Bandstand on the Quay

Ian Messer

In early 1934 Councillor Jesse Spencer addressed a letter to the Editor of the Christchurch Times seeking subscriptions to build a bandstand on the Quay.  Unfortunately on the 24th February 1934 this letter appeared in the Christchurch Times :-

New Bandstand Subscription        Sir, This is to let the people of the district know that, owing to the poor response to the appeal for subscriptions for the above Bandstand and the different opinions expressed as to how it should be provided all monies so far subscribed will be returned to the givers in one or two days.  I thank the subscribers for their gifts and at the same time apologise for having troubled them.  The subscriptions have ranged from £5 to 5 shillings and a number of others I refused with thanks as I could not see it being a success.  If subscriptions had been as plentiful as advice, it would have been a success.     Yours respectfully    J Spencer

Bandstand on the Quay

Bandstand on the Quay

This seemed to put an end to the matter but in 1937, as a gift to celebrate the coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth, a mystery donor gave the sum of £300.  By October 1937 the design for the Bandstand had been approved by the mystery donor and work was to begin as soon as possible.  In April 1938 the foundations were being dug and the sectional cast iron frame work was already in transit from The Lion Foundry at Kirkintilloch near Glasgow.


Band Stand on the Quay c 1937

Band Stand on the Quay c 1937

The Bandstand was opened by the Mayor Councillor H.E.W. Lapthorne at 7.30pm on Friday 25th June 1938 describing it as a new home for the town band.  An opening march was conducted by Major Andrews Harris, M.V.O, L.R.A.M, L.S.M.

Mr David Llewellyn, Chairman of the Town Band and General Manager of the West Hants Water Company seconded the vote of thanks to Major Harris citing the difficulties faced financing a Town Band and asking for increased support from the residents.

Perhaps Mr Llewellyn should have learned from ex Councillor Spencer’s experience when asking for support, for although we have a wonderful bandstand we no longer have a town band.  So who was the mystery benefactor who donated such a large sum of money?  It was David Llewellyn.

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