The band at Seaton Town Hall in August 2005
The rural south Somerset village of Stoke-sub-Hamdon has a banding tradition going back to June 1888, when Stoke Military Band played its first engagement on Ham Hill. The press cutting of the event said “ The time and expression were carefully marked”. The band continued until the middle of 1920’s when economic conditions of the time prevailed.
The present band was reformed in 1945 after an adhoc band toured the village during VE and VJ celebrations. In the fifties a traditional brass band formation was adopted, with all woodwind instruments being phased out.
The history of the band may best be characterised as being colourful and chequered; certainly never dull!
In 1995 the band celebrated its 50th anniversary by qualifying for the National Championships at the Royal Albert Hall, yet with in a few years the band had moved away from the contest arena to concentrate on bringing an entertaining programme of light, popular music to the general public.
In October 2006 the band undertook its first overseas trip to Igny near Paris with Crewkerne Twinning Association, which included playing in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.
The band relies entirely on public donation through a schedule of engagements throughout the summer at local fetes, street fayres and bandstand concerts. December is always a busy time with the Christmas Concert and carolling.
A book chronicling the history of the band has been produced in an amusing and witty style by one of its founder members, Alan Richards. Alan died in 2008 following a stroke and attended band practice right up to the night before he was taken ill.
2014 saw some players retire, leaving the band with a core of a dozen players. Fortunately since then new members have joined the band but like most bands we are still looking for more players.
In 2022 the former United Reformed Church were the band had practiced for forty years closed. The band now practices at Castle School. We have now settled into our new home and look forward to a long association with the school.
1991 at URC in Stoke
Norton sub Hamdon Flower Show 1955
1972 at Paignton