Past Concerts and Events - 1920s

1920 Date Event Time
Tue 09/03/1920 Corporation Of Gravesend Entertainments Committee minutes show -
"Band on Promenade.—Permission was granted to the Town Band to play on the Promenade on Sundays and on Bank Holidays on the following terms: Band performances on Sunday evenings not to continue after 8 p.m. if the tenant of the concert stage desired to give a concert ; performances on Bank holidays not to clash with concerts on the concert stage."
10.30
Tue 29/06/1920 Corporation Of Gravesend Entertainments Committee minutes show -
"Gordon Promenade—Band.—Read a letter from the Salvation Army asking permission for their Band to play on the Promenade on alternate Sunday afternoons. The Town Clerk was instructed to inform them that arrangements had been made with the Town Band to play on every Sunday afternoon and evening."
10.00
Tue 29/06/1920 Corporation Of Gravesend Entertainments Committee minutes show that the Mayor was asked to endeavour to arrange for the Band of the 1st Battn. Middlesex Regiment to play in Windmill Hill Gardens on Wednesday evenings. The band were engaged to play in Windmill Hill Gardens on July 28th and August 4th, 11th and 18th. 10.00
1921 Date Event Time
  1921 Various Corporation Of Gravesend Committee minutes show that -
  • Advertisements were issued inviting offers for the use of the concert stage on Gordon Promenade. Mr. Frank H. Tozer's tender of 35 (15 down, 20 in three months time) for its rental was accepted. However the second payment was not forthcoming on time.
 
Fri 08/04/1921 Corporation Of Gravesend Entertainments Committee minutes show that the Band applied for renewal of permission to play on the Promenade, which was granted on the same conditions as in previous years. 10.30
1922 Date Event Time
Fri 17/03/1922 Corporation Of Gravesend Paving Lighting and Works Committee minutes show -
"Band On Promenade.—Permission was granted to the Gravesend Town Band to play on the Promenade on Sundays on the usual terms."
10.30
Thu 30/03/1922 Gravesend Town Council placed a number of advertisements in "The Stage" inviting tenders from Concert Parties and Entertainers etc., for the tenancy of the Concert Stage and Enclosure on the Promenade, Gravesend, during the Summer Season 1922. The Tenant would have the exclusive rights of giving entertainments (except Band performances) on the said Promenade.
An offer of 50 was accepted from Mr Henry J. Parkin.
 
Fri 07/07/1922 Corporation Of Gravesend Paving Lighting and Works Committee minutes show -
"Windmill Hill—Music.—A letter was read from the Salvation Army asking permission to play on the Windmill Hill on Sundays from 2.45p.m. to 4 p.m. The Committee interviewed the Officers of the Salvation Army and recommended that they be allowed to play on Windmill Hill on Sunday afternoons for one month on trial, but this permission was granted on the understanding that no speeches were to be made.
10.30
Mon 20/11/1922 Corporation Of Gravesend Town Hall and Market Committee minutes show -
Market—Music.—An application was read from the Northfleet Silver Band for permission to play in the Market on Sunday evenings. This was given between the hours of 8 and 9-30, the Town Band having stated that they do not require permission to play there this winter.
 
1923 Date Event Time
Fri 23/02/1923 Corporation Of Gravesend Paving Lighting and Works Committee minutes line 182 shows -
"Gordon Promenade—Music.—Permission was granted to the Town Band to play on the Promenade on Sundays on the same conditions as heretofore."
10.30
Mon 21/05/1923 Gravesend Town Silver Band was engaged to play a choice programme of music during the intervals at the annual Kent Fire Brigade's Tournament, which was being held in Gravesend for the first time. The event was well attended with a gate of 10,000 people and gross takings of 200.  
Wed 13/06/1923 Corporation Of Gravesend Whole Court minutes show -
"Agricultural Show.—The Town Clerk read a letter from Mr. Crooks asking for permission for the British Legion Band to play on Windmill Hill on the Thursday of the Show Week and saying that it was proposed to enclose a portion of the ground and charge a small admission. he also asked permission for a band to play on the Promenade each evening of the Show Week and that the Band be allowed to make a collection.—Permission was granted."
10.30
Fri 29/06/1923 Corporation Of Gravesend Paving, Lighting and Works Committee minutes show -
"Gordon Promenade.—Permission was granted to the Gravesend Town Band to play on the Promanade on Tuesday evenings and to the Northfleet Prize Silver Band to play there on Wednesday evenings, such performances not to coincide with the Concert."
10.30
Fri 29/06/1923 Corporation Of Gravesend Paving, Lighting and Works Committee minutes show -
"Windmill Hill.—Permission was granted to the Salvation Army Band to play on Windmill Hill on the same terms as last year."
10.30
1924 Date Event Time
  1924 Around 1924 the band moved its practice room to Lord Street Mission Hall, 16 Lord Street, Gravesend. Next door to the Druid's Arms, a former pub. This practice room was used until late 1939.  
Fri 15/02/1924 Corporation Of Gravesend Paving Lighting and Works Committee minutes show -
"Gordon Promenade—Music.—Permission was granted to the Gravesend Town Band to play in the Bandstand on Sundays on the same conditions as in previous years."
10.30
Fri 11/04/1924 Corporation Of Gravesend Paving, Lighting and Works Committee minutes show -
"Windmill Hill—Music.—Permission was granted to the Salvation Army for their Band to play on Windmill Hill on Sunday afternoons during the Summer months on the same conditions as in previous years."
10.30
Fri 11/04/1924 Corporation Of Gravesend Paving, Lighting and Works Committee minutes show -
"Gordon Promenade—Music.—Permission was granted to the Gravesend Town Band to play on the Promenade on Wednesday evenings during the Summer months. Permission to play for dancing on the Promenade was not granted."
10.30
Fri 11/04/1924 Corporation Of Gravesend Paving Lighting and Works Committee recieved a letter from the Northfleet Silver Prize Band asked for permission to play on the Promenade or on Windmill Hill one night per week. The Town Clerk made arrangements with other Bands and Northfleet Band was granted permission to play on the Promenade on any evening except Wednesdays and Sundays. 10.30
Wed 02/07/1924 The Town Band asked the Corporation of Gravesend for assistance in raising funds for the provision of a new Uniform. The Finance Committee requested permission from the Ministry of Health, which approved a grant of 25 to assist the Town Band to buy new uniforms. 10.30
1925 Date Event Time
Sat 17/10/1925 The Reporter contained the following article:
CORNETS AND BELLS
TOWN BAND'S ENTERPRISE
The Gravesend Town Band have purchased from Messrs. Hawkes and Sons. of Denman-street, London, two of their famous Class A Excelsior Sonorous Clippertone cornets, complete with cases, as used by the leading soloists of the day, and a set of tubular bells with the latest improvements, and other effects, which the Committee hope will greatly improve the Band next season. The Committee wishes to thank the Town Council for their past favours in allowing the Band to play programmes of music on the Promenade: also their patrons and subscribers for their generous support, which has enabled the Committee to purchase the above instruments for the benefit of the music-loving public of our Borough.
10.30
1926 Date Event Time
  11/1926 From the Band's Annual Statement of Accounts to October, 1926:
The band was called "Gravesend Town Silver Band" and practiced at Lord Street Mission Hall. It was founded in 1880, was officially recognised by the Town Council as the Borough Band, and the Bandmaster was Mr. G. Chapman. Finances were not as successful as in previous years due to bad weather at the start of the season, and the industrial situation. The band played weekly dances on the promenade, the mayoral church parade, music on the promenade both on Sundays and weekdays, Church parades, Gala Week, including St. John Ambulance, Constitutional Association, and Children's Sports. During the year the band purchased a new Piccolo and Bb Clarinet.(not a pure Brass/Silver band!)The Performing Rights Society compelled the band to take out an Annual Licence for 4 4s. 0d. The band had played on Gravesend Promenade on Sundays, and had played for dances on the Promenade on Mondays and Wednesdays.
 
1927 Date Event Time
Sun 02/01/1927 The Town Band headed a procession from the Town Hall to Milton Parish Church followed by the Mayor and Corporation in motor-cars. There they observed the old custom of attending the morning service on the first Sunday of the year.  
1929 Date Event Time
Sat 16/02/1929 Gravesend Invicta band took part in the first division at the second annual Band Quartete contest at Sussex Assembly Rooms, Tunbridge Wells. Afternoon
  05/1929 Gravesend Borough Band and the band of 402 (Gravesend) Squadron, A.T.C. took part in trooping the old county standard of the Royal British Legion, before being laid up in a Maidstone Church, and concecration of a new standard.  
Wed 07/08/1929 Played music for dancing after the presentation of prizes at the fourth annual Co-operative Employees' Sports Association (North-West Kent and District) sports day, which was held at the Imperial Paper Mills Sports Ground, Gravesend.  
Sat 10/08/1929 THE COUNCIL AND LOCAL BANDS

Criticism by a Musial Director.

NEED FOR MORE ENCOURAGEMENT.
Mr. G. H. Baker, who is the musical director of the Gravesend Invica Band, writes:—
"I was pleased by the welcome given to the Black Dyke Mills Band by the Mayor and the inhabitants of Gravesend. Such appreciation is gratifying to the members of the band and encourages them in their work. It may be of interest to your readers to know something of the cost and work attached to the raising and maintenance of a modern brass band. The most important and difficult item is the personnel and its training. This is quite a diferent proposition than in the days of yore, when music was a closed profession and the general public were without the means of gaining musical knowledge or the delight of hearing good music. They were then satisfied with any old band playing in any old way. To-day, thanks to the invention of the wireless and gramophone, the general public, more or less unconciously, is becoming musically educated and can, and does, appreciate music of the highest quality. Brass band music is also of a much higher standard. Modern masters such as Holst, Elgar, Keighley, and Bantock are writing, and musicians of the highest qualifications are arranging the works of the old masters for the brass band.
COST OF A BAND.
Bandsmen, to play these works, have to be men of intelligence, strong character, and efficient musicians. Our brass bandsmen now rank among the highest musical artistes of the day, many of them being also composers and arrangers, holding the highest diplomas of our universities. The members of the modern brass band have to give, on average, three nights a weeks to collective practice besides individual practice and study, practically all their leisure hours being given in making themselves efficient. Instruments cost from 12 for the smallest to 60 for he largest. A set of 24 and drums, together with cases, costs 600; uniforms 120 to 150; an initial outlay on music of about 12; and there are then the overhead charges of the practice room, heating, lighting, new music, accessories, and repairs, tuition, traveling expenses and loss of time, which, in the case of a local band, would amount to about 150 per year.
The object of brass bands is to provide a musical education for its members to enable them to give service to the public by playing music of a high character in public places. To enable them to carry out this object it is obvious that they must have support and appreciation. We all know of the support and encouragement given to bands in the north. Employers of labour have found work for bandsmen, town councils and other municipal authorities have subsidised bands by giving them paid engagements in the parks and public places. The public have generously subscribed to their funds, with the result that bands have been encouraged to progress and thus we have such bands as Black Dyke, St. Hilda's, Besses, Wingate, Irwell Spring, Harwich, Fodens, naming only a few of the north-country bands.
COLLECTIONS NOT SATISFACTORY
What has been done to encourage our own local bands? Bands are invited by the council to give service to the public by playing on the Promenade and Windmill Hill Gardens. The council allow them the use of the bandstands this being the extent of their support and appreciation, and collections being the only method of obtaining assistance. Collections are not satisfactory to the public, who resent a box being rattled in their faces when listening to the band, and who have their pockets continuall searched by flag sellers and others; neither are collectons favoured by the bandsmen, who feel that it is not only unsatisfactory, but degrading to themselves, who, apart from their abilities as musicians, hold positions in city offices, on engineering staffs, etc. There is also great difficulty in getting anyone to undertake this work, and the bandsmen are often called upon to lay down their instruments to go round with the boxes, in the old German band style. The money thus obtained would not cover the cost of the music used, a single selection of music costing on an average 8s. Collections range from 2s. 8½d. to 4s. 6d. per evening. An evening's programme of music usually consists of ten items, and to carry out a season's programme a band has to have a repertoire of hundreds of selections, overtures, etc.
It is time that our Council appreciated the value of bands as the finest means of attraction and entertainment for an up-to-date promenade, and made some provision for the upkeep of local bands, who are resenting the lack of appreciation and are refusing to play for mere collections. When local bands are defunct the Council may then realise how necessary bands are and then have to pay full rates for outside bands, which, for one week, would cost more than would be required to support local bands for a whole season. I feel sure that it is not the wish of the ratepayers that money should be paid to outside bands in preference to local bands, whose members have to help to foot the bill.
MAYOR'S HOME TOWN
The object of Black Dyke Mills Band in East Kent was to stimulate interest in the brass band and to create enthusiasm among local bandsmen to strive to reach a high standard of efficiency. Mr. Pearce, their talented conductor, was surprised at the lack of support given to local bands by the Council, and said that even in Scotland bands recieve payment for services from the councils, and that the home town of our worthy Mayor (Councillor R. McGregor. J.P.) pays Black Dyke 46 for a couple of performances. He hoped that something would be done to encourage the growth of the brass band in Gravesend and district. I feel sure that the public would welcome any information regarding the Council's intention for the provision of music on the promenade and Windmill Hill Gardens in the future, as the performances this year were 50 per cent. less than last."