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Grays Town Band
A Band was formed in 1888 which was known as the 'Sons of Temperance Band' in connection with Sparkling Spring Lodge (no. 595 Grays Sub Division) with a Bandmaster Mr W. Layzell, who ran a music and instrument repair shop in New Road, Grays. The Secretary, Bro. J. Cornhill, 12 Florence Cottages and a Treasurer Bro. A. Bradish.
Rehearsals were held on Monday evenings above 'Queen Victoria Coffee Tavern' in Grays High Street, which is now the HSBC Bank. On the facade of the building a relief of Victoria can still be seen.
In 1905, Mr Frank Gray from Durham was appointed Bandmaster. The Band's name was changed to the 'Grays District Temperance Band' It also moved its headquarters to Crown Road where it rehearsed above the premises of Knowles Tampkins Mineral Water Manufacturers - Niagra Works.
In 1906 the Bands name changed yet again to 'Grays Temperance Band' which was kept until 1950 when for a brief spell was named 'Thurrock Silver Band'. It went back to 'Grays Temperance Band' but in 1987 was changed again to 'Grays Town Band'.
In 1928, the Band moved again. This was to its present Band room in John Street, Grays, which was the Comrades Club. A gentlemen made this possible by the name of Mr Frank Francis a bass trombone player for over 50 years with the Band who mortgaged his house to secure the building for the Band.
In 1936/7 a junior Band was formed under the direction of Mr E C Merrick and the young players that were taught by him carried the Band through the war years of 1939-1945.
The Band has had many successes at contests in the past. Eight times Essex champions, two first prize winners at contests in Holland, the youngest senior Brass Band in the Country and first prize which the Daily Herald Silver Challenge Cup. In 1946 the Band won the Victory Band Contest held at East Ham Town Hall with the test piece 'Songs of England'.
In 1991 the Band uniform was changed from brown to royal blue and black. The outside of the Band hall was also refurbished.
Today the Band is still teaching youngsters for a minimal charge and is playing at local events within the community.