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Article compiled from material currently held in the museum.

The Band Club

The Band Club, High Street, in the early 1900s.
The premises of The Band Club in the High Street in the early 1900s. The figure
in the doorway is probably Albert Toseland, its manager.

The early history of The Band Club has been preserved for us in the Kettering Leader & Observer dated February 1902 in which we learn that it was originally formed in an attempt to keep the Britannia Silver Band alive (to read more about the Britannia Silver Band, please click here). Five or six years previously the Band had ranked among the finest in the county, but had then dwindled away through lack of support. In 1900 it was reformed, "but after an existence of a year it was evident that unless some different steps were taken there would be nothing for the band but to again drop through." Meetings were held and a decision was taken to form a working men's club. Accordingly in February 1901 the band took possesion of the premises off High Street owned by Mr J Cooper and formerly occupied by the Britannia Working Men's Club. In its first year the members of the Club numbered one hundred and fifty. The Band held its practices in the tin hut adjacent to the premises; its last recorded success in competitions was in 1911, but it is unlikely that it still existed after the First world War. The Club moved to a more permanent location in the High Street in the early 1900s until the building was demolished (together with the tin hut) in the late 1950s/early 1960s to make way for its current premises.


Members - from the old to the young
Photograph of The Band Club's oldest members taken about 1940.
The Band Club's Oldest Members - c1940
L-R:Tommy Abbot,Charllie Lines, W Northern, Pete Barlow.
Standing at the back is D Cross, the steward's son.

Photograph of The Band Club Committee taken about 1940.
Band Club Committee - c1940
Standing L-R: Arthur Ellison, Harold Toop, Cyril Mould, George Coleman
Cyril(?) Cross, Albert Toop, George Johnson, Arthur Patrick, Cyril Whitmee
Seated: Ernie Desborough, Jake Barclay, Albert Coleman, Percy Copson.

Photograph of Band Club Ladies Skittle Team taken about 1970.
Band Club Ladies Skittle Team - c1970
Back row: Doll Underwood, Doris Mayes, ? ,
Front row: Susan Allthorpe, Alice Clipson,
Lorna Benford, ?, ? , Betty McGinn.

Photograph dated c1973 of members inside The Jolly Fisherman during a day trip to Skegness. Photograph of male competitors for the knobbly knees competition at The Band Club c 1980.
Outing to Skegness c1973 - inside The Jolly Fisherman
L-R:Leslie Fox, John Villette, Eric Jolly, Keith Carter, Ron Carter,
John Parfitt.
Knobbly Knees Competition - Christmas c1980
Proudly displaying their lower limbs are
L-R:Alan Wright, ? , Ron Carter, John Villette, Melvin Drage.

(Editor's note: Our thanks to Ron Carter for suppling the two photographs above. Ron cannot be sure whether the earlier one came from an outing with The Band Club or The Britannia Club, but we've included it here if only for the sake of comparing hair cuts. As for the knobbly knees competition, it is also possible that it may in fact have been a hairy legs competition, but either way, it does seem to predate the days of male leg grooming.)


Premises - from the old to the new
Part of an 1886 Ordnance Survey Map indicating the place occupied by The Band Club.
Left: This 1886 Ordnance Survey map indicates the premises occupied by The Band Club since the early 1900s. The tin hut was not in existance then.

Right: This aerial shot was taken in 1950. The Band Club was still in the same premises then.

Aerial Photograph taken in 1950 depicting the premises then occupied by The Band Club.


After the demoliton of the old building the premises was rebuilt in two phases, the first phase being the construction of the main building and the second consisting of an extension to the right where the tin hut had once stood.The area around it had by now completely changed; to read about the redevelopment of the area, please click here.

1971 aerial photograph showing the new premises occupied by The Band Club.
Left: 1971 aerial photograph of of the new premises including the extension.

Below: Recent photograph (2007) of The Band Club taken from the High Street.
Photograph of The Band Club taken in 2007 from the High Street.



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