|CRYSTAL PALACE BAND HISTORICAL SYNOPSIS: 1961-1996|
|Click for Period 1901 to 1961|
|1961 - 1987
||In addition to a few band files, the main source of material for this period
was the band's solo euphonious player, Roger Clements, who joined in 1961 as a 14-year old on second baritone and sadly died
in February 2005. During the period a training band was started only to
become defunct in the mid-70s at which point the band was down to five
Ian Whittaker, Principal Trombone player and, more recently, 1st Baritone, has added much interesting historic material.
Until Mike Gray's appointment in 1986 there are many changes to the Band's MD in the 70's and early 80's including
Stan Willis(??-74), Derek Greenwood (74-76), Kevin Nichols (76), Malcolm 'Satch' Symonds (78-82), James Watson (82-83), Roger Phillips (83-84), Alan Wilson(??-86) and Ian Walsh (temporary).
The band continue to increase in number, reaching its current level of about 36 registered members in 1991.
|1973||Charlie Sherriff retires as MD after over 40 years service with the band
|1974||Several instruments are stolen from the bandroom.
S.M.P Atkins is appointed Deputy Conductor with responsibility for a "Learner's Class" Total membership is now 28.
|1975||The band rehearse in Tulse Hill School on Mondays and Fridays, learners
Payment to band members is suspended due to financial problems. The fee had been 8/- (40p) per job.
||The band, consisting of around 12 musicians, with no regular conductor
plays at the Lambeth County Show.with several recruitment posters and a
beautifully crafted sandwich board around the bandstand. This was the year
that many of the local councils stopped booking regular brass bands for
During another concert at Eltham Plaisance, some young person starts to take pot shots at us with an air pistol . One hits the trombone player, another whistles right through the band without hitting anyone and another hits the bell of the Euphonium being played by Roger Clements (we still have the instrument and you can still see the dent). It stings the trombone player on the back of his neck. It happens quite quickly, in the middle of a piece and the band just carries on playing. A member of the audience takes action and they chase the lad away.
||The Band is down to 4 regular players.Proposals to disband are defeated
at the AGM by a small margin after lively discussion. Frank Clements writes
to all past members asking them to rejoin,
Malcolm 'Satch' Symonds (ex Guards) is appointed as MD. Several Guards musicians join rehearsals for a 'blow'. Our ability to field a 'legal band' in the nationals is thus restricted.
Frank Clements retires as Chairman and is appointed 'President'
At Chelsea on 16th September the band plays at at the ‘Silver Challenge Boule Tournament presented by the Bank Nationale de Paris. His Excellency Jean Sauvagnargues CCMG, the French Ambassador, threw the first cochonnet.
Some of the stars of Dad's Army are there so the Band plays the Dads Army Theme.
|1980||The composition of the band members for a Radio London Gig on December
Sop Pete Booker, Solo Comet lan Walsh, 1st Cornet Stewart, 2nd Cornet Paul Kind, Rep/flugel Steve Cox
Solo Horn Mick Graham, 2nd. Horn Dennis Madgewick
1st. Baritone Bill Worsfield, 2nd. Baritone Len Arthur, Euphonium, Roger Clements
1st. Trombone Andy Flaxman, 2nd, Trombones lan Whittaker & G. Ballantyne, Bass Trombone Alan Luesby
Basses Steve Green, J. Geeson, C. Geeson
|On 27th March, The Lord Chamberlain writes a very polite letter to the band Secretary refusing our kind offer to play at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, suggesting that a 'local' event might be more appropriate.|
The band is on Robbie Vincent's Radio London "Dial a Carol" programme at Christmas this year (and other years around this time).
||The Band get a film contract ‘Knights and Emeralds‘, . This film is about a brass band which never got to finish any piece
it started to play. Each time they start a piece, either something goes
wrong or it is interrupted by a better, rival, group. Alan Wilson, conductor,
plays all the parts in the better group. They hire professional musicians
to play the brass band, but even though they write in wrong notes, it doesn't
sound right. They couldn't play badly enough so CPB is called in! We join
the Musicians Union and go to a recording studio in Wembley. To get the
right effect we promote our back row cornet players to solo cornet and
put the solo cornet players on the back row! It is great fun, deliberately
making the music go wrong. Although M U rates are paid, the cash is paid
to the band not the players.
The band buy a new maroon secondhand set of uniforms from Hendon Band. Our traditional scarlet jackets were consigned to history.
Alan Wilson persuades the band to start contesting again
|The band rehearsals move to the Fidelis Convent, Central Hill, Crystal
Mike Gray is appointed Musical Director.
Winners of the 'Band Call' Competition sponsored by the Croydon Advertiser
||On 9th October 1993, the band win the SCABA South-east area contest and,
for the first time since the 1950s, qualify for the National Finals on
October 23rd, this time in the 4th section, where they come a creditable
4th from 8. They also have a successful excursion to Germany
|October||The band again reach the National 4th Section Finals at Wembley, this time
achieving an excellent 5th place and top southern band.
|October||Back to Wembley this year, the band repeat their 5th place in the fourth
section of the Nationals. Meanwhile, back in August CPB spent a long weekend
in Holland, where the highlight was a concert in a food mall entertaining
|3rd March||Promoted to the 3rd section, the band achieve 4th place out of the 20 competing
bands in the area qualifying contest. The first three bands go to Wembley.
A busy year sees another trip to Holland, this time performing at the Amsterdam Music Festival.
Sources - All information taken from British Bandsman except as noted below.
1 Dr Denis - Roy Newson, Egon Publishers Ltd.
2 Letter from Harold McEnery, solo cornet player before the war.
3 Letter from Harry Lawn, conductor 1948-53.
4. Documents from Chis Ingram, Son-in-law of Ivan Blagdon - a member in the 1920's
5. Roger Clements - Member 1961 - 2005 and late Chairman
6. Ian Whittaker, Band Member - Principal Trombone and Baritone, circa 1977 - 2009
Information Courtesy of Roger and Rachel Bleach who have detailed references to much of the above information..