There is no official history of the band and what is shown here has been painstakingly compiled by Richard Taylor. If you know anything at all about the history of Lockerley Band, we would love to hear from you so please do contact us.

1880 - Band Established:

The band was established in 1880 as a Temperance Band and the original conductor was a Mr. Issac Pritchard. He was succeeded by is son Caleb Pritchard who died sometime during the Great War in 1914 -1918. The baton was then taken over by Edwin Moody, who was instrumental in getting the band to joint the Wessex Association and so entering the competition field.

1926 - Band Success

The band's first success was at a contest in Romsey promoted by the Rev. E.F.M. Vokes in conjunction with the 1926 Carnival. They were awarded first prize and solo cornet medal (D Moody) and euphonium medal (L. Pritchard). Encouraged by this the band went on to win quite a number of trophies in the late 1920's and 1930's, including competing successfully two years running at the Amesbury Carnival Contest.

1935 - Band Leader Change

Edwin Moody led the band until the mid 1930's when ill health caused his retirement and his son Dave Moody was appointed conductor. Dave continued in this capacity until 1949.

1949 - H.J. Stockwell takes up the batton

in !949 the band were fortunate to be able to obtain the services of Mr H.J. Stockwell of Swathling as the musical director. In 1950 he led the band to win the Wessex Brass Bands Open Championship. Another of Stockwell's great achievements was taking the band from Section 'C' to Section 'A' of the Wessex Brass Band Association in the space of 1 year. Mr Stockwell continued as MD of the band for almost 30 years, leading them to numerous contest success during that time. He also became a member of the Executive Committee of the National Brass Band Contesting Council of Great Britain and Hon. Secretary of the Wessex Brass Band Association.

1976 - H.J. Stockwell's Silver Jubilee

Mr Stockwell was honoured for 25 years service with the band at a presentation during Dave Moody's golden wedding party.

Walked To Practice

Mr. Charlie Sillence was born at Carters Clay in 1915 and taught to play the cornet at the age of nine by his father, Mr. Walter Sillence. He joined the Lockerley Band in 1925 and was tutored from then on by Mr. David Moody. Such was his keenness that he walked from Newtown to Lockerley for practice until his parents could afford a bicycle for him. The young bandsman soon made progress. He attended the first Wessex Summer contest at Downton in 1925 and the contest at Romsey the following year, playing in every contest since. Like Mr. Moody, his service was interrupted by war. He joined the Army in January, 1942, and served as a P.T. and Aircraft Recognition instructor with an Anti-Aircraft Battery in Malta, returning to England in November, 1945. He carried on with the band as solo cornet under Mr. Moody and took over lead solo cornet from him in 1948. In all he has won eleven medals for solo cornet, four of these in four consecutive contests in one year.

As well as playing , Mr. Sillence has done much on the administrative side to keep the band going. He has been its Hon. Secretary since 1950. and also Treasurer since 1956. He is also solo cornet with Romsey Methodist Circuit Band and trumpeter for Wellow and Nomandsland British Legion. And as if that is not enough, he has also found time to act as a bell ringer at St. Leonard’s Sherfield English. for 42 years.

 

Interview with John Wilkins on Sunday 19th June 2016

By Mary Rogers

 

John Wilkins

 

John Wilkins was born in 1928 at Newbridge (near Copythorne) and his parents were not musical. John joined Cadnam band aged 10 because his friend at Copythorne School (who lived at Pollards Moor) had told him about it. John went along and was put on the cornet. He was taught by Frank Lovell (bandmaster), and John received lessons in Frank’s kitchen. Frank was Marion Bungay’s father. The band room was a hut next to the White Hart pub in Cadnam. John wasn’t particularly comfortable on the cornet, and so moved onto E flat bass which he has played ever since, except for switching to B flat bass for the occasional contest.

 

Cadnam managed to keep going through WW2 because it’s members were rather elderly. They played for Wings for Victory Week, “Buy a Tank”, and “Buy a Spitfire” fundraising events, and John remembers one occasion when they played on the march for 5 miles all around the Cadnam area to raise money for the war effort. John doesn’t remember when Cadnam Band folded, but it was because most members were too old to keep going. The band’s instruments were dispersed; Marion got one, her brother had some, and John Wilkins got one old E flat bass. Cadnam didn’t have much sheet music but John was given the Wright and Round books which were handy for 10-12 players if numbers were short. Useful pieces included the march Staunch and True, and the little waltzes Humpty Dumpty and Heartsease. 

 

After leaving Cadnam, John didn’t play until joining Lockerley in 1955. Another ex- Cadnam player had joined Lockerley and asked John to come along and after 2 years, John went and filled the E flat bass vacancy, playing alongside Walter Sillence (Charlie’s dad) who also played E flat bass. At the time, many of Lockerley’s players were Baptists and Methodists. John also played E flat bass with Michael Pritchard (Isaac Pritchard’s grandson). John later became the bandmaster and then returned to playing E flat bass. His daughter Joan played the tenor horn, as did her mother Joyce. When John joined in 1955, there were not any women in the band, but they needed a tenor horn player for an event, and so after some serious soul searching, Joyce was allowed to play. Joyce Wilkins died in 1985.

 

Other Recollections

 

An old drum which used to be in the bandroom had words painted on it saying that Lockerley Band was established in 1880. 

 

David Moody (the elder) lived opposite the King’s Arms in Lockerley and visited the bandroom every day to look at the music. He played all the instruments in Lockerley Band, especially the cornet, and also played the E flat bass. He was in an army band in WW1 (based in the UK somewhere) and played for long marches - 8 miles in the morning and 8 miles in the afternoon, which was preferable to doing cooking duties. David was actually a market gardener near Carter’s Clay. He worker at the Dean ammunition dump in WW2. He had a son, also called David, who played in Lockerley Band too.

 

The conductor of the 13/07/46 contest A. Halestrap just came for that occasion.

 

D. Judd of the 16/06/62 contest was a guest conductor from Shaftesbury Town Band. He was an old farmer from Sixpenny Handley.

 

Marion’s husband Bob Bungay played E flat bass in Lockerley band.

 

At some point (before John was bandmaster) the vicarage was to be sold and the band got one month’s notice to leave the bandroom. David Moody (the elder) was the bandmaster The band had always played for the village fete for free, but hadn’t paid any rent. Joyce said that the band had squatters’ rights as they had been there for over 25 years. The church gave the room to the Parish Council with the understanding that the band could continue rent free.

 

At one concert, held at Lockerley Memorial Hall in the late 1970s, costume was required. John Wilkins wanted to dress up in a Turkish outfit and was advised by his wife Mary (who was a dress maker) that the red sheer material he planned to make into an exotic robe could not simply be put together quickly. John persevered and decided to make it himself with the use of the sewing machine, adding a home made fez to complete the look. At the concert John changed in the kitchen, removing his trousers and putting on the exotic costume before walking on to conduct. The audience erupted into gales of laughter as the stage lighting shone straight through the flimsy material and revealed more than John had bargained for!

 

Ernie Sillence (some relative of Charlie) died in the bandroom while playing The Acrobat (Greenwood) on the trombone. John Wilkins was conducting.

 

Charlie Sillence (solo cornet, not M.D.) had a stroke (roughly in the 1980s).

 

 

 

  Conductor Chronology Since 1978

 

H. Stockwell finished in around 1978.

 

David Moody (the elder who was Edwin’s son) took over and conducted from about 1978-1984.

They got down to about 11 players at one point.

 

Joe Allan conducted for about one year in around 1985.

 

John Wilkins took over as M.D. in about 1986 and continued until about 2008.

 

Richard Taylor took over in around 2008.

 

Mary Rogers 20/06/2016