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This page is part of an archive of historical details from existing or defunct brass band websites. This is being maintained to provide a record of this information in the event of a band folding, its website disappearing or other loss of the historical record. Where possible, and appropriate, the information cached will be updated from time to time - and any corrections or updates are welcome.



Beaumaris Band

Although there had been a band in Beaumaris since the mid 1800s which consisted of both brass and woodwind instruments the first all Brass Band was originally formed in 1921 by two local school masters, Mr John Roberts and Mr William Owen. They were directed by Joe Clayton Snr, his son, also Joe, later to follow in his footsteps. The early members all lived in Beaumaris and all engagements took place in the town.

Their practise venues were varied, ranging initially from a small hut behind the high street at Beaumaris, known as the legion hut, numerous chapel halls, even at one time, a gaol cell, to the present venue of a former school and subsequently a health centre in New Street.

Mr John Roberts and Mr William Owen set up a committee to purchase the first set of instruments which is believed to have cost four to five hundred pounds. They arranged a meeting to negotiate with representatives of Boosey and Hawkes, who loaned the set out for a hundred pounds for twelve months before the full payment was due.

The band was an epitome of 'the village band', playing in fetes, carnivals and shows staged in the castle and the thriving pier at Beaumaris. They also accompanied hymn singing services, indoor and out, on Sundays and led the hunt procession each year, as well as playing by the Archway in Beaumaris to raise money for the new set of instruments. Only a few competitions were entered and the community involvement and social aspect was their inspiration. The band competed in only two competitions during these early years, one at Conwy in 1926, which they won, and one at Caernarfon in 1953. Later on, with some members leaving and others growing too old, the band became inactive in about 1969, because, it seems there was no policy to inspire the youths of the area to participate.

A few conductors took charge after the retirement of Joe Clayton the younger, but Mr Edmund 'Ned' Needham took over in 1970. Ned Needham was a good band trainer and enticed a few younger members to join. The band now practised at the more suitable venue of the local primary school, and suddenly competitions became a source of inspiration. This newly formed, younger band entered its first competition in May 1972, the Anglesey Eisteddfod in Llangefni, playing the test piece 'Spirit of Youth' and they gained a creditable third prize.

With the future looking brighter, a new set of instruments was purchased, replacing the original 1921 set. Success soon followed at the North Wales competition in Llandudno in November 1973 with a first prize and a solo cornet medal awarded to David Evans, whose father, Fred, also played the cornet and was later to figure prominently in the future of the band.

On March 24th 1974, the band competed in the North Western region qualifying contest of the National Championship at Warrington and gained second prize which resulted in them becoming the first band from Anglesey to qualify for the finals of the National Brass Band Championships, to be held in London in October of the same year.

This was a great achievement for the band, and fund raising started immediately to compensate for the costs of travelling to London. These activities included fashion parties, the clothes modelled by members of the band, coffee mornings and dinner dances. With the benefit also of some donations, they set off for London for the contest day on October 5th. After a creditable performance, they were awarded the sixth prize out of a total of twenty four bands. The band also qualified for London the following year and gained successes at North Wales contest and Eisteddfodau. However, members again left, some to search for work and others to nearby bands. During the early 1980's, engagements were fulfilled, for example the 1980 Easter Bonnet parade, with the assistance of players from other bands.

During 1982-83 the numbers of members had dwindled but to a handful, and this called for drastic action if the band was to survive and develop in the future. In September 1983, the then band secretary Mr Robert Lewis, and Mr Fred Evans decided that the only way to guarantee a band for the future was to arouse the interest of the young children at primary school level. They arranged visits to four local primary schools, Beaumaris, Llandegfan, Llangoed and Llanddona, where they talked to eight to ten year olds about starting a new youth band. The response was overwhelming when forty-two youngsters, with limited musical ability, turned up for a rehearsal.

All involved were immediately faced with a shortage of instruments, but with the help of the parents and the band committee, funds were raised to purchase new instruments and music. Many of these youngsters have now established themselves in the present senior band are supported by a strong, thriving youth band whose development is one of the main priorities of all the band's supporters. For the first two or three years, Fred Evans took on most of the responsibilities associated with the band and became bandmaster due to the ill-health of Mr Ned Needham. Gradually the interest grew and the children became more proficient, a well-organised committee was appointed to support the rapid progress during these early years.

In order to gain confidence and experience this young band, like the initial band, performed frequently at fetes and carnivals. Another aspect of development both musically and socially was competition and these early successes with the youth was the foundation for later unprecedented achievements with the senior band. In 1986, the band entered its first competition and gained first prize in the fifth section of the annual North Wales contest playing the test piece 'Dawn of Spring', and first prizes in section four in 1987 and 1988.

1991 - Qualified for section 4 of the National Brass Band Champhionships of Great Britain and came first Nationally at the Wembley Conference Centre in London. In the same year they were also first in the Pontins National Championship section 4 held in Prestatyn, North Wales and they also won first prize in the National Eisteddfod of Wales as well as many other competitions.

1992 - Promoted to section 3 - Qualified for the National Finals and gained first prize at Wembley. During this year the band competed throughout Wales and the North West winning every contest that they entered.

1993 - Promoted to section 2- Qualified for the National Finals and gained second prize at Wembley narrowly missing the hatrick.

1994 - Section 2 - second again at Wembley, becoming a little frustrating just narrowly missing the top spot in successive years.

1995 - Promoted to section 1 - Qualified for National Finals and gained sixth place

1996 - The band competed throughout Wales and the North West and were very successful, however they failed to qualify for the National Finals this year.

1997 - Qualified for the National Finals at the Birmingham Symphony Hall and gained third prize (what a venue!!)

1998/99 - Promoted to Championship Section. The band have won many prizes in Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire and have represented Wales on numerous occasions. The Youth Band has been fourth Nationally in Manchester and second in Blackpool.

2000 - In March of this year the 'B' Band qualified for the National Finals in section 4 and represented Wales at the Royal Albert Hall in October where they were placed clear winners and gained promotion to the third section.

2001 - The Senior (1st Section) and 'B' Band (3rd section) took part at the Welsh Regional Finals in the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea on Saturday, 31st March. Both bands were awarded first prize in their section and will represent Wales at the National Finals in Preston in September. On Saturday 5th May the Seinor Band competed in the Senior Cup at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool and were placed second with an invitation to the Grand Shield in 2002. Few bands in the UK have had such a consistent run of success. The Senior band were awarded third prize in the 1st section at the National Finals in Preston and look forward to returning to the Championship section next year. Unfortunately the 'B' band had a disappointing result in the Finals but are now looking forward to their next contest.

2002 - The Senior band were delighted to qualify at the Welsh Regional Finals in the Brangwyn Hall and look forward to playing in the National Finals atthe Albert Hall in October this year. Not the result the Senior Band were hoping for at The Grand Shield Contest, Winter Gardens, Blackpool on Saturday 11th May but they look forward with enthusiasm to returning next year. The Beaumaris Youth Band competed at the Youth Brass Band Entertainment Festival of Great Britain in Blackpool on 10th February and gained 3rd prize overall together with prizes for best soloist and best percussion section. The Beaumaris 'B' Band competed in the 3rd section at the Rhyl Festival of Brass in June and received 1st prize together with best soloist, best percussion section and a special prize for the most entertaining band in all sections.

2003 - Not the greatest start to the year, neither Senior or 'B' Band qualified for the National Finals at the Brangwyn Hall but both bands gave performances to be proud of - no doubt they will be back next year to take part once again. On Saturday 3rd May the Senior Band competed in the Grand Shield Contest at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool playing the test piece 'Tallis Variations'. The band came away with a well deserved 6th place and look forward to improving on this result once again next year. Another triumph for the 'B' band at the Rhyl Festival of Brass on Sunday 22 June.The adjudicator, Malcolm Brownbill awarded the band a worthy first prize yet again this year for a most enjoyable and musical performance.James Bulkeley Rees, the bands principal cornet was also awarded the prize for best soloist. Congratulations to the 'B' band on their success at the National Eisteddfod on gaining a well deserved first prize in section 3. They also competed at the Wychavon Festival of Brass in September and were placed clear winners with 96 points. In October both bands competed in the Annual Pontins Brass Band Contest at Prestatyn. The 'B' Band were overjoyed at gaining first prize in Section 3for their interpretation of the test piece 'Music from Kantara'. At the North Wales Brass Band Championships, Rhyl, Saturday 22nd November the Youth Band brought home a very well deserved 1st Prize for their 'own choice' test piece 'Music from Kantara' and 1st Prize for best March 'Death or Glory'. Paul Hughes was congratulated on a very well directed peformance