The Trumpington Brass Band was started in the year 1864, the originator of the same being Mr. T. R. Higham, then Schoolmaster. A meeting was called by Mr. Higham in the school, Professor J. Grote the Vicar also attending, when it was agreed to start a Brass Band. Ten young men promised to become members, Professor Grote offering to purchase the instruments and the members agreeing to pay for them by instalments, so that every man in time would be the owner of his own instrument, with the exception of the big drum, which was presented to the Band by Mr. Grote on the members having completed paying for their instruments, (so the drum became Band property), the first Instructor of the Band being Mr Higham. After a time, Mr. Higham leaving the village, Mr. Charles Sippell of Cambridge was Instructor, Mr. William Kefford Bandmaster , Mr. G. Medlock Secretary, and Henry Haslop Treasurer. Then followed Mr. J. G. Large, Instructor, who was a most efficient man, making a great improvement in the Band in a very short time. The members paid half the Instructor’s fee and Professor Grote half. Mr. Wm. Kefford left the village to join the Sawston Brass Band, and Mr. John Utteridge was appointed Bandmaster. Mr. David Howard became Secretary.
The Band has had its ups and downs, being at times left with only four or five members, the cause being the men getting employment away, this being a great drawback as fresh members had to be worked up again. The Bandmaster and Secretary took the task upon themselves and very soon got the number of nine men, so that in the space of two years they entered for a contest held at Sandy on the 13th of July, 1882, (obtaining the Second Prize), at the Annual Festival of the Church of England Temperance Society, Ely Diocesan Branch. The next year, another being held in Downing College Grounds, Cambridge, under the C. E. F. S. Annual Festival, they again came out with Second Prize, against a Band of twenty-four performers, three bands contesting. The Band now pushed ahead and increased its membership to eighteen men, and took engagements at Flower Shows, Concerts, etc. during the summer months, the most successful seasons being in the years 1885, -6, and -7. In the latter Jubilee Year, they took the amount of £75 ” 0 ” 0 in engagements, etc., but owing to several of the instruments, including the Bass Drum, being very much out of order, it was found impossible to use them without being thoroughly repaired, which was done at great expense. Also the Side Drum was purchased by the Band from the member on account of his leaving the district.
The year 1890 was a memorable one owing to the loss of three of its members by death, viz. Mr. George Carter, Mr. Henry Haslop, and Mr. John Utteridge, (Bandmaster). The services of a paid Bandmaster were then tried, Mr. A. A. Horlock, he being the Conductor at a Contest held at Whittlesford, the Band again coming out with Second Prize, a fruit dish and stand of the value of £6 ” 0 ” 0, which was afterwards sold, I am informed, to one of the members of the Band. I remained Secretary until the early part of 1892.
This is a true report as far as I can give from memory, as I destroyed my books, accounts, etc., relating to the Band, about two years ago.
In December 1910, David Howard and Robert Haslop wrote notes about the history of Trumpington Amateur Brass Band, from its establishment in 1864 up to the end of 1909, plus a balance sheet for 1909. The then schoolmaster, Percy Robinson , kept a copy of these notes in his files, together with three photographs of the band, reproduced below.
A group of nearly 100 men gathered in front of a thatched cottage, with the Trumpington Brass Band in foreground, most of whom appear to be wearing uniforms and caps, and three figures looking on from a window. The photograph has been dated between the 1860s and the 1880s (probably early 1880s). Percy Robinson collection.
Trumpington Brass Band, dated 1860s to 1880s. Percy Robinson collection.
Trumpington Brass Band, with 10 members standing in line, not dressed in uniforms, with a hedgerow and trees to the rear. The photograph has been dated between the 1860s and the early 1880s. Percy Robinson collection.
“Trumpington Brass Band in the Eighties” [1880s], 13 members of the Band, dressed in uniforms with caps. The photograph by J.G. Simpson of Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, has been dated to the early 1880s, Percy Robinson collection. It was reproduced with a caption in the Cambridge Chronicle , 21 January 1925, p. 9. Another copy held by the Cambridgeshire Collection, recorded as c. 1880.
Trumpington Brass Band
The Band is known by the name of the Trumpington Amateur Brass Band. The Rules state that the Band shall have a Secretary and a Treasurer. Also a Committee of six of the senior members, Secretary and Treasurer to attend all meetings, the said Committee not to hold office more than twelve months without re-election, and a balance sheet may be seen by any subscriber of ten shillings and upwards. The Band to meet twice a week for practice, in the Schoolroom. Also an entrance fee of 2/6 to be paid by every member on joining the Band, and that the Band shall not be broken up so long as there are six members opposed to that cause.
In the year 1892 Mr. A. Austin was Band Conductor, A. Parker Band Master, E. Haslop Secretary, W. Kefford Treasurer, and there were fifteen members. Twelve new instruments were purchased in December by subscriptions at a cost of £ , from the Misses Butler.
In the year 1894 F. Stearn was elected Secretary, and F. Utteridge Treasurer, and both held the same offices till 1899. In the year 1896 the Band bought fifteen new uniforms and caps.
In the year 1900 F. Stearn was elected Band Master, R. Haslop Secretary, and J. Stearn Treasurer. There were twelve members, and one new member during the year, and the total receipts were £34 ” 9 ” 11.
1901. The same Officers were re-elected, a Baritone was purchased for £4 ” 10 ” 0. Total receipts were £32 ” 2 ” 4.
1902. I. Parker was elected Treasurer in place of J. Stearn. Three new members were made, a Trombone was purchased for £3 ” 10 ” 0, and the total receipts £26 ” 4 ” 4.
1903. The same Officers were re-elected, and the number on book was fourteen, and five new members were made. Receipts were £43 ” 3 ” 1. On April 25th the Band entered a Contest at Cambridge under Mr. S. H. Barker, Conductor, and won the first prize of £5 ” 0 ” 0.
1904. The same Officers were re-elected, nineteen names on the books, five new members made; three new Cornets purchased for £21 ” 9 ” 0, and receipts during year £52 ” 9 ” 2½.
1905. The same Officers were re-elected. Twenty names on the book, two new members made. On Feb. 10th a concert was held in the Schoolroom, total receipts of same £2 ” 17 ” 1. Expenditure £1 ” 6 ” 7½. Profit to Band Fund £1 ” 10 ” 5½. Two new Tenor Horns purchased for £9 ” 0 ” 0, and total receipts £40 ” 13 ” 7.
1906. The same Officers were re-elected; seventeen names on the books; two new members made. Total receipts £32 ” 6 ” 0.
1907. The same Officers were re-elected; nineteen members’ names on the books; four new members made. Now Eb Bass and Case purchased for £9 ” 15 ” 0, and total receipts £26 ” 3 ” 4½ .
1908. The same Officers were re-elected; sixteen names on the books; two new members made. Total receipts £25 ” 12 ” 8.
1909. The same Officers were re-elected, viz:- F. Stearn, Band Master and Conductor, R. Haslop, Secretary, and I. Parker, Treasurer. The following members are on the books;-
1. F. Stearn, Solo Cornet, Band Master 9 years, years in Band
2. F. Mynott, Solo Cornet, Committee man, years in Band 10.
3. S. Lawson, Solo Cornet, Committee (left Dec. 1909), years in Band 5.
4. S. Webb, 2nd Cornet, years in Band 3.
5. S. Peters, 3rd Cornet, years in Band 3.
6. E. Chapman, Solo Horn, Vice-Chairman, Committee, years in Band 2.
7. G. Utteridge, 1st Horn, Committee, years in Band 3.
8. E. R. Haslop, 2nd Horn, 1 year in Band.
9. R. Haslop, Solo Baritone, Secretary 9 years, years in Band 17.
10. I. Parker, Solo Euphonium, Treasurer 7 years, years in Band 22.
11. M. Parker, Solo Trombone, Committee, years in Band 21.
12. W. Kefford, Eb Bass, Chairman, Committee, years in Band 27.
13. A. Careless, Bass Drum, years in Band 3.
14. A. E. Starr, Cornet, in Band 6 months.
16. P. Pilgrim, in Band 5 months.
16. A. F. Starr, in Band 1 month.
The Band had one engagement during the summer months, viz: Fowlmere Flower Show on July 8th for £5 ” 5 ” 0, and also visited all subscribers once or twice during the year, and spent £1 ” 8 ” 3 for new music.
Trumpington Brass Band. 1909 Balance Sheet.
The caption in the Cambridge Chronicle states:
“One of the best village bands in the ‘Seventies and ‘Eighties, the Trumpington Brass Band for many years played regularly at Cottenham, Histon, Waterbeach and various other shows and fetes, and was known from one end of the County to the other, and even beyond the borders of Cambridgeshire. The band was formed by the then Schoolmaster of Trumpington, a Mr. Higham, and of the original members two are, happily, still in the land of the living. Only once, so ’tis said, did the band take the wrong turning and that was upon a dark night on the return journey from Cottenham. Whether it was the hospitality of the Cottenham folks or not, is not on record, but anyhow the driver of the four-in-hand got off the right road and the band were driven about the countryside until the early hours of the morning, like lost sheep. In a contest at Sandy, the band secured second prize, being beaten for premier honours by the Albert Institute Band. Surviving members of the band avow and declare they would have won the first prize had their marching been a little steadier; they hasten to assure one that the unsteadiness was due to one bandsman who was little lame. The photograph reproduced above is of the members of the band sometime in the early ‘Eighties. The photographer was J.G. Simpson of Huntingdon Road, Cambridge. The bandsmen, several of whom are still hale and hearty, are (reading from left to right): – Standing: Messrs. D. Howard, H. Haslop, Geo. Howard, H. White, C. Cozed, A. Parker and W. Theford [sic]. Second row: J. Utteridge, Harry Barker (conductor), Fred Utteridge and W. Parker. On Ground: Mr. Joe Medlock (who for years was one of the Judge’s trumpeters) and Mr. E. Carter.”
Additional details: the photograph has been dated to after 1882. The competition in Sandy referred to in the caption was held on 13 July 1882. ‘Mr Higham’ was Thomas Rickard Higham (born 1831), Schoolmaster in Trumpington in the late 1850s and early 1860s. Information about other individuals, derived from the notes about the Band and other sources:
David Howard, Secretary until 1892 (born 1850, died 1932)
Henry Haslop, sometime Treasurer (Robert Haslop, his son, was a band member from 1892-1910) (born 1846, died 1890)
Henry White? (born 1841, died 1907)
C. Cozed, presumably an error
Albert Parker, became Bandmaster in 1892 (born c. 1863, died 1932)
W. Theford, presumably an error for W. Kefford, recorded in 1910 as Chairman, having been a member for 27 years (i.e. from c. 1882) (born 1864, died 1939)
John Utteridge, Bandmaster after William Kefford until his death in 1890 (born 1853, died 1890)
Harry Barker, sometime Conductor
Fred Utteridge, became Treasurer from 1894-99 (born 1857, died 1938)
William Wilson Parker (1842-1924)
Joe Medlock [Joe Madlock] (1851-1943)
Edward James Carter probably (born 1854)
Scanned from Percy Robinson’s original typescript by Howard Slatter.