Past Concerts and Events - 1950s

Details on this page were mostly extracted from correspondence kept by Eric Turner, who took over being band secretary from Mr Langridge in June 1951, and kept the post until 198?. The correspondence will soon be lodged with Gravesend Library. This list of concerts and events is incomplete, if you know details of any concerts not included here please contact us. During the 1950s the band played for many parades, marching along in the procession. Generally these were not paying jobs but the organisers covered expenses for extra musicians and for transport, and occasionally supplied refreshments. The band often hired coaches from Maidstone & District for out of town concerts e.g. Rochester, Gillingham, Dartford, this practice continued to the mid 1970s. In some cases the band were not paid for local authority concerts but were allowed to charge for seating and have a collection from the audience e.g. Gravesend in 1952. Many band members worked half or all day on Saturdays and were from out of town, so the band had to turn down a number of offers of Saturday events e.g. Regatta days. Many of the "Bandtime" concerts were mentioned in advance in the Gravesend Reporter, and were also reported upon afterwards. The articles were written by the band secretary Eric Turner and sent to the paper, some were edited before inclusion.
1950 Date Venue Time
Sun 29/01/1950 Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend  
  02/1950 From the Band's Annual Statement of Accounts to March, 1949:
The band was called "Gravesend Borough Band" and practiced at The Chantry, Commercial Place. The Bandmaster was Mr. A.H.Townsend. This was the first post-war statement. the Mayor and Corporation had granted the band 250 which was used to purchase new uniforms. The band were specially selected to attend the County Rally of the British Legion at Tonbridge, and were warmly complimented on their bearing and performances. The band attended the Mayor's Church Parade, the British Legion, Old Contemptibles Association, R.A.F. Association and R.A.M.C. Association Parades, also concerts at St. James's Hospital, and some other engagements outside the town.
 
Mon 24/04/1950 2 practices a week, Monday and Thursday. Practice room temporarily moved from Milton Chantry, which was to be renovated, to Gravesend Sea Cadet Corps Hut (which was very near by at the sea school in Commercial Place) on Wednesday evenings 19.30 - 21.30. Move was due to be until late June but the band reoccupied the building while works were still going on in late April.  
Sun 30/04/1950 Fort Gardens, Gravesend. For Mayor's Almshouses Extension Fund (Alderman P.E.Lines J.P.) Fort Gardens were closed at 17.00, gates opened at 18.00 and concert started at 18.30. Weather was bad but the concert raised 8/-/6 for the fund. 18.30
Sat 13/05/1950 May Day celebrations, Gravesend. Postponed from 06/05/1950 due to bad weather  
Sun 21/05/1950 Festival Of Youth dedication service Fort Gardens, or in the Super Cinema opposite if weather inclement. 15.30
Sun 04/06/1950 Mayors Church Parade. From Market Square to St George's Parish Church 10.15
Sun mid 06/1950 AGM. Normally April but delayed due to work at the Chantry 19.30
Sun 25/06/1950 Fort Gardens, Gravesend  
  07/1950 Royal British Legion Annual Parade at Canterbury Cathedral.  
  07/1950 New bass player would like to join the band, but also needs a job. Band corresponds with the council in an attempt to get the musician a job as a labourer.  
Sun 16/07/1950 Castle Gardens, Rochester  
Sun 17/09/1950 Fort Gardens, Gravesend 18.30
Sun 12/11/1950 Gravesend War Memorial Remembrance Service 10.30 - 11.45
  12/1950 Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend  
1951 Date Venue Time
Sun 1951 First "Bandtime" concert at Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend  
  02/1951 From the Band's Annual Statement of Accounts to March, 1950:
The band was called "Gravesend Borough Band" and practiced at The Chantry, Commercial Place. The Bandmaster was Mr. A.H.Townsend. The band were specially selected to attend British Legion Parades at Preston Hall and other places. The band attended the Mayor's Church Parade, Old Contemptibles Association, and R.A.M.C. Association Parades, the May Day and Festival of Youth Parades, and also concerts at St. James's Hospital and other engagements outside the town.
 
Sun 02/1951 St James' Hospital, Gravesend  
Sun 29/04/1951 Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend. Benefit for a band member who was losing his sight. 19.00
Sun 06/05/1951 Fort Gardens, Gravesend 19.00
Mon 14/05/1951 Castle Gardens, Rochester 19.30
Sat 19/05/1951 May Day Festival, Gravesend 14.00
Sun 27/05/1951 Mayor's Church Parade
Sun 27/05/1951 Festival Of Youth Service, Gravesend
Sun 17/06/1951 Fort Gardens, Gravesend 19.00
Sun 29/07/1951 Royal British Legion Annual Parade at Canterbury Cathedral. The band played both inside the Cathedral and outside for the parade. They led the parade off, marched past the saluting base where Lord Mountbatten took the salute, then stopped and played for other parade members to march past, finally they then joined the end of the parade followed by Lord Mountbatten who complimented the band on their playing. Orpington band also attended the parade. Should this be 1950 - see annual report 03/1951 13.35
Sun 05/08/1951 Gillingham Park 15.00
Sun 02/09/1951 Royal Army Medical Corps Association Gravesend Branch Annual Parade and Service (at 11.00). "As in past years"! morning
Sun 16/09/1951 Royal Air Forces Association Battle of Britain Week Memorial Parade and Service. Lead band in the parade to St Georges Church, and marchpast. Service at 11.00. 18.30
Sun 16/09/1951 Fort Gardens, Gravesend 18.30
Sun 16/11/1951 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 11/11/1951 Procession from Milton Barracks to Gravesend War Memorial for annual Remembrance Service 10.25
Sun 09/12/1951 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Tue 18/12/1951 Carols at Gravesend Rotary Club Christmas Tree in Woodville Gardens, Gravesend 19.45 - 20.30
1952 Date Venue Time
  02/1952 From the Band's Annual Statement of Accounts to March 31st, 1951:
The band was called "Gravesend Borough Band" and practiced at The Chantry, Commercial Place. The Bandmaster was Mr. A.H.Townsend. The band were specially selected to attend British Legion Parade and Church Service at Canterbury in July. The band had the honour of playing for the whole of the March-Past. Lord Mountbatten congratulated the band on their playing and deportment. The band attended Church Parades for Mayor's Sunday, British Legion, Old Contemptibles Association, and "Battle of Britain Sunday". The band also took part in May Day and Festival of Youth Parades, gave concerts at St. James's Hospital and other engagements outside the town. A concert was run at the Clarendon Hotel in December 1950 which was successful both musically and financially. The Band Committee were concerned at the lack of new recruits and asked if any subscribers had sons or knew of anyone interested in music they be put in touch with the Band which had instruments available and were willing to coach the boys along.
 
Thu 21/02/1952 St James' Hospital, Gravesend 19.30 - 21.30
Sun 20/04/1952 British Legion Gravesend, Northfleet and District Branch Pension Appeal Parade. March from Gravesend Clock Tower to Majestic Cinema, plus the National Anthem in the Cinema 10.40
Sun 27/04/1952 Old Contemptibles' Association Gravesend Branch Annual Church Parade (St George's Day). March from Parrock Street to St James' Church 10.30
Sat 10/05/1952 May Queen Festival and hymn 726 from Hymns Ancient And Modern, Gravesend 19.00 - 21.00
Sun 08/06/1952 The band should have played at Hesketh Park, Dartford. However as no confirmation was received from Dartford Council the band did not attend. 19.00 - 21.00
Sun 15/06/1952 Fort Gardens, Gravesend. Gravesend Council supplied deck chairs, band seating, amplification and covered the cost of setting these out. They allowed the band to charge 6d per deck chair and to pass round collection boxes rather than paying a fixed fee. 19.00 - 21.00
Thu 19/06/1952 AGM 19.30 - 21.30
Sun 06/07/1952 The band should have played at Fort Gardens, Gravesend, however the band had to cancel at short notice due to having less than 20 players available. 9 members were on holiday and no deputies were available from other local bands due to them having concerts. 19.00 - 21.00
Thu 10/07/1952 Only 3 members turned up for practice. 19.00 - 21.00
Sun 27/07/1950 Castle Gardens, Rochester 19.30 - 21.30
Sun 17/08/1952 "Marching and Waltzing" "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend. The program alternated between marches and waltzes. 19.30 - 21.30
Sun 31/08/1952 Fort Gardens, Gravesend 19.00 - 21.00
Sun 14/09/1952 Hesketh Park, Dartford (rescheduled from 08/06/1952) 17.00 - 19.00
Sun 21/09/1952 Royal Air Forces Association Church Parade for Battle of Britain Sunday. Parade from 17 Overcliffe to St James' Church for a service, then parade to Gravesend Clock Tower for a march past.  
  10/1952 Played for a floodlight match at Gravesend & Northfleet Football Club  
Sun 12/10/1952 Co-Operative Hall for the Gravesend branch of Manor House Hospital  
Sun 09/11/1952 Parade from Milton Barracks (10.25) to Gravesend War Memorial (10.40) for annual Service of Remembrance 10.25
Sun 16/11/1952 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.30 - 21.30
1953 Date Venue Time
Sun 20/01/1953 Band strength 27 + 8 learners. Includes flute and piccolo, brass & reed not military. The band supplies instruments for many members and learners are assessed at the end of the school summer holiday and if they are not improving the instrument is reassigned to another willing youngster.  
Sun 22/02/1953 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Thu 26/02/1953 St James' Hospital, Trafalgar Road, Gravesend. Annual concert for patients.  
Sun 26/04/1953 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 24/05/1953 Mayoral Procession - cancelled. Normally on the first Sunday after the Mayoral election (Mayor's Sunday), there was a procession from Market Square to St. George's Church Chapel Of Unity, however due to the day being Whit Sunday so many of the organisations normally in the parade were away on camp for the weekend. 10.15
Sun 24/05/1953 Central Park, Dartford (Whit Sunday) 19.00 - 21.00
Sat 30/05/1953 Parade from the RAF Club, Overcliffe, Gravesend (may have been to Woodlands Park, band correspondence mentions a parade but doesn't link it with this.) 14.15
Sun 31/05/1953 Procession of witness. Correspondence with Rev D E Benbow Vicar of Christchurch, Old Road East. Evening
Tue 02/06/1953 Coronation Day Concerts, Fort Gardens, Gravesend. (The band were approached by a number of local authorities but chose to play for their home town. Weather was wet.) Afternoon
Tue 02/06/1953 Coronation Day Concerts, Fort Gardens, Gravesend. (The band were approached by a number of local authorities but chose to play for their home town. Weather was wet) Evening
Sat 06/06/1953 St James' Hospital, Gravesend.  
Sun 12/06/1953 Gillingham Strand 15.00 - 17.00
Sun 19/07/1953 Castle Gardens, Rochester 19.30 - 21.30
Sun 02/08/1953 Gillingham Strand 15.00 - 17.00
Sun /09/1953 Royal Air Forces Association church parade and march past for Battle of Britain Sunday.  
  /10/1953 First time playing on the pitch at an evening floodlight match at Gravesend and Northfleet Football Club. Play for half hour before kick off, and during the half-time interval. evening
Sun 04/10/1953 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend evening
Sat 24/10/1953 4th Annual Concert for Manor House Hospital, Gravesend Branch at Blue Circle Club, Northfleet.  
Sun 01/11/1953 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend evening
Sun 08/11/1953 Gravesend War Memorial Remembrance Service 10.30 - 11.45
Sun 13/12/1953 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend evening
1954 Date Venue Time
Sun 17/01/1954 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
  02/1954 From the Band's Annual Statement of Accounts to March 31st, 1953:
The band was called "Gravesend Borough Band" and practiced at The Chantry, Commercial Place. The Bandmaster was Mr. A.H.Townsend. The band ran their second season of six concerts at the Clarendon Hotel in the winter months with much of the programmes having been formed from request items. The band attended engagements outside the town, concerts in the Fort Gardens, floodlight matches at Gravesend & Northfleet Football Club, and had been very busy due to 1952 being the Coronation year. The band attended Church Parades, Battle of Britain Sunday, Armistice Sunday and Annual Parades of the Ex-Servicement's organisations, and concerts for St. James's Hospital and the Gravesend Branch of Manor House Hospital. Eight members from the learners class formed prior to the previous Annual Statment had joined the main band bringing the band strength to 35, the strongest it has been for some considerable years.
 
  /02/1954 At least 2 evening floodlight matches at Gravesend and Northfleet Football Club. Play for half hour before kick off, and then during the half-time interval. the band played for 5 matches from October 1953 to March 1954. evening
Sun 28/02/1954 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 03/1954 Bass drum fully overhauled (stripped, repainted, varnished, roped etc.) The name painted on the drum was changed from "Gravesend Town Band" to "Gravesend Borough Band".  
Wed 31/03/1954 Practice at St. Johns Ambulance Hall, Robina Avenue, Northfleet evening
Sun 04/04/1954 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sat 15/05/1954 Forecourt of the Promenade Cafe for the homecoming of Her Majesty the Queen from her 6 month post Coronation tour of the Commonwealth. The Town Clerk wrote to the employers of all members who normally worked on a Saturday morning and asked for a "leave of absence" for them so they could play. One band member lost a mornings pay which the Council paid as expenses. morning
Sat 22/05/1954 May Queen Parade 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 30/05/1954 Mayor's Sunday (Councillor J.H.Taylor). Mayoral procession and Church parade from Market Square to St.George's Chapel of Unity  
Sun 13/06/1954 Fort Gardens, Gravesend evening
Sun 11/07/1954 Fort Gardens, Gravesend evening
Sun 08/08/1954 Fort Gardens, Gravesend evening
Sun 29/08/1954 Central Park, Dartford 19.00 - 21.00
Sun 25/07/1954 Gillingham  
Sun 22/08/1954 Gillingham  
Sun 19/09/1954 Royal Air Forces Association Battle of Britain Sunday (at one of St. James' or St George's Church)  
Sun 26/09/1954 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend. In aid of the Gravesend Veterans "New Building Fund" for Clarence Place. 19.15 - 21.15
Mon 08/11/1954 Gravesend & Northfleet vs Racing Club de Calais floodlit match 19.10 - 19.30
20.15 - 20.30 (interval)
Sun 14/11/1954 Gravesend War Memorial Remembrance Service 10.30 - 11.45
Sun 14/11/1954 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
1955 Date Venue Time
1955   Mayors "Old Tyme" entertainment for the old people. Market Hall, Gravesend.  
  02/1955 From the Band's Annual Statement of Accounts to March 31st, 1954:
The band was called "Gravesend Borough Band" and practiced at The Chantry, Commercial Place. The Bandmaster was Mr. A.H.Townsend. The band ran their third season of six concerts at the Clarendon Hotel in the winter months, the proceeds from the first concert 10 10s. 0d were given to the "Veterans Building Fund". The band attended engagements outside the town, concerts in the Fort Gardens, floodlight matches at Gravesend & Northfleet Football Club, Church Parades, Battle of Britain Sunday, Armistice Sunday and Annual Parades of the Ex-Servicement's organisations, and a concert at St. James's Hospital. The band strength was 30.
 
Sun 06/02/1955 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 06/03/1955 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend. Guest Conductor: D.Turner A.R.C.M. Bandmaster The Royal Scots Grey's 19.15 - 21.15
Thu 10/03/1955 St. James' Hospital, Gravesend. Annual concert. 19.30 - 21.00
Sun 17/04/1955 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 05/06/1955 Mayor's Sunday. Mayoral procession and Church parade from Market Square to St.George's Chapel of Unity  
Thu 14/07/1955 Annual General Meeting 19.30 - 21.30
Sun 31/07/1955 Gillingham Strand 15.00 - 17.00
Sat 06/08/1955 Coach from Gravesend to Elmers End (26 people from the Co-Op, all other band coaches were for 48 people from opposite the Sea School, Commercial Place. Could this be a band Social?)  
Sun 07/08/1955 Central Park, Dartford 19.00 - 21.00
Sun 21/08/1955 Gillingham Strand 15.00 - 17.00
Sun 18/09/1955 Royal Air Forces Association Battle of Britain Sunday parade and service at St. James' Church at 11.00 morning
Sun 02/10/1955 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun < 11/10/1955 Royal Army Medical Corps Association, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Tue 01/11/1955 Gravesend & Northfleet Football Club. Floodlight match vs Grays Athletic. 19.00 - 19.30
20.15 - 20.30
Fri 04/11/1955 Gravesend & Northfleet Football Club. Floodlight match. 19.00 - 19.30
20.15 - 20.30
Sun 06/11/1955 ? 2nd Sunday=13 Parade from Milton Barracks to Gravesend War Memorial, Clarence Place for Remembrance Service 10.30 - 11.45
Sun 13/11/1955 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 25/11/1955 Band dance and social for 84 people at the Masonic Hall, Gravesend evening
Sun 11/12/1955 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
1956 Date Venue Time
Sun 22/01/1956 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 29/01/1956 Concert at Gordon Schools, Gravesend. In aid of the Mayor of Gravesend's fund for old people. Run by Gravesend Light Orchestra in association with other local organisations. 19.15 - 21.15
  02/1956 From the Band's Annual Statement of Accounts to March 31st, 1955:
The band was called "Gravesend Borough Band" and practiced at The Chantry, Commercial Place. The Bandmaster was Mr. A.H.Townsend. The band ran their fourth season of concerts at the Clarendon Hotel in the winter months under the heading of "Bandtime", the concerts were well attended even in bad weather. Mr D.W.Turner A.R.C.M. ex-band member and Bandmaster of the Royal Scots Greys was guest conductor at one of the concerts. The band attended engagements outside the town, but did not have the opportunity to play any concerts in the Fort Gardens. Floodlight football matches were played for for Gravesend & Northfleet Football Club, although during a February matc valves on some of the brass instruments froze up due to the extreme cold. The band attended Church Parades, Battle of Britain Sunday, Armistice Sunday and Annual Parades of the Ex-Servicement's organisations, plus a concert at St. James's Hospital and, along with three other societies, played a concert in aid of the Mayor's Charities. The band had 32 members plus five brass learners, and 6 woodwind learners, the number of learners being limited by the number of instruments available.
 
  02/1956 Brass instruments valves froze up while playing for a floodlight match at Gravesend & Northfleet Football Club. 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 26/02/1956 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Thu 08/03/1956 St. James' Hospital, Gravesend. Annual concert. 19.30 - 21.00
Sun 08/04/1956 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sat 12/05/1956 May Queen Festival, Gravesend. Position 30, head of part III of the procession.  
Sat 20/05/1956 Central Park, Dartford. 19.00 - 21.00
Sun 29/07/1956 Gillingham  
Sun 05/08/1956 Gillingham  
Sun 12/08/1956 Gillingham  
Sun 19/08/1956 Gillingham  
Sun 11/11/1956 Gravesend War Memorial Remembrance Service 10.30 - 11.45
1957 Date Venue Time
  02/1957 From the Band's Annual Statement of Accounts to March 31st, 1956:
The band was called "Gravesend Borough Band" and practiced at The Chantry, Commercial Place. The Bandmaster was Mr. A.H.Townsend. The band ran their fifth season of concerts at the Clarendon Hotel in the winter months under the heading of "Bandtime". The concerts were well attended until fuel rationing curtailed bus services. The band attended engagements outside the town, Dartford Park, Gillingham Strand, and at Canterbury Cathedral for the British Legion. The band attended Church Parades, Battle of Britain Sunday, Armistice Sunday and Annual Parades of the Ex-Servicement's organisations, plus a concert at St. James's Hospital. The band did not play at the Fort Gardens in Gravesend as the Council entertinments program did not include Sunday evening concerts. The band had 36 members plus seven brass learners numbers being limited by the number of instruments available.
 
Sun 07/07/1957 Gillingham Park 14.30 - 16.30
Sun 28/07/1957 Gillingham Strand 14.30 - 16.30
Sun 11/08/1957 Gillingham Strand 14.30 - 16.30
Sun 01/09/1957 Gillingham Strand 14.30 - 16.30
Sun 10/11/1957 Gravesend War Memorial Remembrance Service 10.30 - 11.45
1958 Date Venue Time
Sun 01/06/1958 Mayor's Sunday. Mayoral procession and Church parade from Market Square to St.George's Chapel of Unity  
Sun 09/1958 Royal Air Forces Association Battle of Britain Sunday parade and church service morning
  10/1958 Laying-up Ceremony for the old King's Colour of the Gravesend Branch of the Royal British Legion at Christ Church.  
Sun 12/10/1958 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 09/11/1958 Gravesend War Memorial Remembrance Service 10.30 - 11.45
Sun 07/12/1958 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
1959 Date Venue Time
  02/1959 From the Band's Annual Statement of Accounts to March 31st, 1958:
The band was called "Gravesend Borough Band" and practiced at The Chantry, Commercial Place. The Bandmaster was Mr. A.H.Townsend. The band ran their seventh season of concerts at the Clarendon Hotel in the winter months under the heading of "Bandtime". Jennifer Gillingham, an honorary member of the band, passed an audition for Solo Cornet in the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain as well as playing solo cornet for the Borough Band, Northfleet Silver Band and in the Gravesend Girls's Grammar School Orchestra. The band attended Church Parades, Battle of Britain Sunday, Armistice Sunday, plus an annual concert at St. James's Hospital for patients. The band played at the Fort Gardens in Gravesend after a lapse of several years and also attended engagements at Gillingham Park and Strand. The band had 28 members in spite of difficulties and National Service.
 
Sun 15/02/1959 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
  03/1959 St. James' Hospital, Gravesend. Annual concert. 19.30 - 21.00
Sun 15/03/1959 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 26/04/1959 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 14/04/1959 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 14/08/1959 Gillingham Strand 14.30 - 16.30
Sun 23/08/1959 Gillingham Strand 14.30 - 16.30
Sun 11/10/1959 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15
Sun 08/11/1959 Gravesend War Memorial Remembrance Service. Not in parade due to reduced numbers of musicians. 10.30 - 11.45
Sun 06/12/1959 "Bandtime" Royal Clarendon Hotel, Gravesend 19.15 - 21.15