Watchet Brass, Somerset Brass Band

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Contents:

Introduction
History

An Introduction to the Watchet Town Band

The Watchet Town Band has been in existence for over 115 years. We hold rehearsals twice weekly in our band room in Watchet.

We provide music for a variety of events including fetes, concerts, garden parties, and the occasional wedding. Religious services are also catered for along with the usual Christmas carols.

Membership of the Watchet Town Band covers a wide age range, starting with learners from about 8 years old onto our senior members where there is no upper limit! For our less experienced players there is a training section, formed from beginners who will be given instruction in both learning to play a brass instrument and how to read music.

Our music library has in excess of 1500 pieces (excluding hymns) that range from old style brass music right through to the latest popular pieces arranged for brass bands.

History of the Watchet Town Band

Even before 1893 there was a band in Watchet. However, at this time it was a military style band with a mixture of both woodwind and brass instruments. When this original band took on the name of the Town Band they converted to a brass band by gradually phasing out the woodwind instruments.

The earliest named bandmaster was Alfred Wedlake, who spent 48 of his 52 years with the band as bandmaster, during his term of office the band practised in a side room of the Star Inn.

The band later moved to the present bandroom situated in Market Street Car Park. Although the building was in a derelict state, they carried out necessary repairs, set about raising the purchase price and finally took possession in 1952.

Tom Bulpin, the next bandmaster, led the band until 1958 when the baton passed to Fred Bishop. Fred remained at the helm until his death in 2001.

The band began contesting under Tom Bulpin and continued more positively with Fred Bishop. During the 1960s they won the area title twice thus making them eligible to compete at the National Finals at that time were held in London.

Although the band no longer contests, we continue to provide music for many events in and around Watchet.