Past Concerts and Events - 1940s

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 personal memories, or the chance appearance of a document detailing the event. (Local paper cuttings, old programmes, Gravesend Corporation minutes etc.)
1940 Date Venue Time
Sat 13/01/1940 From "The Reporter"
The following report by the Town Clerk appeared in the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee of the 15th ult.
"Subject to satisfactory arrangements, there is owing to the Town Band the sum of 75 in respect of perfomances rendered during the past season. The full programme of performances was not completed, but this was largely due to war conditions, and I do not think that the Council will wish to raise any point as to this. As a matter of fact, 29 out of 43 stipulated performances were given. The Council have directed that upon their being satisfied as to the Band instruments being handed over and placed in the custody of the Corporation, the Treasurer should be authorised to pay 75.
The instruments, together with uniforms, music, chairs, etc., are at present lodged in premesis at Lord-street. The Band Committee are tenants of these premesis at a rental of 11 14s. per annum exclusive of rates. The rates at present amount to 4 6s. 4d. per annum.
The Secretary of the Committee has furnished an inventory of the Band instruments and other property, and this has been checked over. It would appear that everything is in order. The whole of the property would appear to have been very well cared for.
There remains the question of te future care, custody and preservation of the instruments, and there would appear to be two courses only, namely: (1) for the Corporation to take over as from the 25th Decembr the tenancy of the premesis in Lord-street; or (2) to arrange for the storage of the property in some safe place.
I am of opinionand Councillor Croft concurs with me, that the better plan would be for the Corporation to take over the tenancy and the custody of the instruments until such time as the Town Band is able to resume operations.
The Committee recommended:
(1) That the Corporation take over the tenancy of the premesis at Lord-street at the same rent.
(2) That the Borough Treasurer be directed to arrange for the Band equipment to be insured. (3) That the balance of 75 be paid to the Band. (4) That the Corporation take over the Band's financial balance until the Band is reorganised. (5) That the Town Clerk be instructed to prepare a formal agreement transferring the instruments and other property to the Corporation for safe custody.
Councillor Croft further reported that arrangements had been made for two members of the Band to clean the instruments periodically.
The Committee expressed their thanks to Councillor Croft for his assistance in this matter.
The Committee's recommendations were approved by the Council.
20/11/1940 Corporation Of Gravesend Finance and General Purposes Committee minutes para. 1182 shows -
The Town Clerk reported that arrangements had been made for the instruments to be stored at St. Mary's School and he was notifying the Secretary and the Insurance Company accordingly."
1941 Date Venue Time
25/06/1941 Corporation Of Gravesend Finance and General Purposes Committee minutes para. 1778 shows -
The question of re-forming the above band was referred to the following Sub-Committee:—The Mayor, Alderman Hodge, Councillors Dr. Hagard, Edmonds, Croft and Ricketts."
16/07/1941 Corporation Of Gravesend Finance and General Purposes Committee minutes para. 1838 shows -
An application by His Worship the Mayor for permission for the Police Band to play in Fort Gardens was granted. The members congratulated the Mayor for organising these performances which were greatly appreciated by the general public."
16/07/1941 Corporation Of Gravesend Finance and General Purposes Committee minutes para. 1839 shows -
A letter from the Gravesend Town Silver Band suggesting that a joint meeting be held with the Council?s Band Sub-Cormmittee was referred to the Town Clerk to fix a date."
1942 Date Venue Time
27/05/1942 Corporation Of Gravesend Finance and General Purposes Committee minutes para. 2606 shows -
A letter was received from the Officer Commanding the 16th (Gravesend) Battalion Kent Home Guard, stating that they hoped to form a Home Guard Band and asking if it is possible for the Town Band Instruments, which are in the custody of the Council, to be loaned to them. This matter was referred to a Sub-Committee consisting of The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors Howcroft, Cole and Fletcher."
1943 Date Venue Time
11/1943 Corporation Of Gravesend Finance and Law Committee minutes para. 72 shows -
A letter was received from Mr. Ernest A. Allen, of 4, Wilfred Street, Gravesend, suggesting that use be made of the Town Band instruments and the Committee recommend that this matter be deferred for the duration of the war."
1944 Date Venue Time
  23/11/1944 Corporation Of Gravesend Whole Court in Committee minutes paragraph 25 shows -
The Town Band Sub-Committee have taken up the suggestion of Councillor Harding as to the formation of this section being of opinion that the movement is both desirable and practicable. They have taken certain preliminary steps but, before going further, they wish to have the approval and sanction of the Council. In response to advertisement 150 youths from the age of 12 upward have applied for enrolment, a most gratifying response. The applicants are being sorted out by Mr. Stopford, the conductor of the Town Band, and it is proposed that as many as possible should go into training at once but the number is limited by the fact that there are only about 25 instruments, recently supplemented by a gift of two instruments from Mr. J. P. Thompson. A room at the Chantry is suggested for instructional headquarters.
The Sub-Committee are of opinion that this movement is likely to prove of the utmost value as not only will the boys be taught a useful and possibly profitable accomplishment but they will be given an interest and be able to occupy their spare hours to advantage. As a preliminary step the Sub-Committee ask the Council to sanction an initial expenditure of 50 to enable the movement to be financed up to the end of the current year.
Recommended that the report of the Sub-Committee he adopted and that a grant of 50 he made and the use of the Chantry for headquarters."
  25/11/1944 Letter to the Editor of the Gravesend Reporter.
Sir,—inaugurated by Councillor E.J. Harding a movement is on foot to revive and invigorate the Town Band by the formation of a Junior Section (boys from 12 years of age and upward); and already a most promising beginning has been made. In response to invitation 150 boys have presented themselves for enrolment and a process of preliminary selection is in hand. It is inteded that every boy who shows sufficient musical aptitude shall have the opportunity of learning to play an instrument and so provide himself with recreation in his spare time and in addition secure an accomplishment which will benefit him in his career.
Mr. Stopford, late of the Loyal Regt., will be the Bandmaster and Chief Inspector, and he will have as assistants members of the old Band. A practice room is being arranged for.
The Band Committee of the Council are to some extent handicapped by the fact that for these 150 applicants they have less than 30 instruments, but the difficulty is not insuperable, and the Committee look confidently to the general body of the townspeople to assist them by gifts or loan of instruments and by donations in cash. There must be in the Borough many musical instruments laid aside by owners who have no longer time or inclination for the pursuit of their old hobby. Will such owners give or lend them for the benefit of these young boys?
Will the people of Gravesend who have shown their generosity in so many directions help the Committee by gifts or loans of instruments, and if that is not possible by subscriptions which may enable some poor boy who cannot afford the modest subscription of 6d. a week to have his share in the musical life of the Borough.
All communications on the subject may be addressed to the undersigned and suggestions will be cordially welcomed—Yours sincerely,
H.H. Brown,
Town Clerk.
1945 Date Venue Time
09/01/1945 Corporation Of Gravesend Town Band Sub-Committee minutes para. 42 shows -
The Band Sub-Committee met on 9th January and submitted the following report and recommendations:—
  1. That Mr. T. Stopford be appointed Band Master and Instructor at a remuneration of 100 per annum.
  2. That Mr. H. Langridge be appointed Secretary and Assistant Instructor and that he carry out the duties of Caretaker at the Band's new headquarters at the Chantry and that he be paid a wage of 1/10/0 per week as from 10th January.
  3. All the instruments and Band equipment have been transferred from St. Mary's School to the Chantry and have been insured.
  4. Uniforms.—Most of these were found to be either worn out or moth eaten and the question of providing uniforms was referred to the Council.
  5. Accounts.—The Sub-Committee recommend that all accounts be passed to the Borough Treasurer.
  6. Heating and Lighting.—The Borough Architect has been asked to present a report on this matter.
  7. Financial.—The Sub-Committee recommend that the Council take full financial responsibility in respect of the above arrangements under the powers contained in Section 56 of the Public Health Act, 1925.
Recommended that the report be approved with the exception of (d) and (f) and that these matters come up for further consideration at a later meeting."
  post-War Band practice room - Milton Chantry, Fort Gardens, Gravesend  
19/04/1945 Corporation Of Gravesend Town Band Sub-Committee minutes shows -
"Present.—Alderman Gooding, Councillor Haiding, Mr. Langridge, Mr. Starvis, Mr. Stopford, Town Clerk.
Progress Report.—Mr. Stopford reported that there were at present 26 boys under instruction, there being 26 instruments available. He was satisfied that reasonably good progress was being made.
Electric Heaters.—The question of the purchase of three electric heaters offered by the Civil Defence Organisation was left to the Town Clerk in consultation with the Chairman.
Visits by Committee.—Resolved that in consultation with Mr. Stopford the Committee arrange to make periodical visits to the band practices.
Blackboard.—The Town Clerk was instructed to arrange for the provision of a blackboard, Councillor Harding undertaking to have the necessary lines painted on it.
Stationery.—Recommended that suitable stationery be purchased for the use of the Band Secretary.
Petty Cash.—The Town Clerk was asked to discuss with the Borough Treasurer the provision of a small sum to the bandmaster to cover postages and small outlays."
08/05/1945 V-E Day  
1946 Date Venue Time
  1946 Chalk Youth Club Band formed, it practiced in Chalk Village Hall. The band was renamed to Chalk Village Band later in its life, but remained a band for young musicians.  
1947 Date Venue Time
  19/07/1948 Contest held at Gravesend. Championship section was won by Northfleet. Second section won by Hoo Silver.  
1948 Date Venue Time
  1948 ? Soon after the end of the Second World War the band was renamed from "Gravesend Town Silver Band" to "Gravesend Borough Band".  
  1948 New uniforms  
Sat 12/06/1948 Hanwell Band place 1st in a contest at Gravesend playing Carmen.  
1949 Date Venue Time
Sat 11/06/1949 Hanwell Band place 1st in a contest at Gravesend playing Schubert's Symphony in C (possibly organised by GBB?)