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Castle Point Brass Band
The Canvey Band apparently started in 1934 as the Canvey Subscription Band, thanks to the generosity of a local farmer (Mr Chambers) who lent money for instruments and uniforms. A Mr Mackay was in the middle, and an early engagement was the Canvey carnival of 1936. The outbreak of war in 1939 brought a halt to the band's progress, but it reformed in 1946 whereupon my source, Taffy, joined as second cornet.
The next few years saw a number of engagements, including an appearance with the Rayleigh Band at Fielders holiday camp, and a regular Sunday afternoon booking on the bandstand outside the Monico hotel on the Canvey seafront.
Mr Mackay passed the baton to Bill Scott (euphonium), who would apparently get rather carried away with his conducting and break into song (how would he have coped with some of the modern test pieces???)! At this time the band included Jim Hobbs on bass - the late 40s and a second name that I remember!!!
The Canvey floods of the 1950s brought another halt to the band's progress - music from the rehearsal room at the Green Glades Cafe (is it now a Murco garage?) was seen floating on the flood waters and band members (and instruments) were evacuated all over Essex.
Fifteen years after the flood, The Canvey Central and Youth Band was born. A Mr Clayton and Mr Perkins wanted to form a band from members of the ATC and GVC, and sought help from Fred Kingham (a well known band teacher and conductor).
After Mr Kingham, the band had a number of conductors including Mr Fry (apparently very long serving, but can anybody tell me how long?) and Mr Cyril Manning (ex Southend Silver Band).
We now move to 1975, when the band was renamed "Castle Point" following a district amalgamation. Mr Manning returned to the Salvation Army, and handed the baton to Mr Malcolm Lewis (now with the Shanklin Town Band on the Isle of Wight) who gave his life to the band for a number of years (OK so that's a bit of an editorial comment, but so what?).
A 1978 press cutting reported that "29 youngsters aged between six and 14" practiced in the Brook Road hall, Benfleet, but were in urgent need of more instruments. As Malcolm was quoted as saying, "A trumpet can cost £150 and my trombone was £200." Now I'm not saying there's been inflation, but...
The band first contested in the Third Section at Thurrock, on 23 April 1978. David Read adjudicated, awarding 169 points for 8th place. Here's the band that played that day:
The band members also started playing in the local solo contests. In the 1978 Romford contest, CPBB took 2nd place in the duets section with G. Lewis and K. Bennion, and 3rd with S. Flood and D. Andrews.