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Hemel Hempstead Band
In 1870 St Peter's Church in Berkhamsted set up a Fife & Drum Band, which became the Berkhamsted St. Peter's Band in 1888 with the appointment of Thomas Ellens at a salary of £4 a year. In1894 John Dickinson & Co of Apsley set up a Brass Band for their workers. Both Bands existed in friendly rivalry for many years, and both successfully negotiated the First World War. The John Dickinson Band in particular made great progress, and was invited to play on BBC Radio on a number of occasions.
In 1925 a third Band was created from members of the Boxmoor Boys Brigade which three years later became the Boxmoor Silver Band. All three bands, despite interruption by the Second World War, continued successfully until 1960 when, due to falling membership, the Berkhamsted and Boxmoor Bands decided to amalgamate Meanwhile the John Dickinson Band continued to thrive, achieved top grade rating, and won the right to represent the London and Home Counties area at the National Championships held in the Albert Hall in London.
The Company eventually withdrew their support, and the Band changed its name to the Hemel Hempstead Band, in recognition of the support extended to them by the Dacorum Borough Council.
This continued until sponsorship was gained from Atlas Copco. In 1987 a second amalgamation took place which united all three bands under the title of The Atlas Copco Band.
As the name implies, the valuable support came from Atlas Copco Compressors Ltd. which, after 16 years of generous support, had to withdraw their help due to company policy decisions in 2000.
In 2000 the band approached 'The Apsley Paper Trail', who are involved the development of a museum, to celebrate the many years of the manufacturing of paper, and are situated at the former site of The John Dickinson paper company at Apsley just outside Hemel Hempstead. This has resulted in a partnership with The Paper Trail, to whom the band are very grateful, for the use of rehearsal and storage faculties.
This brings the band back to it's roots, and 112 years since it was founded, the sound of music once more can be heard at the former John Dickinson factory, by the canal at Apsley and the band is now known as the 'Hemel Hempstead Band'.