Helston Town Band has a rich history, which can be traced back to the turn of the century. Indeed, there are members of the current band whose family connections extend back four generations. Inevitably, during the War the band reformed with new members and in 1946 numbers were consolidated when most of its pre-war members returned from active service. The band enjoyed steady progress at this time, which culminated in 1951 when it reached the National 3rd Section Finals at Belle Vue, Manchester.
In 1967, the band came under the direction of Edward Ashton, with whom the band gained much success and a reputation for consistently playing music to a high standard. Edward led the band to numerous successes in both local and regional contests, until his retirement in November 2002 after an incredible 35 years.
Following his retirement, the band appointed John Hitchens as their new Musical Director . The band has continued to flourish under John’s direction: in 2003, they were crowned Cornish First Section Champions, and in 2004 they gained promotion to the National First Section.
In 2006, the band were crowned West of England First Section Champions, and received an invitation to compete in the National First Section Finals in Harrogate, where they achieved a commendable 7th place. The band went on to achieve third place at the West of England First Section Championships in 2007, and were delighted to become West of England First Section Champions once again in 2008.
These excellent results mean that Helston Town Band earned promotion in 2009 to the Championship Section for the first time in its entire history. Now in 2011 the Band are still enjoying the challenge of competing within the Championship Section.
It is for its association with Helston’s world famous Flora Day which Helston Town Band is perhaps best known, when the band leads the dancers through the streets of the town. In addition to Flora Day, the band undertakes many civic functions and performs regularly at concerts throughout the county. The Band has also made international appearances in Italy and Holland.
Throughout its history, the band has remained an integral part of the local community, and has been the means whereby generations of Helstonians have been able to enjoy making music together. The band is very fortunate to have a thriving, 'B' Band, Youth Band and Beginners’ Band, ensuring a sustainable future to come.
Helston Town Band has a rich heritage, which can be traced back to the turn of the century. Indeed, there are members of the current band whose family connections extend back four generations.
Helston Town Band
Location: Helston, Cornwall
Member: Jasmine Ryder-Pollard - Principal Cornet
Philip Bennetts - Flugel Horn
Paul Jenkin - Solo Baritone
Kevin Johns - Solo Euphonium & Deputy Musical Director
Lester Ashton - Solo Trombone
Nathan Tootill - First Eb Bass
Simon Taylor - Percussion