Published On: Sat, Aug 25th, 2012

Wellingborough Bands wanted for historic performance

Wellingborough Council is looking for volunteer bands and choirs to be the first to perform on the newly-renovated bandstand in the town’s Castle Fields park.

The opening event will be staged as part of the national bandstand marathon, which will see more than 500 bandstand performances take place all over the country on Sunday 9 September.

The Castle Fields bandstand was built in 1913 for around £350. It hosted its first performance on Easter Sunday 1914, and quickly became a key feature in the community. In recent years it suffered from vandalism and has been closed and shuttered since 2008. Work started last month to restore the 99-year-old-structure, with the £75,000 specialist renovation project funded by money paid to the borough council from developers that have built houses and flats nearby.

The bandstand is constructed from reinforced concrete which is unusual for its age and considered cutting-edge material at the time of its build. It had major problems with its roof structure, drainage and waterproofing. A local firm of builders took on the project to carry out the specialist renovation, which included extensive repairs to the concrete, floor and roof, and expect the work to be completed by the end of August.

Cllr Paul Bell, leader of Wellingborough Council, said: “Restoring the bandstand is something that the community has wanted for a long time. We have the money from developer contributions, which is given to us to mitigate the effects of nearby developments by improving our open spaces, and it is clear that this is what local residents want for Castle Fields. The renovation work
will bring the bandstand back to its former glory so it can be enjoyed in the same way it was nearly 100 years ago.

“Traditionally the bandstand stage provided a platform for orchestral bands and community choirs, projecting their sound across the whole of the park. We’d like to recreate that, and would like to hear from any acoustic artists that would like to take part in this opening event. We also hope that the bands and choirs taking part will reflect the diverse community Wellingborough is so proud of.”

Anyone interested in participating in the event should contact Amanda Johnson or Jennifer Bell at Wellingborough Council on 01933 231 659 or email before Friday 31 August.

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