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Malpas Town Band

Remembered by Mr Stanley Allman - in Malpas History Magazine (6), July 1986

It was in 1919 that the Malpas Town Band was founded by the late Mr Arthur Hughes (of A.M. Hughes Egg Packing Station) and Mr William Allman, of Wrexham Road. The original band had a line-up of 23 players, as follows:

CORNETS: Mr Stanley Allman (who provided the information for this article), Mr Jack Ankers, Mr Godfrey Evans, Mr Fred Ince, Mr Frank Hewitt, Mr Leslie Hughes (son of Arthur Hughes), Percy Rogers
FLUGEL HORN: Mr Ted Lawrence
TENOR HORNS: Mr Stan Fletcher, Mr Eddie Edge, George Chesworth jr.
TROMBONES: Mr Eric Challinor, Mr Lew Hewitt, Mr Fred Turtle
EUPHONIUMS: Mr Arthur Lawrence, Mr Harry Worth, Mr George Harrison
BASSES: Mr Jack Allman, Mr Frank Allman, Mr William Allman, Mr William Chesworth
SIDE DRUM: Mr Jackie Allman (Well Street)
BASS DRUM: Mr Bill Davies (Wrexham Road), known as 'Levey'

Practices were held in the upstairs schoolroom at the Congregational (now United Reformed) Church, where the band was conducted by Mr Tom Williams, with Ted Lawrence as his deputy. Tom Williams was a Master Builder from Whitchurch. Each player paid an annual subscription of £1.00 and 6d practice money weekly. The late Mr Fred Turtle was Treasurer and the practice money was collected by Mr George Boughey, of Church Street. Secretary was the late Mr Tom Mercer.

The Band's first engagement was for the Malpas Tontine, providing music for dancing on the Castle Hill in the evening. From then on engagements included various local Wakes (Malpas, Tilstcn, Bickerton) as well as Tontine (Hampton, Malpas) and Oddfellows celebrations up until the second World War. The Tontines and Oddfellows were Friendly Societies, of which the Loyal Clutton Lodge of Oddfellows still flourishes in Malpas (see Malpas History No. 3):

For the first two and a half years the Band played in civilian clothes and then in 1922 Arthur Hughes brought in four tailors from Liverpool to meet the members in the Schoolroom to be measured for uniforms, which were ready within one month.

Later members of the Band were: Mr Wallace Roberts, Mr Arthur Hewitt,Mr Jim Watson, Mr Jack Andrew (now living in Whitchurch), Mr Frank Jones (OsthillS), Mr Frank Powell, Mr Reg Pearson. Juniors in the mid-1930s were: Mr Saarny Fox, the late ex-Squadron Leader William Hamson, Mr Jimmy Leonard, Mr Joe Hewitt. There may be others - age does not improve the memory, so apologies for any forgotten:

During its lifetime the Band took part in many competitions, including those at Llangollen and the annual National Brass Band Contests at Belle vie in Manchester:

For the last few years of its existence practices were held in the Wesleyan Chapel in Old Hall Street (demolished in 1985 - see Malpas History No.4, page 15).

Mr Stanley Allman, who provided the information for this article, was aged thirteen when he became a member of the Malpas Town Band in 1919. He and Mr Percy Rogers appear to be the only surviving members of the original Band who are still living in Malpas.

Further memories of the Band would be welcomed for inclusion in future issues of Malpas History, together with any photographs, press cuttings, etc. connected with the Band's activities. The original Band ceased to function around 1940, thus bringing to a. close a chapter in Malpas musical history which had spanned the period between the two World Wars