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For much of the first 75 years or so of its existence, the band had a variety of different ‘homes’ in the town – including an engine shed, social club and before the First World War, the stables of the Tredegar Coal Company.
In a letter received from the United States in 1978 from Mr Jack Nash, a young player with the band from 1910 to 1922, he wrote that, “...the premises behind Commercial Road was the saddest”, whilst he recalled the stables as being, “...where our members had to walk through the stable yards and onto Stable Lane (the outside road) in order to enjoy their intermission smoke as the practice room was a ‘No Smoking Area’.”
However, in late 1946, the band purchased a Maycrete Army Hut which had been deemed surplus to the nation’s requirements following the end of the Second World War, with the annual accounts of 1947 showing that it cost the not inconsiderable sum of £180.00, with a further £288, 7 shillings and 8 pence spent on erection costs and additional expenses.
A letter was sent by the Band Secretary Idris Thomas in January 1947 to the Clerk of Tredegar Urban District Council to grant permission to erect the hut on their new site at the top of Union Street in the heart of the town.
It was accompanied by his plea; ‘I need not emphasise the necessity of having this building erected, as your Council are well aware, it is long overdue’.
However, the wheels of local council bureaucracy ran slowly, and it was not until 3.00pm on Saturday, January 28th 1950 that the ‘New Bandroom’ at Union Street, Tredegar took place. It was opened by Mr Walter Price, Chairman of the Workmen’s Institute Society.
Others included in the picture taken on the day (above) included Gus Powell (first left) and Reg Childs (standing with hands clasped left of the Mayor in his Chain of Office) who was the Band Chairman at the time.
The bandroom served Tredegar Band from 1950 to 1974, when it was compulsory purchased by the local authority. They in return provided a freehold plot of land and a new purpose built rehearsal facility about half a mile away, which has been the band’s home every since.
The old building was left disused for a number of years. It was eventually demolished with a nursing home being built on the site.
The image and card were found in band records.
The aim of this Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) supported project is to provide an on-line multi-media resource that will celebrate and interpret the historical importance of the social, cultural and musical achievements of Tredegar Town Band over a time-line of the past 170 years – from the earliest reported origins in 1849 to date.