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Shipston Town Band

Shipston Town Band

Genre: Brass Band

Location: Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire

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About Shipston Town Band

Formed in 1912.

Villages such as Brailes, Ilmington and Halford supported a band and were indeed often engaged to perform in Shipston for carnivals and fetes. There was obviously a groundswell of opinion in the town that Shipston ought to have a band.

The Stratford Herald in March 1912 reports that a committee had been formed to begin raising funds to enable a band to be formed. Around the same time William Holman a former military bandmaster, moved into the town and during a conversation with Frank Parsons, a local auctioneer and something of a wag, he accepted a bet that in the space of six weeks he could train a band from scratch fit to march through the streets of Shipston.

Six weeks passed by and on Thursday, 16th May, 1912, Shipston Band gave its first public performance. Using an ingenious system of numbers, William Holman had managed to teach his raw recruits a march and a waltz. The band lined up 19 strong and marched up West Street along Darlingscott Road and down Sheep Street returning to the Square, pausing on route to play their waltz on each street corner. This, so the story goes, proved too much for most of these inexperienced bandsmen and by the time the band had returned to the square only William Holman and the drummer were still playing. Nevertheless William Holman was adjudged to have won his bet and the band has been in existence ever since.

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