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Callington Town Band
Callington Town Band was in existence in the 1850s, as the extract from the Cornish Times of June the 18th 1859 shows (see History below) and continued in some form or other until it was disbanded in 1933. There then followed a gap of sixty years until, in 1995, Mike Jacobs, who was then Portreeve of Callington, began to consider the possibility of re-forming it.
At the first meeting, of those who came along, only John Jenkins could play a brass instrument - and John is still our Principal Euphonium! The project was handed on to Tony Nettle, who celebrated his year as Portreeve by seeing the new Town Band get off to a good start.
An encouraging attendance at the inaugural meeting led to the Band beginning its new life with thirteen musicians under the baton of Maurice Bennett and with music provided by a donation from the Town Council.
The practices took place at the Community Support Centre in the Pannier Market but, as the membership increased, a new home had to be found and the Band now has its own practice room adjoining the Town Museum, Liskeard Road, where it meets each Thursday evening. In 2001 the baton passed to Paul Boase, ATCL (see above). One of the original musicians, John Jenkins (above R, awarded Honorary Membership in Nov. 2009) remains with the Band.
The Band also offers encouragement to young or less experienced players by running a Training Band which is conducted by
Lauren Rossiter and is anticipating forging close links with Callington Community College, recently awarded 'Specialist Music College' status.
Entertaining the Callington Primary School pupils last year (2009) and then holding a workshop with those who are learning to play
brass and percussion instruments paid dividends with four of their pupils joining the Training Band. A similar event will take place this year.
The History of Callington Town Band
It is known that Callington had an active Town Band in the 1850s which continued to play at events in the area throughout the latter part of that century and the early part of the 20th century.
Callington Band was in existence in 1859 and led a procession at the Philanthropic Society`s Festival. This cutting from the Cornish Times is our oldest extant archive!
In 1886 the Band played at the opening of the first reservoir at Ashburton Farm, Florence Road.
In July 1892 the Band provided the music on a steamer trip from Calstock with the Cricket Club.
In 1895 the Band led the Church Parade of the Foresters, Oddfellows and Rechabites.
In 1902 they played when Lord Compton unveiled a fountain in the wall of the Primary School.
In 1911 they played at the celebrations in the town to mark the Coronation of King George the Fifth.
In 1912 they played at the opening of the New Market Hall and Fountain
In 1913 they played at Callington Cricket Club Annual Fete (conducted by Mr J Taylor) and for Carnival Day and Bonfire Night.
In 1914 they played in the afternoon and evening at a Boy Scouts Grand Fete at Haye, and a Band of Hope Fete at St Ive
Also in 1914 the Band led a Grand Rally and Procession during a Patriotic Demonstration Day.
Nothing further is known of the Band during the First World War....
In 1921 the Band played at the Callington Show, conducted by Mr G Buzza.
In 1923 the Band headed the procession for the Town Fete and Show. They also appeared at Pensilva Festival, a Picnic at Castleleigh, Callington Hospital Fete, and the Cricket & Football Clubs` Sports Day, conducted by Mr James Jago. Mr Jago conducted the Band until 1932, when he retired.
The players in the Band then included: Bert Maunder - comet Edward Blight - side drum, Harry Pollard - bass William Duance - big drum, Other known pre-war members include Enoch Downs (Clockmaker) who played Trombone, and Reg Stephens, ? Steer and ? Edwards. Later that year Mr Jago, who had run the markets in Callington for 50 years, died at the age of 83.
In 1927, 1928 and 1933 recorded events include two Hospital Sunday Processions and Callington Fete & Garden Show.
In 1933 at Metherell Sports Day, Mr H. Buzza returned as Conductor.
In 1934 Callington Town Band appear to have been disbanded, as the Hospital Procession was led by Liskeard Silver Band!
From 1934 onwards any event held in Callington was attended by a visiting band, either Liskeard, Landrake, Launceston, Wadebridge or Torpoint. In 1949, when Launceston Band was playing in Callington, Mr Jack Pomroy took the opportunity to ask them if they would play a march that he had written and had been arranged by Dr Dennis Wright This they did and it proved so popular that they played it twice. It would be nice to think that a copy of this music was still available for the current Town Band to play.