And the bands played on the town’s Market Place

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I WAS most interested to read your article on the “Bandstand Marathon” and the bandstand history of March and although the present stand is new, March did boast a bandstand which was built around 1914-15 after a collection by both the town’s bands of March - The Railway Band - and the Band of the Volunteers, which eventually evolved into the March Town Band.

The money was raised by both bands by means of concerts and other social events, cost of the stand then was £100, which at that time was a lot of money, these figures were reported in local newspapers.

The site of the bandstand was in Gaul Road Recreation Ground and it was used not only for concerts but as a platform for Ministers and local dignitaries at open air meetings, services and parades.

I was at one of these parades as a member of the local Boy’s Brigade in the recreation ground in 1945.

Sadly a little while afterwards it was demolished as it fell out of use. The area was grassed over and now no one would ever know it had been there.

Information as to how it originated was recorded in a newspaper ‘circa 1914’ and this was reported via a Council meeting where the issue was raised and approved and placed in the hands of the local band committees.

After the war approximately 1948-9 and into the 1950s, summer band concerts were held on the Market Place in March.

One week the Railway Band would play a concert and then perhaps a week or two later the Town Band would play.

The audience would stand around, sometimes two and three deep on the pavements and also around the band, as they played on the Market place. In those days there was no television or like entertainments.

Concerts were not allowed to start before church services were over at 7.45pm and usually finished around 9am to 9.15pm



(Bandsman 1946—2002)