The Early Years

Early Events in the History of the Band

1889 – Formation of the “High Barnet Foresters’ Brass Band”

The band was formed, as a Brass Band on the 31st January 1889 by the Court Pride of Barnet Foresters and was known as the High Barnet Foresters’ Brass Band.

Forming the Band

Corporal Yeomans of the 7th Kings Royal Rifles Corps was appointed as its first Musical Director at the first committee meeting in February 1889. This appointment was not unopposed.

Minutes of first committee meeting showing that election of conductor was not unopposed

18th March 1889 – First Engagement

The band’s first engagement was at The Green Man on March 18th 1889.

1895 – Change of Conductor

Mr George Byford on 6th March 1895 succeeded Corporal Yeomans as Conductor at a salary of 3/- (three shillings or 15 new pence) per week and he held this position until 1907. During his conductorship, the Band attended numerous contests and won many prizes.

April 1898 – New Instruments

Dr Osborne Boyes presented a new set of brass instruments to the band at a dinner held at the Star Public House. These replaced the original 15 instruments, which were purchased new at a cost of £42/0/0 (forty two pounds). The bulk of the cost of these original instruments had been covered by a loan from Mr Emm.

1898 – First Prize in Fulham Brass Band Contest

In the same year, the Band entered the Fulham Brass Band Contest and gained First Prize, thus setting a precedent as, over the years, the Band has won over 150 prizes.

1898 – Founder Member of London and Home Counties Amateur Band Association

About this time, the band was instrumental (oops!) in the setting up of the London and Home Counties Amateur Band Association, thus becoming a founder member.

By 1899 – Band Name Change

Receipt for printing

By 1899, the band had been renamed as The Barnet Town Band, as can be seen on this receipt for the printing of 20 circulars by Barnet’s Steam printer, E. S. Wheatley.

1908 – New Musical Director

Mr Byford was succeeded in 1908 by Mr T. A. Cheek as Musical Director. Mr Cheek started as an instrumentalist in the band and his subsequent record as Director of Music was outstanding.

The Band took Second Prize at Bromley, First prize at Dartford and, perhaps most significant of all, the First prize at the Association Contest at Crystal Palace.

By 1921 – Yet another name change!

By 1921, the band was known as The Barnet Town Silver Prize Band, as described in this receipt for the loan of a band cornet by Alfred Richards.

Receipt for cornet

War Memorial Opening

The band played at the opening of the War Memorial in High Barnet, as recorded in this document, whose source is unknown. Subsequently the Band continued to provide the music for annual Remembrance Sunday parades.

The band played at the opening of the War Memorial in High Barnet (source unknown).