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A.Horton's Diary



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Band History

Read the Diary of Alfred Horton: Hythe Town Band 1893 to 1913

Very little is known about the band's formative years except that reference is made in a press article of August 1890 to the formation of a 'Brass and Reed Band' from the existing town band which had, at that time, been running for at least ten years. 

In August 1891 the band gave a notable public performance which prompted the following comment in the local press: 

'The Hythe Town Band played in front of the Sea View Hotel, Seabrook, last Tuesday from 8 - 10pm. This is the first time the band has appeared in uniform, which is very similar to the undress uniform of the East Kent Volunteers, excepting that it is a little neater!' 

In 1894 the band's name was changed to the Hythe Town Military Band.  

At the turn of the century the band split up after disagreements and in September 1900 some musicians broke away to form the Hythe Excelsior Band. 

The Folkestone Herald of Saturday 19 July 1902 published a long report (with photographs by W.H. Jacob of Sandgate and Hythe) on the celebrations held on Wednesday 16 July 1902 by the Sandgate community in association with the coronation of Edward VII.  The Herald’s report on the Sandgate celebrations in the supplement to the issue of 19 July 1902 covered such aspects as “Wednesday’s Enjoyable Events, Presentation of Mugs and Medals, The Children’s Procession, Bonfire and Torches, The Street Decorations,” etc.

The bulk of the Herald’s report was devoted to aspects of the celebrations that centred on the children of Sandgate.  “A procession of children in fancy dress marched from the schools to the ‘Encombe’ grounds.”  The procession was led by the Hythe Town Military Band in their Volunteer Artillery uniforms, under Mr. Bandmaster Nelson.  However it should be noted that later in the report there was a reference to “the band of the Folkestone Company of the Artillery Volunteers, under Bandmaster Nelson”, there were either two different bands or there was some conflicting information in this regard in the newspaper’s report. We know a little more about this now: The Band had a close association with the Army School of Musketry in Hythe. After an inspection by the Army, they became the Artillery Volunteers Band. They would wear either their Artillery uniform or their Town Band uniforms depending on the function.

By 1903 it would seem that whatever had caused the rift had been resolved and the Town Band and the Excelsior Band decided to amalgamate and during that year gave 89 public performances. 


A successful period followed and by the 1920s the band had won an impressive list of competitions and medals. There had also been occasions when the band played to support public appeals, possibly the most notable being in 1912 when the band took to the streets to raise money for the relatives of the victims of the Titanic.   


Hythe Town Band at the top right of the picture: the Parade is led by the Hythe Band of the Salvation Army

Kent Evening Echo 4th. June 1927

In 1939 the band voluntarily broke up as the 'call - up' took its toll. It was resurrected in 1945 and was able to be ready to play for the VE Day celebrations. 



As the Hythe Town Military Band it continued to play until the early 1990s when the name once again changed, this time to the Hythe Town Concert Band.

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