gravesend Town Band came 2nd in a contest at Bexleyheath. (Conductor: B.Marke, Test piece: Victorian Melodies)  
Sat 04/09/1897 Band contest, Lower Dolphin Ground, Dolphin Hotel, Slough. There was a very strong wind, and clouds, but no rain. The band tent was damaged, and poles lifted out of the ground on a number of occasions. Gravesend Town Band had 21 musicians and played first of seven bands, they were conducted by Mr. R. J. Marke. The test piece was "Gems of Victorian Melody" and their second selection of their own choice was "Smiles and Tears". Adjudicator Mr. G. T .H. Seddon of London placed Aylesbury Printing Works 1st, Slough and Chalvey 2nd, North London Temperance 3rd and Feltham 4th. The other bands were not placed: Gravesend Town, Midland Railway Locomotive, Uxbridge and Hillingdon. 2 expected bands did not attend: Willesden Junction, Woburn Sands. Afternoon
  09/1897 Gravesend Town Band Established 1880  
Wed 08/12/1897 Corporation Of Gravesend Whole Court minutes line 50 shows -
"Town Band.—His Worship also stated that the Town Band had purchased some 250 worth of new brass instruments, which they wished should belong to the Town to be used by the members of the Band. The scheme they proposed was set out in a print which had been circulated amongst the members of the Court. The Band propose to open a Banking account, and they have asked the Mayor, with an Alderman and a Councillor (Mr. Alderman Butchard and Mr. Councillor Penney) to allow their names to be employed for such account. If no member of the council had any adverse view to express, then those gentlemen proposed to accede to the request so made to them."
1898 Date Venue Time
Tue 31/05/1898 Gravesend Town Band came 5th in a contest at Luton. (Conductor: R.J.Marke, Test piece: La Favorita)  
Sat 18/06/1898 Band contest, promoted by the Gravesend Town Band, on the Football Ground. The bands assembled at one o'clock at the Jubilee Clock Tower and played to the contest ground. Gravesend Town Band was in the second section. Northfleet Temperance was in the first section which was won by Rushden Temperance Band. Mayor Mr. G. M. Arnold presented the prizes.
Rushden, conducted by Mr. H. Baker, gave two concerts on Sunday - afternoon and evening, on the promenade.
Sat 03/09/1898 Gravesend Town Band, 2nd place, Apsley Contest. (Conductor: R.J.Marke)  
Wed 23/11/1898 Corporation Of Gravesend Market Opening Sub-Committee minutes line 10 shows -
"Market Opening.—It was resolved to recommend the Town Council to proceed in state from the Town Hall up High street and so round to the Market accompanied by the Volunteer Band."
"Volunteer Band" most probably refers to the 1st K.A.V. Band.
1899 Date Venue Time
  1899 Various Corporation Of Gravesend Committee minutes show that -
  • Tenders were invited "for the supply and fixing of a new or second-hand band stand at a cost of about 100" for the Gordon Promenade, advertisements being placed in the "Builder," "Kent Messenger," and two local papers.
  • A tender of 98 was accepted from Mr De Wardt to build the band stand.
  • "The Secretary of State for War consented to the Band Stand being erected on the Gordon Promenade on condition that the same be considered as "an encroachment.""
  • The Choral Society used the Town Hall for practice during the winter months.
Mon 03/04/1899 Gravesend Town Band, not placed, Barnet Contest.  
Sat 29/04/1899 Gravesend Town Band, not placed, Berkhamsted Contest. (Conductor: R.J.Marke, Test piece: Songs of the Sea)
Joint 2nd place in March contest. 2nd prize (10s.) divided between Gravesend and Watford LNWR (London and North Western Railway)
Thu 17/05/1899 Corporation Of Gravesend Watch Committee minutes line 22 shows -
"Market (Music).—The Chief Constable suggested that printed notices should be displayed in the Market Place during the performance of the Town Band, reminding visitors that it was a promenade concert, and requesting them to keep moving to the right."
Thu 18/05/1899 Corporation Of Gravesend Town Hall And Market Committee minutes line 4 shows -
"Market (Music).—The application of the Gravesend Town Band for permission to play in the covered Market, next Sunday evening, was granted on the former terms."
Sun 21/05/1899 Concert, Covered Market, Gravesend.  
Sat 19/08/1899 Contest held at Gravesend, not known if Gravesend Band competed.  
Mon 25/09/1899 Corporation Of Gravesend Town Hall And Market Committee minutes line 9 shows -
"Market (Music).—With reference to the application of the Gravesend Town Prize Band, referred by the Council, it was recommended that it be acceded to on the following terms :—
  1. The Band is to be allowed to play in the Market on such Wednesday evenings as the Market is not otherwise engaged.
  2. The Market is not to be closed against the public, nor is any charge to be made.
  3. The Band is not to play after 10 o'clock p.m.
  4. The concession is to be only during the pleasure of the Committee."

In reference to the Army bands based and playing in Gravesend the following may be of interest...
1st K.A.V. is 1st Kent Artillery Volunteers (No. 1 Company at Gravesend).