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John Meads 2008

Burton Latimer's Second Band?

Although not positively identified, it is thought likely that this
group is probably the band referred to in the Northampton
Mercury article below.

Burton Latimer once boasted one of the country's best bands in its class - the Britannia Silver Prize Band, which won a first prize at the annual Crystal Palace competition in 1905. However, it seems that the Britannia Band was not the only band to be formed in the town towards the end of the 19th century.

The Northampton Mercury of 14th September 1878 reported the formation of a band, seemingly with Church connections:

"On Thursday week the newly-formed band, who appeared for the first time in public at the Feast, had a dinner at the National (Church) School-room. The tables were decorated with evergreens and flowers, kindly provided by the inhabitants, and the repast was served in good style by Mrs. Miller of the Horse & Groom (now the Old Victoria). At the conclusion the chair was taken by Mr. Henry Harpur, and the vice-chair by the Rev. W. Harris, curate. After "The Queen," Mr. W.T. Quincey proposed "The Friends and Subscribers," and the Vice-Chairman responded. He gave some sound and judicious advice to the members. "The health of the Bandmaster" was proposed by Mr. Frank Miller - Mr. Hammond, in reply, said when he undertook to be their teacher he did not expect to meet with so much success as he had done, but thought much of the credit was due to the Vice-Chairman, Mr. Harris for constantly meeting them at practice. If they worked together energetically and soberly, they would make a good band. Mr. William Quincey said an old musician of the village had remarked to him that day that he was quite surprised that fifteen young men could in so short a time, since May last, be brought to play so well. In complimentary terms, Mr. Charles Fox proposed "The health of the Chairman," who duly responded. Mr. Joseph Freestone proposed that of "The Vice-Chairman." Some capital songs were sung. The proceedings closed a little after 11 p.m."

Twenty-four years later, in February 1902, the following appeared in The Kettering Leader:


The first balance sheet of this club has just been issued, and is a very favourable one. It will be remembered that the club was originated by the Britannia Band which band five or six years ago was ranked amongst the best bands of the county, but owing to lack of support it was allowed to drop for a time. Two years ago, however, the band was re-formed, 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. The members held one or two meetings to consider what steps should be taken and eventually it was decided to form a working men's club. Accordingly, the band took possession of the premises off High-street formerly occupied by the Britannia W.M.C., and belonging to Mr. J. Cooper, on February 2nd last year. That the decision to form a club was a popular one was strikingly shown by the number that joined the institution, there being at one period in the year no less than 150 members.       .

The premises referred to above could have been a former barn approached by an entry from the High Causeway. Later, the Band Club moved to a house in the High Street opposite Piggott's Lane and practised in an adjacent corrugated iron building. Both buildings were demolished in the 1960s and replaced by the single storey building we see today.

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