Training Band

Band History

A.Horton's Diary



Musical Director

Our Patron

Keep in touch:

Join us on Facebook




The Diary of Alfred Horton

 member of the Hythe Town Band 1893 to 1913

Alfred Horton was a clarinet player with the Hythe Town Band and kept a diary of band activity over a period of 20 years from 1893 to 1913. Why he stopped making entries at that point is unclear. Perhaps he was losing interest because the majority of entries in the latter part of 1913 showed he didn’t attend practises and generally didn’t even record what the band were up to in his absence which was unusual up until then.

Below is an extract from his actual diary for January/February 1900 where you will notice references to the Hythe band playing at the send-off of the East Kent Volunteers to South Africa to participate in the Boer War. 

There are many references to the band’s engagements in and around Hythe playing under the Town Hall, ‘up the Street, in Red Lion Square, along the canal bank and at many social events such as Hythe Cricket Week and various Flower Shows.

As a one-time chairman and committee member of the band at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries Alfred Horton, through his diaries, gives tantalising snippets of band politics with particular regards to an argument (no actual detail given) which culminated in some band members breaking away (himself included) to form what became the Excelsior Band. There are later references to discussions about a re-amalgamation although it is not clear when this took place if in fact it did. An entry dated 29th March 1906 simply says ‘Played under Town Hall. The Town Band broke up’. From this we can perhaps assume that with only one band then remaining in the town namely the Excelsior Band it took over the roll as ‘Town Band’ and eventually reverted to that name.

Below are a few of the more noetd from Mr Horton’s diaries.If anyone has more information or stories, real or anecdotal, or memorabilia, newspaper cuttings or documents relating to the Hythe Town Band please contact us as we would really like to hear from you.


On August 21 I joined the Hythe Town Band as a first clarinet in Bb the band then consisted of the following members:

John Nelson –     Leader, 1st cornet , bandmaster.

George Austen  -    1st cornet, Band Seargant.

George Simple -    Piccolo, Bb clarinet, euphonium.

Harry Cloke -       Ist clarinet Bb

Walter Cloke  -      1st clarinet Bb

Alfred Horton -      1st clarinet, solo clarinet.

James Trueman - 2nd cornet repiano

Alfred Cloke -      3rd cornet

Robert Potter -        Horn had to give up by Dr’s orders Jan 15 – learning side drum.

Edward Palmer -   Horn, side drum

Harry Godden -     1st baritone, euphonium.

William Godfrey -   2nd baritone, tenor trombone, 1st baritone, bass

Charlie Capon -    Euphonium, tenor trombone, cornet

David Arnold -      Bombardon Eb.

Harry Horton -      Bass drum.

Frank James -       Side drum

William Trueman -    Triangle


Practices were held once a week in the skittle alley at the Duke’s Head on Mondays and played out on Wednesdays.





1                 Went to Lyminge it being ‘club day’ from 11am to 10pm had dinner and 4s

27               Played at Saltwood Rectory at a sewing class. Had tea and 1s



24               Played up at Mackinson’s house because two Miss Mackinson’s were married in afternoon. Gave us wedding cake, cigar and 1/3.



1                 Played at the Stanford flower show 3-8pm                    (5/-)



5                 Played at Reach field during bicycle race also at ball in town hall.  (2/6, 2/-)



3                 Played at Institute with Snowball Minstrels





1                 Played at Institute old Folks tea. Had tea and ¼lb of tea to take away. Rouse of the W. Kent played clarinet.



13               Played at Institute at an entertainment in aid of the fire brigade (with string band)     (1/3)



3                 Whit. Monday. Marched from band room through street down Douglas Avenue to canal bank and played there.



3                 Played the Congregational School children down from Hythe Station and then played in Grove.

10               Played in Dr Hackney’s field and marched up street with Church School children.

16               Marched about the street for Sir Bevan Edwards’ party           (2/-)

17               Played the Weslyian schoolchildren home from Seabrook.                (8d)



6                 Played under Town Hall during a dinner in connection with Sir Israel Hart. (had tea)

7                 Played at flower show in Mr Porter’s grounds assisted by 5 men of the 3rd Rifles viz clarinet, cornet, baritone, trombone and Eb bass.           (5/-)



5                 Played at a Ball at School of Musketry to 11 with Nelson and Miss Jarvis

13               Marched to Seabrook

26               Played at Saltwood in afternoon, the others were out in morning. Also played at a Ball at School of Musketry                (3/6)





1                 Played at Institute at old people’s tea

17               Practised with minstrels



30               Went to Dymchurch (club day) from 3 to 11pm                          (3/3d)



16               Played at a Bazaar in Sandling Park                                               (3/9d)

17               Played under Town Hall for the benefit of the promenade Band

29               Played at Flowershow at Beachborough                                  (4/9d)



19               Played in cricket field at Bicycle Parade                                 (2/4d)

26)              Played at a Fete in the

27)              Seabrook Hotel grounds                                                 (5/5d)

29               Played at a Garden Party at Paddock House from 3 to 11pm  (3/6d)

30               Played at an open air service in Grove and marched from Dukes

 Head with the Oddfellows etc



9                 Played under Town Hall on account of the Mayor being presented

                   with a silver tea service                                                  (2d)



2                 Marched up the street on account of the election

13               Marched up the street to the Bell and back





6                 Only 6 turned up so did nothing



20               Headed the procession to church and played in church in morning

                   and evening

22                Headed the procession to the corporation field. Played

in the field in afternoon and on Ladies walk Bridge in evening        (8/6)

30               Played the Weslyian School children down from Saltwood               (7d)



14               Played the Congregational school children down from station and

29               Played the Church Sunday school children up from Reach               (6d)

31               Played in the Porters field which was illuminated. First time

                   wearing our uniform



9                 Practise and committee meeting. The rule was made that the band

                   be divided 1st 2nd & 3rd class

18               Played in cricket field at bicycle parade (cricket week) afterward    (2/8)

at a ball in Town Hall 10-30 to 3-30                                        (4/2)



1                 Marched up street on account of the election also committee


9                 Played under Town Hall on account of H Cobay being made mayor






1                 Played in Institute with most of the band at an exhibition of

                   Animated photographs





30               Went to Ashford to Fete                                                   (6/-)



22               Played Congregational School children from Hythe Station to the

Chapel then played in Grove

23               Played at Officers mess at School of Musketry                        (1/11)



1                 Played in Grove. Received ½ years share of ticket money 11d

20               Played at a Flower Show at Elham                                         (5/4)



9                 Played on cricket field at animated photographs

10               Played in cricket field at cycle parade

11               Played in cricket field at animated photographs

12               ditto

13               ditto. 11/8 for the 5 nights

14               Played the Friendly societies into the Grove to an open air Service

                   It being Hospital Sunday. Were afterwards photographed in

                   cricket field



15               Played at Paddock House on account of Miss Barrett being married

                   Had a cornet & a bass player from Ashford.

                   Played from 3 to 10-30                                                   (5/6)

20               Practise and a special committee meeting to decide what was

                   to be done about A Austin & P Capon refusing to play at 2nd class

                   price. They were suspended till January



9                 Went with 8 others of the Hythe band to assist the Cheriton

                   Band it being Hospital Sunday                                                (2/6)



1                 Played at the election                                                               (1/-)

4                 Practise & committee meeting agreed that I should have

                   5/- a year for reeds

7                 Played in the Cheriton band at a carnival at Folkestone with

                   7 others of the Hythe Band                                                      (4/-)

26               Played under Town Hall, made a collection for the Old Folks’

                   tea which amounted to £1-3-4½



3                 Played under Town Hall

9                 Practise received ticket money from July 1st 12/8

13               Annual meeting to elect the fresh committee viz Godden & Cowel

                   re-elected secretary and Treasurer all the Trustees committee

                   and Potter, C Capon, W Cooper, J Edwards, F Arnold, C Durez and

                   Harris and myself chairman

21               I played two clarinet solos at a smoking concert in Town Hall

                   got up by the band.





2                 Played in Institute at the Old Folks tea

3                 Practise & committee meeting. I was paid 5/- for reeds to

                   Next November

26               Special committee meeting to read Austins & P Capons letters

                   Both were asked to come back to the band

30               Went to a meeting in Swan Hotel of the whole of the band the

                   President & 3 vice Presidents to decide the quarrel & to reform the




1                 Played at a ball at Sandgate (Druids) with 6 of the band & Harris & Miller

                   went for nothing                                                             (8/6)

18               Played under Town Hall & made a collection for the Balaclava

                   heroes which amounted to two pounds 1s 3d



6                 Drilled on Green under F Stanger then marched along S- road, Twiss road

                   High St to Swan Yard



30               Practise received 14/2 as ½ years share of ticket money. Only two

                   2d fines



5                 Played the Congregational School children down from Station then

                   Played in Grove

8                 Played in cricket field to Bean feasters from London in morning &

 in afternoon at a cricket match & in evening in High Street               (6/6)

20               Had a cold supper in Bandroom given by Misses Wilks, Price

                   & Teal



9                 Played in Grove the bandmaster of the 15 Hussars came down to see

                   Nelson about stands

13               Hospital Sunday at Sandgate played the procession from the schools

                   To Encombe then played the Hymns & in evening gave a sacred concert

                   In Grove for Mrs Cowell and collected eleven pounds

14               Played in cricket field it being cricket week

15               Played the dead march at Cowells funeral & in evening played in

                   Cricket field at the old English Fayre

19               Played in cricket field for dancing. Dick Rouse played Coopers Eb in

                   two or three things. For the week received 14/-

20               Hospital Sunday at Hythe played the procession from the Green to

                   the Grove & then played the hymns. Afterwards were photographed in

                   cricket field

23               Played at Flowershow at Seabrook 6 to 9-30                                    (2/6)




10               Played in Swan Yard on account of Miss Elliot being married. Afterwards played at officers mess at School of Musketry                      (1/9)



11               Played under Town Hall made collection for the Widows & orphans fund (of soldiers killed in S Africa) collected one £ sixteen



9                 Played under Town Hall for the three reservists leaving Hythe

26               Played in Institute with a few of the band in the intervals of a Dramatic Recital


The following were the band at the beginning of 1900

Nelson                  Bandmaster

G Austen     Solo cornet

J Eeles                  1st cornet

C Durez       2nd cornet

Mayne                  piccolo

Tooth           flute

W Cooper    Eb clarinet

A Horton      solo clarinet

H Stapleton 1st clarinet

J Edwards  1st clarinet

C Wood       2nd clarinet

W Friend     2nd clarinet

J Perkins     3rd clarinet

E Highwood          3rd clarinet

F Arnold      solo horn

R Potter        1st horn

H Harris      1st trombone

T Bates                 2nd trombone

H Peake      1st Baritone (on euphonium)

E Gosbee     2nd Baritone (on euphonium)

H Godden    solo euphonium

D Arnold      Eb bass

J Alger                  Eb bass

C Webb       Bb bass

H Horton     Bass drum

H Alger                 side drum

H Beach      collector & drum major


C Cox                   trombone

Bennett        horn

C James      clarinet





3                 Went to the Sandgate Artillery Volunteers ball with Nelson, Austen, Cooper, Godden, F Arnold & Alger. Mr Harris went for nothing                  (8/-)

7                 Went to Church morning & evening there being a special service & collection for the war

26               Practise. Afterwards played ‘Beneath Thy Window’ in Dukes Head at the Brewery dinner



3                 Played under Town Hall & collected £2-0s-3½d for the E Kent volunteers going to South Africa

12               Played the E Kent volunteers that are going to S. Africa from the School of Musketry to Shorncliffe Station in morning. Tobin played a horn with us

14               Played at the Druids ball at Sandgate with Nelson, Austen, Cooper, Potter, Godden, Harris & Alger                                                      (8/-)

16               Played under Town Hall on account of Kimberly being relieved

27               Played in Swan Yard on account of the capture of Cronje



1                 Had a march to Seabrook with torches. Afterwards played ‘Kartoum’ under Town Hall on account of the relief of Ladysmith

13               Played under Town Hall because Lord Roberts entered Blomfontein. Hollands 1st came

18               Went to Church with the Mayor, Corporation clubs, volunteers & fire brigade. Had a collection for the war fund

23               Played some E Kent Militia to station from the school of Musketry in afternoon also practise                                             (6d)



28               Played at the funeral of a soldier belonging to School of Musketry & in evening Played in Swan Yard



5                 Played some E Kent volunteers away as far as Cannon Gate in morning also played in Swan Yard

9                 Played at Beach Rocks to the wounded soldiers

17               Played under Town Hall on a telegram being received that Mafeking was relieved. Also played in Institute at a rendering of the ‘Ancient Mariner’

19               Played in the torchlight procession in honour of Mafeking being relieved

29               Practise. Mr Palmer came round to tell us that our army had entered Joh.......... so we marched up to Town Hall & played Rule Brittania



1                 Went to Lyminge it being Club day                                 (7/6)

2                 Played under Town Hall. Godden, Austen & I had new tunics

4                 Went to a Fete at Ashford                                               (8/-)

5                 Played in Grove & in front of Town Hall in honour of Lord Roberts entering Pretoria


1                 Went to church parade at Elham

3                 Played at School treat at Ashford                                             (4/-)

6                 Played in Institute while some bean feasters from London had dinner. Also played in Grove                                                                (2/6)

24               Played at a School treat at the School of Musketry

25               Played the Weslyian School children up through the street at 2 o’clock. At 6 went to Saltwood & played to them then. Part of the band played them home & part played the Church Sunday School children down from Station



2                 Committee meeting in Swan. G Austen resigned because Nelson refused to give P Capon an instrument

11               General meeting. It was decided to have a gentleman committee



4                 Practise. I refused to sign the rules thereby practically resigning. Received ticket money from June                                        (2/9)

11               W Cooper, J Alger & I took our uniforms back

                   (Oct 3 Received 18/- commission on collecting)


Excelsior Band



19               Had a meeting in the Sportsman of ex-members of the Hythe Military band. Present: G Austen, R Potter, D Arnold, F Arnold, J Alger, J Edwards, C Wood,

A Stapleton, C Capon, P Capon & W Cooper & J Cooper. Decided to form a fresh band. I was elected Bandmaster & A Stapleton Treasurer & secretary

26               Had another meeting in Sportsman. F Stanger, W Fordwich, E Highwood & Maycock were elected members



1                 Fresh instruments arrived.

5                 Had the first practise

20               Played out opposite Red Lion, Windsor Castle and East end of Street. Colected £1-15s-2d.  Rec 4/4

21               Went to Cheriton to help the Cheriton band at a Church parade

27               Played in different parts of the Street. Collected 31/2½. Mr Clarke brought a cornet player over                                                  (3/10)



21               Played at Saltwood also decided to discontinue our weekly subscription having paid 5/- each & take 10/- weekly out of the collections for the band fund



19               Went down Park Road, Stade Street, Mayle Tower etc. Also concocted a circular contradicting statements in the Reporter

20               Distributed circulars





22               Met but did not practise on account of the Queen dying. Had a committee meeting. I gave up the bandmastership to Mr Gimblett




2                 Marched the Brewery men to Church with Beethoven’s Funeral march to a Memorial Service for the Queen



29               Played a programme near the Red Lion for D Arnolds benefit. Collected

 £1-6s-0d also had a meeting about buying uniforms



1                 Hamilton Day. Played under Town Hall in morning & opposite Red Lion in evening

6                 Went to Saltwood also were measured for uniform

25               Played up Street. Got our caps & trousers



3                 Played in Stade Street, Park Road and Parade. The tunics came

11               Went to Folkestone and played in the procession from the junction Station which went to meet the volunteers just returned from S. Africa. Afterwards played young Chapman home

15               Played up Street with uniforms



3                 Went to the funeral of D Arnold at Saltwood and played Beethoven’s Funeral March



17               Committee meeting at Cinque Ports. Framed a few new rules

23               Committee meeting to form rules

29               Meeting. Decided to allow Mr Gimblett £1 a week while out of work



12               Meeting of all the band to pass the rules formed by the committee

26               Played in Institute at a poultry show (13 only)

30               Played up Street. Alec Stapleton came back from Bexley Heath asylum






11               Practise & meeting of full band to discuss paying Gimblett & decided to continue paying him £1 a week

30               Sun. Mr Gimblett went away to Yorkshire where he has a situation



2                 General meeting decided to advertise for a bandmaster. Sidney Trueman resigned

7                 Meeting to read letters in answer to advert



10               Played up Street. Started wearing uniforms again



1                 Sun. Marched up the Street on hearing of peace being proclaimed

2                 Played in Swan Yard & afterwards in a procession to the Green

30               Played in torchlight procession                             (5/-)



5                 Were photographed also played up St.

14               Played in Grove for the Folkestone Hospital. Collected two pounds fourteen & six

30               Went to Smeeth with the Juvenile Oddfellows                           (3/-)



4                 Played at a fete in Folkestone football field. Afterwards played the Hythe goal runners down from the Station they having won a banner

7                 Played Weslyian children through Street in morning & went to Saltwood & played them home in evening. Also played in Grove

8                 Played up Street

9                 Played at Sandling Park at the Coronation Festivities

13               Venetian Fete night. Played outside the Red Lion for half an hour



11               Played in Grove. Bandmaster’s benefit collected two pounds seven & six



6                 Committee meeting. Mr Gimblett came over having come to fetch his wife home

20               Played under Town Hall it being the 2nd anniversary of our playing out





15               Played at the laying of the foundation stone of Oddfellows Hall

27               Committee meeting re amalgamation

29               Met the Town Band committee to discuss amalgamation

30               General meeting re amalgamation at Sportsman



4                 Took part in procession at Folkestone in aid of the Hospital

13               Played at Wilberforce Hotel at a Temperance meeting



6                 Miss Madden gave us a supper in the Church House




15               Played the Mayor & Corporation to Church

21               Played up Street. Stanger & H Alger had a fight







9                 Played at a good running match in Corporation Field also played up St

25               Played at a garden party at Enbrook given by Sir E Sassoon



3                 10 of the band went to a bazaar at Newchurch



22               Marched Sandgate Volunteers out



5                 Torchlight procession at Cheriton

9                 Went through Sandgate & Hythe with the Cheriton torchlight procession






24               Played on the Green during sports held by the School children




22               Played up Street also played the Band of Hope children down from the station

26               Stanford Flowershow                                            (5/4)



16               Played in cricket field at a Tattoo with 1st Buffs & Nelson’s lad








29               Played under Town Hall. The Town Band broke up



19               Shifted into the new Bandroom and played under the Town Hall



10               Went to Smeeth Club                                             (4/9½)

24               Played on the Green in afternoon during the Empire day sports & under Town Hall in evening


14               Played in Grove. Mr Bushell measured us for uniforms

16               Dymchurch Club



14               Played the Band of Hope children down from the Station afterwards played in the Street

21               Played up Street. Got the new uniforms off Mr Bushell

25               Mr Griffiths took ten of the Band to the Stanford Flower Show & I took 12 to Aldington

27               Played at the School of Musketry at a treat in afternoon & in Grove in evening



1                 Saltwood Flowershow                                 (4/6)

6                 Ivychurh Bazaar

8                 Lydd Flower Show

13               Tattoo in cricket field. Massed with the Civil Service

20               Played the ‘Dukies’ up to Station                           (2/-)




11               Played the Mayor (J Scott) to Church, afterwards were photographed






11               Went to Saltwood Castle, Mr Lenys & Brockhill



11               General meeting to appoint Trustees

18               Opened an account at the Bank



1                 Concert in the Institute. Capt Orchard presented us with a leopard’s skin drummer’s apron

4                 Played under Town Hall also played the Church House football team up the Street they having been to Ashford & won a shield



24               Mr Griffiths took a small Band Stanford Flower Show & I took one to Aldington Flower Show



7                 Mr Griffiths took a few to Lydd Flower Show. I had a few at the Hythe & Seabrook Flower Show

10               Rehearsed the tattoo in the cricket field with the school boys afterwards played under Town Hall

30               Played at a Tattoo at Folkestone






2                 12 of the band went to a meeting in Folkestone Town Hall about the licensing bill



22               Saltwood Flower Show at Sandling Park



10               Played in cricket field afternoon and evening tattoo with Gordon Boys

11               Cricket field in afternoon and on Parade in evening

12               Cricket field in afternoon and evening tattoo with Ashford Works Band

13               Cricket field in afternoon and Grove in evening. First had chairs out

14               Cricket field in afternoon & evening

15               Cricket field in afternoon & evening

16               Hospital Sunday Service

19               Played in Grove with the non-conformist choir in aid of the hospital

26               Bazaar at Dymchurch





4                 I went with 9 to Stanford Flower Show. Mr Griffiths had 13 at Hythe

5                 Beaconsfield Terrace                                           (4)

9                 Cricket field afternoon & evening

10               Cricket field afternoon. Parade in evening           (4)

11               Cricket field afternoon & evening

12               Cricket field in afternoon. Grove in evening          (4)

13               Cricket field afternoon & evening

14               Cricket field afternoon. Town Hall evening          (4)

15               Hospital Sunday service in afternoon. Grove in evening   (4)

18               Lydd Flower Show







9                 Proclamation of George 5th

20               Played the Mayor & Corporation to the memorial service for Edward V111

27               Played at the christening and launching of the new lifeboat



11               Marched the procession of Brotherhood & Guestling down to the Hotel Imperial & also Town Hall                                  (2)

22               Played Congregational children down from Station & afterwards Grove   (2)



13               Played Junvenile Oddfellows & Foresters up through the St.



9                 Cricket field afternoon

11               Cricket field afternoon

12               Cricket field afternoon & evening

13                   ditto                         ditto

14               Hospital Sunday & Grove                                     (2)

17               Saltwood Flower Show



28               Empire Day sports



9                 Went to Church with the Oddfellows it being their centenary






22               Coronation (Saltwood morning & evening. Hythe afternoon)

23               Sports in cricket field



2                 Saltwood Flower Show

9                 Stanford Flower Show

12               Funeral of a cadet encamped on the Green, also Town Hall   (2)


16               Sandgate Regatta in the afternoon & in the Hythe Cricket Field in evening

17               Cricket field in afternoon and on Parade in evening

18               Cricket field in afternoon & evening

19               Cricket field

20               Hospital Sunday Service






28               Procession in aid of the Titanic fund



2                 Appledore Club



17               School treat at Ashford                                (4/6)                     

24               Temple Ewell Flowershow



15               Cricket field & Grove                                            (2)

16               Cricket field

17               Cricket field & Town Hall                                     (2)

18               Hospital Sunday procession & service also Grove          (4)

21               Sandgate Regatta                                        (5/8)


21               Played out for fire brigade in Stade St, Park Rd & Town Hall

22               Grove (for fire brigade)                                (4)



13               P Capon left for New Zealand






20               Went to Church with Mayor to celebrate St Georges day



1                 Appledore Club

17               Town Hall (1st wearing uniforms)                         (2)

28               Hamstreet Empire Day

29               Garden Party at Lenys



23               Temple Ewell Flower Show



6                 Sandgate Regatta


16               Mayor’s Sunday also procession in afternoon & collection for Welsh miners. Mr Friend of Seabrook first came (in morning)

 The Hythe Town Band Website is sponsored by Your Online Pianist