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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 Britannia Band still 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.
Plans were submitted before WW2 to demolish the old Band Club building and the Band Room but due to the war this did not take place until the late 1950s/early 1960s when the present Band Club was built.

20th Century references to Officers, Managers, Stewards ect. from newspapers and other documents
This is obviously not complete - please contact us with corrections or to give additional information
1904 T. Abbott (Tommy?) (Steward)
1906 - F. Mason (Secretary)
1910 - 1940 Arthur Patrick (Secretary)
1907 Albert & Sarah Ann Toseland
(Steward & Stewardess)
1911 (Alf?)Toseland
1920 - Charles Evans (Steward)
1926 -G. Northern (President)
1935 - C.P. (Manager)
1939 William and Alice Brown (Stew)
P Copson & G Johnson, Joint-Secs 1939
1940s? ... Cross (see pics below)
1949-51 Cyril and Muriel Plowman
1957 - Denis Main (Steward)
1962 - Alan W.M. and Joan Cowley (Stew)
1966 - Mathew & Joyce Hartill (Stew)
1967 - Jack Buswell (Steward)
1967 - John B Waterfield (Steward)
1975 - Ray & Doreen Downing (Stew)
1982 David Thurlow (Steward)
1987 Rodney Staines (Steward)
1990 - Nick & Alison Miller (Stew)

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 - c1950?
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 - November 1981
Proudly displaying their lower limbs are
L-R:Alan Wright, ? , Ron Carter, John Villette, Melvin Drage.

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 haircuts. As for the knobbly knees competition, Alistair Adams who provided the Life 'n Soul Disco/Cabaret has confirmed the date as 28th November 1981 and the event at the Band Club as being connected with Ken Hartill of Burton Fire Station. 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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