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Pencoed Silver Band
Brass Bands have been heard in Pencoed since early 1900 when small groups of players, mostly Miners from the Valley's used to come and provide music during the Pencoed and St. Mary Hill Fairs, also at Christmas time when collections of money were made to compensate them for travel etc.
In 1902 a small Brass ensemble was formed in Pencoed by a few members of what was then a small community plus a few experienced players which were brought from Cardiff by their first Conductor Mr. A.J. Moore.
By 1908 the first Committee was formed under the Secretaryship of Mr G. Bevan and a small group of approximately ten players was called the "Pencoed Brass Band". In 1912 when Mr. M. Moore left Pencoed, a public meeting was called and the Band was reformed and renamed the "Pencoed Public Brass Band". With collections and subscriptions further instruments were acquired. The Band was fully occupied at this time appearing at many Local attractions, such as Gala's, Fetes and Carnival processions etc., both in Pencoed, Coychurch, Heol-y-Cyw and Treoes under their new Band Master Mr. Bob Lewis.
Mr. Lewis was ably assisted by his two brothers Jim and Evan Lewis who were both cornet players of some standing. In fact, all three brothers had each won the solo playing prize at the National Eisteddfod. Rehearsals were initially held above what was then called "Billo's Bakers Shop" which is now known as the 'Bottom' Chemist in Penybont Road. In 1923 the Band met under the Secretaryship of Mr. Albert Jones who held the post until his death in 1940. It was he who was responsible for the Band acquiring their first set of uniforms; also for having the instruments Silver- Plated. Mr. Bob Lewis continued to serve as Bandmaster until about 1939 but during the Second World War Mr. C. Soper took over as Bandmaster and the Band rehearsed and played at the Ordinance Factory on the Bridgend Industrial Estate.
Eventually the band moved to the Railway Inn (now called The Chatterton Arms) by kind permission of the Licensee at that time which was Mrs Chatterton. From there they moved to the 'Long Room' at the Brittania Hotel which was then run by the Licensee Mrs Thomas. Later the Brittania Hotel was taken over by Mr. Len Harris who also took over as Secretary of the band. He eventually became the Band's longest serving Secretary.
After the War in 1945 Mr Ivor John Owen took over as Bandmaster. The Band continued to live up to its name as a Family Band. At one time the Trombone section consisted of Tom, Evan and Dai Watkins. The late Mr Len Harris had, at one time, no less than six members of his Family playing in the Band. His son Mr John Harris is now the Conductor of the Band. Another Family the Goss Family had no less than five of its members playing with the Band.
It was in 1945 that the Band introduced itself into the competitive Arena under the leadership of Mr. Ivor John Owen. The Band members were confident in their ability to match themselves with other Bands in displaying their proficiency at Brass Band Competitions. Under their new name of "Pencoed Silver Band", no less than fifteen prizes were awarded to them in their first three years of competing. Similar success followed at local Contests, also competing in the Championship at Belle Vue, Manchester.
In 1959 Mr. Ivor John Owen resigned as Bandmaster and was succeeded by Mr Frank Wareham. Mr Wareham had much success with the Band including taking the Band to London for the National Brass Band Championship Finals. Mr Wareham retired in January 1966 due to ill health and the pressure of work and once again Mr Ivor John Owen took over as Bandmaster, but health reasons prevented Mr Owen from continuing and he was eventually replaced by Mr. E.J. Clarke in March 1966.
Success again followed in Brass Band Contests and on Saturday April 22nd 1972 Pencoed Silver Band became the Welsh Champions (3rd Section). As told to Mr. T.J. Powell by the late Mr. Eddie Jones who was for many years a Trombone player with the Band.