FROM SMALL BEGINNINGS
By Roy Smith (Taverham Band Chairman 1974 – 1977)
” When, in 1974, Alan Townsend advertised in the Taverham Newsletter for people interested in starting a Brass Band he received only one reply and that was from me. I enlisted my ‘Angling’ friend Phil Robbins and we held the first meeting around my kitchen table with the fore mentioned three plus Alan’s brother Geoff. Our first task was to find a willing Musical Director. Not easy when we had no money, no premises, only two instruments, no music and no players. The only thing we had was unlimited enthusiasm. After very many enquiries we managed to get George Cutting.
A respected Player and Musical Director (ex-Aylsham Band), he smiled and his eyes twinkled as he explained that all we needed was £10,000, 26 Players and instruments. But he was so impressed with our enthusiasm that he left saying that if we could get it started he would help.
We leafleted Taverham for would be players and 18 people turned up but only two more instruments. We held a Jumble Sale and raised £200. We ‘chipped in’ and bought a very ancient ‘part set’ of instruments for £350 and some sets of music. We used the Scout Headquarters for rehearsals and borrowed competent Players from other Bands to help us. We encouraged youngsters to join us in the hope that they would be the future players of a successful Band.
Our first public performance was at Docking (A long way from Taverham in case we were rubbish!). Our second public performance was in the Taverham Hall Gymnasium and went well.
In all this George Cutting, our Musical Director, was our cornerstone. He knew his job and he had contacts in every Band in the area. The role of MD is of paramount importance to the success of every Band. Taverham is fortunate in that the few they have had have helped to build up the standard and reputation of this happy band of players. None less than the current MD, Ian Colman, who has lifted the Band to the dizzy heights that we Founders dreamed of but thought we would never reach. (Incidentally, Ian was one of the youngsters from the early years.)
In the last thirty years there have been countless numbers of people who have helped to raise funds and take an active part in the formation and continuation of the Taverham Band. Without them the Band would not have prospered and our thanks go out to each and every one of them. The four original Founders laid the foundations for a ‘modest bungalow’ but our successors built a magnificent towering ‘skyscraper’. We love it. May it continue for another thirty years. “