Bugle Band | History
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History

Bugle Silver Band is believed to have been formed at Gracca in 1868. Gracca was a small hamlet of about six houses on the South West edge of the village of Bugle.  It was adjacent to a similar sized hamlet known as Beam. There was a substantial underground tin mine at Beam which was subsequently developed into a china clay pit. A cooperage was started at Beam and a terrace of six houses for the coopers was built at Gracca, doubling its size in 1907. Unfortunately there has been very little written about the band until the early 1900’s. Captain Sam Mennear was the Bandmaster at the turn of the century followed by Mr. C. Kestle. In 1912 Mr J Kestle took over and continued until after the First World War.

During the war the band was in the form of a Boys Band. In 1921 Mr. E.J. Williams became Bandmaster and due to his efforts the standard of the band was raised considerably. Mr Williams was of course the father of the late Mr. Eddie Williams who was well known for his many years service with the St. Dennis Band.

In 1927 Bugle Band was the first band to play on the Plymouth Hoe, playing there for four successive days. This was the fore runner of many concerts played on the Hoe, which eventually saw many top bands such as Black Dyke Mills, Fodens Motor Works and CWS Manchester. During this time the band had many successes, winning at several contests around the country.

Bugle Silver was disbanded during the Second World War, and in 1945 was reformed under the leadership of Mr. Richard Lean. From 1947 to 1963 Mr. Gordon Bennetts became Musical Director and many prizes were won, including a high placing at the Belle Vue Contest. After Mr Bennetts’ death Mr Hugh Camps became his successor and remained with the Band until 1977. This was one of the most successful periods Bugle Band had experienced, it entered the Area Contest at Bristol for the first time in 1969 and won the third section by 9 clear points from the band that came second. In the seventies the band qualified for the National Finals in London playing in the second section on 3 occasions and often competed in the Championship Section in Cornwall. From 1977 onwards the Band has had numerous contest successes and competed at the National Finals under subsequent Musical Directors’ Mike Faro, Jonathan Camps, John Sharman and David Pope.

The band under their current musical director Steve Osborne competes nationally in the third section and is financed by earnings from its engagements , grants and from  a hard working supporters committee who run events to raise funds.