After the Dell

It was during this summer that the Band was to receive a not so welcome letter terminating a long standing engagement.  The Southampton Football Supporters Club gave notice that due to popular demand a disc jockey was to be given an opportunity to entertain the spectators with ‘canned music’ and that our services were no longer required.


The news was received with mixed feelings and although receipts from collections taken had been decreasing in latter years this was still a loss financially and other fund raising sources would have to be found to compensate.


It was ironical that during the following (1969-70) season the football standard at the Dell was much to be desired and the Saints struggling for most of the season to keep in the first division finally ended up fourth from bottom.


However, Reading and Bournemouth contests were attended without much success although a music token was won for deportment at Reading.  It was decided not to enter for the London contest mainly because of insufficient preparation time.


Concerts at the Moose hall, Salisbury; Drill Hall, Andover and the Avenue Hall, Southampton were performed for the first time, the proceeds being donated to charity.


During 1971 the Band were successful at Verwood Contest winning 2nd prize, and two weeks later at the Southampton Sports Centre won 1st prize and 3 medals in the Championship section of Wessex these 2 contests were of a programme variety and under the direction of Stanley Willis, this was followed up for the second year running with 3rd place in the Wessex Winter Contest and fourth place at Reading.


At the Winter Championships at Bournemouth the Contest was followed by a massed Band concert given by the last year’s three winning combinations of which the Albion was one.


We had now started to give concerts on Waterloo Station in order to collect money to swell the funds of the Southern Railway Homes at Woking, these were given a week after the Wessex Contest.  After the performance at Waterloo the Band entrained to Woking, where they were picked up and taken to the Homes for tea and after to give a Christmas Concert to the inmates, some very old and some very young, the Band always complete with Santa Claus.



Band playing at Waterloo, raising money for the Southern Railway Homes


In 1973 the Band were not too successful at Weston-Super-Mare or Bristol West of England Contest, but came back again at the Wessex Summer Contest now held at Weymouth.  Here the Band were placed second and beating our old rivals the T.A. Ass. Band into third place.  After the Contest a successful concert was given by Woodfalls (the day’s winners) the T.A. Ass. and Albion bands.


Band on stage at Weymouth, 1973


Band photograph with Stanley Willis (MD), 1973



During the season many engagements were carried out but we were looking for other means to enable us to purchase a set of new Basses so it was decided to organise a Summer Fete, luckily enough the weather turned out to be a scorcher and the takings enabled us to start the purchase of two instruments and we have found to our dismay that these have risen in price by over £100 since negotiations started, we dread to think of the cost of the other two.