Wem Jubilee Band ready for birthday bash

Reporter:

Emily Davies

A band is celebrating a big birthday bash next month with a special 40th anniversary concert.

The concert by Wem Jubilee Band is being held on September 30 at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Wem at 3pm, under musical director Roger Thorne.

And as part of its celebrations of 40 years of music-making in Wem, one band member is trying to find out as much as he can about the band’s history.

Principal trombone player and committee member Simon Whiston said: “Bits will go into the programme but I will continue researching even after the concert. Maybe if we can get enough information and photographs potentially we can do a very small locally-produced book or something like that, but it depends on how much information I can get.”

Anyone who can help with memories, information, or photographs can contact him at simwhis@gmail.com

The modern band was formed in 1977, the year of the Queen’s silver jubilee, at a meeting called by the town’s chamber of commerce on September 26.

It was the birth of Wem Jubilee Band - taking its name from the jubilee - but was in fact a revival of a local band tradition, being the first such band in Wem since the old Wem Town Band had folded in the early days of the Second World War. Before that there had been a Wem Silver Band and, in late Victorian times, Wem Perseverance Brass Band.

As for the foundation of the modern band, Simon said: “During the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations, Wem could not find a band in the Shropshire area that could play for them - the best thing that they could manage was ‘piped’ music. At first I thought this meant bagpipes but I later found out that ‘piped’, in this instance, meant recorded.

“The revival of the band was suggested to the local chamber of commerce who then responded by calling a public meeting of all interested parties.”

The inaugural meeting was held at the clubroom in the Castle Hotel. Founder chairman was Gerry Holden, vice chairman Frank Higgins, and secretary John Luce.

The year 1982 saw the purchase of the current maroon and gold uniforms.

Tickets for next month’s anniversary concert, which also features Wem Training Band, are priced at £5 and are available from Clare on 01939 233758, Aimee on 01939 236527, or Sarah on 07870 684212.

Email:

emily.davies@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Whitchurch Herald

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