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.
Newport Town Band (Shropshire)
Though the history of Newport Town Band is very sketchy, the earliest references to a band in Newport can be found in the Newport Advertiser of Saturday 25 September 1875, which ran a small article indicating that a "New Brass Band" would be formed in the town. We're not absolutely certain as to whether the new band actually got off the ground as there appears to be no further evidence of a Newport Town Band until the early 1900's.
Much clearer evidence shows that in June 1911 a Mr Harry Davies set up a Newport Band, which gave it's first public appearance in the Square on Saturday 10th June 1911. A collection was made at the event which raised a total of £1.5s [£1.25p], which equates to approximately £90.00 by today's standards.
It is probable that the band folded at the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 but was reformed in 1954 in conjunction with the British Legion. Mr William Davies agreed to be conductor. Since that date, the band has run continuously under a number of different conductors and has fulfilled regular engagements both in the Newport area and further afield.
The band has also played frequently at the Officers’ Messes at RAF Shawbury, RAF Cosford and in February 1984 stood in for the Queen’s Lancashire Regimental band at COD Donnington, sharing the platform with pipes and drums of the 10th Ghurkha Rifles. Regular local bookings over the years have included Newport Show; the Old Tyme Market; Newport Carnival; and more recently Brimingham Botanical Gardens, Rylands Nursing Home, and Beckbury and Badger Village fetes. Christmas 1997 saw the first of a regular booking at the Severn Valley Railway Station at Arley. Here the band plays carols and Christmas Selections continuously from 9.30a.m until 5.30p.m as thousands of visitors arrive by steam trains throughout the day on the "Santa Specials"
Over the years, the band has supported various charitable causes, and regularly gives its services free of charge to events organised by Macmillan Cancer Relief, St John Ambulance and Newport Cottage Care Centre.
The period from 2003 to date has seen quite a number of changes for the band. A clutch of new players arrived during the latter part of 2003/early 2004, swelling the bands membership to around 25. The band appointed it's first female conductor in January 2004, an event that made the headlines of our local publication "The Newport Advertiser." Also in 2004 the band has re-established its presence on the World Wide Web with the launch of a new website, the further development of which you see here. The Band subsequently lost its first female conductor in 2005, but were very fortunate to appoint a new conductor almost immediately, when Steve Gittens accepted the post. Steve remained with the band until January 2006, when he left to conduct the Kirkby Colliery Welfare Band. In March 2006 John Williams was appointed as the Band's Conductor.
2006 saw the bands first appearance at the Ironbridge Brass Band Festival, held at Maws Craft Centre, Jackfield. The band was very well received at the festival, both in 2006 and 2007. With a full-time conductor once again in place, the band was also able to revive its own Annual Autumn Gala Concerts in Cosy Hall Newport, the first of these was held on 18th November 2006, with a second to follow on 17th November 2007.
A further influx of players in 2007 has ensured that the band's membership remains constant, and has enabled the band to tackle more challenging musical programmes. 2007 also saw a relocation of the band to new rehearsal rooms. After forty years rehearsing in Oddfellows Hall in Newport High Street, the band had to seek new premises due to the sale of the Hall. In September 2007, the band successfully relocated to new rehearsal rooms in the nearby village of Edgmond.
Due to other committments outside of Band, John Williams resigned from the position of Musical Director at the end of 2007. Fortunately for the band John Elliot stepped up to the challange and has taken the band forward with a wide and varied selection of music.