April Spotlight

This month’s spotlight item is a cutting from Lisa King about her dad Franklyn Drake, which ties in nicely to our latest listening post clip.

31946999_10156458056879124_7963834501769986048_nIt’s a fantastic article very much of it’s time – I love the in depth wardrobe analysis! Franklyn and Olive have always been great supporters of the band – and we are very grateful to both of them.

“A popular member of the Royston Town Band was married at St Michael and All Angel’s Church, Abington Pigotts, on Saturday last, he was Mr Franklin Franklyn Drake, only son of Mr and Mrs F Drake of Forge House Barley, and his bride was Miss Olive Covington, only daughter of Mr and Mrs A Covington of Down Hall, Abington Pigotts.

Given in marriage by her father, the bride was very prettily attired in a gown of white satin with lace coat falling into a long train, her shoulder length veil was held by a white camellia. She carried a bouquet of flame coloured roses and white chrysanthemums.

The bride’s nephews, Mark and Andrew Covington held the train of her ensemble, both wore royal blue trousers and white satin blouses.

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March Spotlight

March’s spotlight is part of a history written by Brian Edwards who has just celebrated 75 years playing with Royston Town Band (amazing!).

30821753_10156440711279124_8522282501184415352_o“My association with Royston Town Band started in 1942 at the age of eleven. Many of the regular players had joined the Forces, and Frank Greenhill, who had been conductor of the band since 1933, came up with the idea of forming a junior band. That was, however, a wonderful idea as so much time was available from school children and instruments were there ready for learners to take up. As a band trainer Frank filled the roll admirably, and was ideal as long as you didn’t play too many wrong notes!

He was determined to keep the band going in Royston, and as so many instrumentalists were missing, the band needed as many replacements as possible to fill the gaps. This was quite an attraction to the youngsters, however, as so many of the instruments were available on which to practise. Frank’s method was quite simple and exercises, scales, and easy marches, were soon coming from the bandroom, which was on loan to us rent-free by Nash, Son & Rowleys, the auctioneers at the top of Fish Hill. This arrangement was used for a number of years. The redundant premises are now a funeral parlour and Council hall.

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February Spotlight

As part of our Brass Roots project we will be doing a monthly spotlight on an interesting ‘thing’ that we need your help with…

We had another session this morning looking through the record books from 1928 and 1929. Amongst other things it mentions an Outing Fund designed to help members save up to go to the Crystal Palace contest.

I looked back at some documents I scanned from John Doughton’s collection and found this… the details and names match those mentioned in the record book so we think this is also from 1929. Mysteriously though it’s blank.

Reading more from the record book, the band decided not to employ their professional tutor at this time because the standard of playing was too low. Looking at contest registers the band did not contest at this time, which probably explains why this outing card was never used.

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January Spotlight

As part of our Brass Roots project we will be doing a monthly spotlight on an interesting ‘thing’ that we need your help with…

Still a bit behind, but here’s a photo of the band that we believe was taken after they won the Soham contest in 1923.

Joe Stockbridge, Bob Hinkins, Frank Greenhill, Francis Simons, Val Mitchell, Percy Hales, Sid Cooper (all cornet); Mr Hummerston (Drums), Alf Pearce (Tenor Horn), Lewin Seeley (Tenor Horn), Jack Hinkins (Tenor Horn), Charles Hinkins (Bandmaster), Isadore Vermalyn (Flugel), Harry Smith (Tenor Horn), Bill Ward (Baritone), Harold Jellis (Baritone); George Sharpe (Double B), Amos Greenhill (Band Collector), Cyril Craft (Trombone), David Beale (Trombone), Len Sharpe (Bass Trombone), Alf Smith (Euphonium), Jim Beale (Eb Bass), Sid Day (Eb Bass)

We had a really interesting session this morning going through the original record books from 1926 and 1927 so it’s fantastic to put faces to some of the names we were reading about.

Can’t wait to get the record books scanned in so we can share some of the fascinating snippets…

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December Spotlight

**Extra content!
Follow this link to listen to a lovely portrait of Cecil Adams from Graham F Smith‘s Listening Post interview

As part of our Brass Roots project we will be doing a monthly spotlight on an interesting ‘thing’ that we need your help with…

Sorry this one is a bit late – December was quite busy! A photo this time of Fred Drake and Cecil Adams. This was originally scanned in from a collection from Lisa King.

It looks like a presentation at the Royal British Legion presumably on Remembrance Sunday, but we don’t have a record of what year it was taken or what the presentation was for. Can you help?

Do you have any memories of Fred or Cecil that you’d like to share?

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