Our History

Founded in 1908, West Chiltington Silver Band is one of the oldest bands in West Sussex. We are very proud of our heritage, and we have some members who have been in the band for several decades. 

Origins of the Band

West Chiltington Silver Band was formed in 1908 by landscape gardener and Salvation Army Bandsman, Mr Juden of the village. He was helped by Phil Slater (a builder) and Ed(win) Pullen (a wheelwright, who lent them £20 to buy some instruments.) Ed went to London, toured the music shops and returned home with enough instruments for all ten members! Ed didn’t actually play an instrument but used to walk in front of the band carrying the flag.

 

By Christmas 1908, the players, who had little musical experience when they joined the band, were proficient enough to give their first performance – a concert of hymns and carols.

 

Band Activities

Over the past 100 years, West Chiltington Silver Band has followed similar traditions to other village bands. Regular appearances have included garden parties, flower shows, bonfire marches, Armistace Day, St George's Day, weddings and church services. Christmas carolling has played a significant part in West Chilt's history, right from its first engagement in 1908.

 

The band has played carols in many venues over the years including Cowdray Park, Storrington late night shopping and East Croydon station. The band played annually in Amberley Village Stores, where they occassionally heledp to serve customers with items from shelves behind where the band are playing!

Contest Success

The band started to enter competitions in 1930, beginning with the Brighton Music Festival. On only their second attempt, the band took second prize. The players were so dedicated, that when the band room was too hot for rehearsals, the players could be seen practising outside in Church Square. West Chilt were regulars at the Crystal Palace Championships - travelling by charabanc, at a maximum speed of 20 mph, it took the band three hours each way.

 

This celebrated contest was curtailed by the venue's untimely destruction by fire in 1936. By 1937, the band was taking its contesting very seriously calling itself  "West Chiltington Prize Band". Rumour has it, that today's name of 'silver' band may relate to the amount of silverware amassed during this period. The band's last contest appearance was at Burgess Hill in 1976. The band's performance included "Slater House", a march written for the band by former MD, Alwyn Teasdale, paying tribute to the historical role played by the family throughout the band's existence.

Musical Directors

The band’s founder, Mr Juden, conducted the band until 1913. He was superseded by a Mr Nash who then handed the reins over to a Mr Chatfield, who directed the band for 35 years. The baton changed hands a few more times before finding itself with current horn player, Doug Golds. Doug stepped down as MD in 1970, only to take up the role again in 2002, serving a further four years before handing over to Annette Clifford who led the band from 2006 to 2013.

 

Over a century of leadership

1908 to 1909   A.M. Juden
1910 to 1915   J.B. Nash
1916 to 1951   C.M. Chatfield
1951 to 1952   A. Woods
1952 to 1962   A. Slater
1962 to 1966   H. Streeter
1966 to 1970   D. Golds
1970 to 1971   A. Slater
1971 to 1972   A. Wragg
1972 to 1975   A. Teesdale
1975 to 1980   R. Youngman
1980 to 2002   T. Deacon
2002 to 2006   D. Golds
2006 to 2013   A. Clifford
2013 to 2013  G. Penfold
2013 to              G. Salmon