The 1968 Christmas Concert featured the Band, and a concert performance of ‘Trial by Jury’ by Gilbert and Sullivan. This should not be confused with the staged version of ‘Trial by Jury’ that took place at Cray Valley some years earlier.
After the interval the 1968 Festival Concert continued with Primary Schools choral and instrumental performances, the Bromley Youth Symphony orchestra played and the evening concluded with the full ensemble of choirs, orchestra and Organ.
The programme for the July 1968 Festival Concert shows just how varied the repertoire was, with contributions from both primary and secondary Schools in the Borough. Peter Woodward conducted the Secondary Schools’ Massed Brass Band and I am sure those who sang at this event will recall Gordon Jacobs ‘Highways – A Cantata of Travel’. Gordon Jacobs was invited to conduct this performance but unfortunately was unable to make the journey from his home in East Anglia.
Shown here is the front cover of Festival Concert held on 4th July 1968 at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon. Many of the London Borough of Bromley Schools took part and Cray Valley made contributions both Chorally and with the Band. The event was so popular that a further evening, hosted by one of the local Secondary Schools, was arranged to accommodate those who were unable to get tickets for the Fairfield Halls concert.
The rear of the photograph is signed by all the Band members, a parting memento for Peter Woodward.
A photograph of Peter Woodward together with the Cray Valley Band at Christmas 1973, just prior to him leaving to join Sevenoaks School.
This second part of the ‘Our Mr Pip’ press review. Note the mention of Messrs Carbery and John (Johnny) Gale.
This is the first part of the press review of ‘Our Mr Pip’. The composer, Gwyn Arch MBE, went on to do much work as a composer and arranger of music and is still working in this sphere in 2010. His son, David Arch, is a very prominent and successful musician composing for TV and Film, working with many famous artists in the world of music and show business and is also the Musical Director of the BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ programme.
The second page of William (Bill) Overton’s letter to Peter Woodward.
William Overton, Principal Trumpet in the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Bandmaster of the Lewisham Citadel Band of the Salvation Army, writes to Peter Woodward in November 1973 to express his good luck for the future. William Overton helped tutor the Band.
The final page of John Kingsland’s letter.
The second page of John Kingsland’s letter to Peter Woodward in November 1973.
John Kingsland writes a personal congratulatory letter to Peter Woodward and his wife Olive. “ I am very delighted that at last, you are to have the kind of opportunity your talents and hard work so richly merit”.
The Headmaster of Langley Park School writes Peter Woodward to express thanks and good wishes.
The Chairman of Cray Valley School Governors writes to Peter Woodward expressing their appreciation of his devoted service during the past ten years and in particular his achievement in developing a brass band which has earned a high reputation.
And most fittingly – our final picture in Book 4 is that of Peter Woodward doing what many remember him for – conducting and leading us all in our musical aspirations.
The actual programme for the ‘Voices and Brass’ evening is shown here together with an advertisement for John S Spice who had a musical instrument shop at Sidcup Hill. The shop and its proprietor will be remembered by many.
Two of the inner pages of the Voices and Brass programme are shown here. A short biography of Peter Woodward is featured and, on the opposite page, an advert for the Derek Cadde Music Centre which was located in Orpington and will be remembered by many. The Derek Cadde Music Centre was a popular haunt for those of us interested in keyboard instruments.
The rear of the ‘Voices and Brass’ programme gives thanks to Cray Valley Technical School, Peter Woodward and other key people involved in the concert.
The Lewisham Concert Band programme for 10th October 1971 shows the Cray Valley Band’s repertoire and their billing as special guests.
The cover of the Lewisham Concert Band programme for the Band’s 10th October 1971 performance.
The programme for 11th February 1972 ‘Festival of Queens’ shows the Band playing the introductory Fanfare plus other musical items.
In February 1972, less than a month after the Westminster Central Hall performance, the whole Band perform at the ‘Festival of Queens’, this time at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon.
At the 15th January 1972 ‘Festival of Queens’ a group of the Band’s members perform the Fanfare under the baton of Peter Woodward.
In January 1972 a group of the Band’s members travel to London to perform at the ‘Festival of Queens’ at the Westminster City Hall
The 9th January 1971 ‘Festival of Queens’ programme shows the Band playing in the company of Michael Aspel and Cyril Jackson.
9th January 1971 saw the Band performing again at the Westminster Central Hall as part of the ‘Festival of Queens’.
Elsewhere in the programme for ‘Saturday Night is Music Night’ is the list of the members of both the Sidcup Symphony Orchestra and the Cray Valley School Band. At least one person played in both.
The detailed programme shows the major part played by the Band on 9th March 1971 at the Orpington Gateway Club’s concert held at the Methodist Church, Orpington.
In March 1971 the Band performed at the Methodist Church in Orpington, in aid of the Orpington Gateway Club. The 1971 edition of ‘The Rook’ records this was “helped by a local folk group who were connected with the Club, the concert was much appreciated by the audience, many of whom were parents of members of the Club”.
A full programme for the 14th December 1971 Christmas Concert features the Band and the Junior Choir. Graham Ashton is the soloist for Telemann’s Trumpet Concerto in D and Mozart’s ‘Alleluia’. The Junior Choir perform under the baton of Mr Vignoles.
The front cover of the programme for the 14th December 1971 Christmas Concert.
The 1972 season ended with the Band, the Choir – under Mr Vignoles – and the School Orchestra giving two performances for their December 1972 Christmas Concert ‘Voices & Brass’. A “glorious finale to a busy term” is reported in the 1973 edition of ‘The Rook’.
This is the cover of the ‘Voices & Brass’ Christmas Concert programme for December 1972. Note that this is ‘Performers Souvenir Programme No 50.
This is the adjudicator’s report on the Band’s performance in the Junior Section at the November 1972 Brass Band Competition at Chatham. The Band came first in this section.
In July 1973 Reigate Housing for the Elderly write to thank Mr Woodward and the boys of Cray Valley for the most enjoyable programme of music that they gave at Eversfield.
‘School band to lose man who inspired them’ is the headline of the Kentish Times on 6th December 1973 when they report about Peter Woodward leaving Cray Valley and moving to Sevenoaks School. Note also the editorial Leader which talks about the educational changes taking place in the Bromley Borough at that time.
A personal handwritten letter and one to the press pay tribute to Peter Woodward and what he had achieved at Cray Valley.
The press report of the 1973 Christmas Concert tells of it becoming a “farewell occasion, in which the boys excelled themselves in a programme of Band pieces by leading composers”. “There were thanks from the headmaster, Mr W R Turner, a gift to Mr Woodward of a miniature trombone, mounted on a base made in the School’s workshop, terrific applause and a hearty singing of ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’ as a final send-off….”
A letter to the press by a Cray Valley parent argues against proposed changes to the School.
The back of the 1973 Christmas Concert programme includes credits for the Christmas decorations and its printing at Cray Valley School.
The programme of music at the 1973 Christmas Concert included performances from both the Band and the Choir.
Inside the cover of the 1973 Christmas Concert programme is a tribute to Peter Woodward thanking him “for the 9 years of friendship and leadership that he has given us and our predecessors since the Band was formed in February 1965”.
The programme cover of the 1973 Christmas Concert, the last concert at Cray Valley to involve Peter Woodward prior to his leaving to take up a position at Sevenoaks School.
The programme for the 5th May 1973 ‘Saturday Night is Music Night’ shows both the repertoire for the evening and gives a brief biography of Peter Woodward and the Cray Valley Band.
The press report on the 5th May 1973 ‘Saturday Night is Music Night’. “Cray Valley School Band has gained distinction in competitions and by broadcasting, and the reason for its success seems apparent. Under its music master, Peter Woodward, it has reached a high standard, and its playing was marked by verve and good expression”.
A poster advertises ‘Saturday Night is Music Night’ to be held on 5th May 1973 featuring the Sidcup Symphony Orchestra, The Cray Valley School Band and Soprano, Cynthia Glover.
The performers ‘Running Order’ for the Fairfield Hall, Croydon Grand Massed Bands Concert on 2nd April 1973.
“The virile sound of brass echoed round the Fairfield Hall on Monday …” The press report on the Grand Massed Bands Concert at the Fairfield Hall on April 2nd 1973.
The event programme for the 2nd April 1973 Grand Massed Bands Concert shows the Band’s repertoire at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon which includes their competition winning ‘Three Impressions for Brass’ and ‘The Headless Horseman’, as well as Massed Band performances with the Band of the Coldstream Guards.
In March 1973 the Band again play at the under 15’s England v Wales match at Twickenham.
Part of the running programme for Monday, 2nd April 1973 shows the arrangements for the Cray Valley Band’s performance at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon with the Coldstream Guards.
As part of the arrangements for the 21st March 1973 event the Rugby Football Union write to Peter Woodward advising on domestic matters for the day.
The programme for the Cray Valley Band’s music played at Twickenham on 21st March 1973.
Mr Woodward & Boys received a thank you letter from the Friends of St. Cecilia’s. “What a super evening you gave us – everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and our funds have been increased by the grand sum of £111. You really do an excellent job and deserve all the success you are having”.
‘School Band Delights Audience’ – the press report of the Band’s performance at the Orpington Civic Hall on 20th March 1973 at which more than £100 was raised for the St. Cecilia’s Cheshire Home, Bromley.
A poster advertises the Cray Valley School Band Concert at the Civic Hall Orpington. This was again in aid of the St. Celia’s Cheshire Home, Bromley.
In March 1973 ‘Mr Woodward and Musicians’ receive a thank you letter from Twyford School Parents and Teachers Association, thanking them for “the splendid evening’s entertainment” on 16th February.
And the press report on the Band’s ‘Blue Peter’ performance.
Alice Ritson, a former secretary to Mr Kingsland, sends a Greeting Telegram to the Cray Valley School Band.
Alice Ritson’s Greetings Telegram says it all “Congratulations on fine TV performance”.
The programme’s Director, David Langford, writes to Mr Woodward thanking him and the Band. “Everyone in the ‘Blue Peter’ team thought that the boys’ performance of ‘Hootenanny’ was a great success and you should be proud of them”.
The other half of the BBC studio rostra layout drawing for the Band appearing on the BBC ‘Blue Peter’ programme of 5th February 1973.
In planning the Band’s appearance on ‘Blue Peter’ the BBC provided rostra layout drawings, giving the studio positions for each section of the Band.
The final page shows the end of this ‘Blue Peter’ programme’
The penultimate page of the ‘Blue Peter’ script gives the lead out of the programme where they mention the Cray Valley Boys Band will be playing again at the Fairfield Hall in Croydon on April 2nd in the company of the Coldstream Guards!
Further into the ‘Blue Peter’ script can be seen the introduction by John Noakes leading in to the Band’s performance which had been recorded earlier that the day.
The first page of the ‘Blue Peter’ camera script shows the overall programme scheduling and who is who.
Three more screen shots show the Band, together with the ‘Blue Peter’ presenters at that time – Peter Purves, Lesley Judd and John Noakes.
Three TV screen shots show the Band performing on the BBC ‘Blue Peter’ programme on 5th February 1973. The short press clipping gives advanced publicity.
The Band had been spotted by the ‘Blue Peter’ team at the January 1973 National Children’s Home ‘Festival of Queen’s’ and, following a visit to Cray Valley by the programme’s Director, a letter is received confirming arrangements for the Band to perform on the BBC ‘Blue Peter’ programme of Monday, 5th February 1973.
Mr Woodward receives a sincere ‘THANK YOU’ both to himself and the boys for their splendid support. The letter from the National Children’s Home goes on to say that they had received a number of congratulatory comments on the performances given.
January 1973 and the Band again perform at the ‘Festival of Queens’ at Westminster Central Hall.
The press report of the 1972 Christmas Concert talks of the “eight-year old brass band”. “The sound was at times mellow and at times rousing. But the audience seemed most enthusiastic about the encores”. The report goes on to talk about the Choir, under the direction of Mr Vignoles, now numbering about 50 and which performed the first half of Concert programme.
In November 1972 the Band again competed in the Brass Band competition at Chatham. They had been promoted to the Second Section because of their previous record, and William Overton, one of the world’s foremost Brass tutors, visited the School a few days prior to the competition to add the finishing touch to the shine that the Band had worked up during their long and gruelling build-up to the contest. The highlight for the Band was the Junior Section which, competing against the Ringmer School Band, they won playing ‘Three Impressions for Brass’.
‘Sounding Brass 72’ combined the talents of the Band, the Choir and the Dance Band to give an interesting and varied programme. Graham Ashton was the trumpet soloist playing ‘Lazy Trumpeter’.
The ‘Sounding Brass 72’ concert continued the tradition of this regular event.
The July 1972 programme for a performance by the Band at a Grand Garden Fete in aid of the St George’s Church, Wrotham, Restoration.
In May 1972 the Band perform again at the Fairfield Hall in Croydon, this time at part of the London Borough of Bromley Schools’ Music Association Ralph Vaughan Williams Festival Concert.
On 22nd March 1972 the Band performed at the Rugby Football Schools’ Union ’15 Group’ England Versus Wales match at Twickenham in which Peter Moss from Cray Valley was playing in the position of Flanker.
Shown here are the teams playing in the 22nd March 1972 Rugby Football Schools’ Union England versus Wales Rugby Match, together with a reference to the Band and to Peter Woodward. This was an excellent example, contrary to popular belief, of the co-operation that existed between Messrs Woodward and Carr, Martin Carr being instrumental in arranging for the Band to perform at this occasion.
Mr Woodward receives a letter from the friends of St. Celia’s thanking him both for the Band’s performance – “the enthusiasm put me very much in mind of an evening at the Proms” – and Mr Vignoles and the choir “for coming along and adding to the enjoyment of the evening”.
“The Band gave a polished and assured performance” says the press report that followed the Band’s Methodist Church Orpington performance in March 1971 in front of nearly 200 people who “packed the Methodist Church, Orpington”.
The local press give advance publicity for the forthcoming charity performance of the Band and the Caledonian Junior Dancers at the Civic Hall Orpington in March 1972 which was in aid of the Friends of St Celia’s Home for the Sick.
“The Band, always a major box-office attraction, gave an exciting and professional performance” says the press report of their playing at the Orpington Civic Hall in March 1972 together with the Orpington Caledonian Society junior dance team and in aid of the St Celia’s Cheshire Home Bromley. “Full credit must go to the Band’s conductor and music teacher, Mr Peter Woodward”. The second press clipping records that the Band is “well-known throughout the country for its polished performances. Last year they gave 21 performances in aid of charities and already this year have performed at the Central Hall Westminster and Fairfield Halls, Croydon”.
“Regarded as one of the best in the country” says a press report on the Band performing its Christmas Concert on 14th December 1970 for St Mary Cray old age pensioners and then to a wider audience on 15th and 16th December. The Clarinet Quartet under their teacher John Brightwell gave its first public performance and the first year boys sang ‘Christmas Jazz’ accompanied by Peter Woodward on organ and the “very excellent” 14 year-old percussionist Richard Furlong on Drums.
This programme from Friday, 5th November 1971 shows the Band performing again at the Lewisham Concert Hall this time as part of a London Road Safety Quiz Night.
The Hon. Secretary of the South-East London Road Safety Advisory Council writes to thank the Band for “the wonderful entertainment” supplied on 5th November 1971 at the London Road Safety Quiz Night.
“Cray blows a good tune”. This very favourable press cutting from the ‘News Shopper’ in July 1971 shows a Band member in action and records that “good brass bands don’t have to come from the North of England”. It goes on to mention the Band’s dates with the BBC and at the Central Hall Westminster and that the Band “has become one of the most respected in country”.
This poster advertises the Cray Valley School Band as special guest performers on Sunday, 10th October 1971 in a programme of selected light music presented by the Lewisham Concert Band.
In July 1971 a congratulatory letter by Bruce Cherrington and David Stent (old boys) was sent to Peter Woodward following their attending the most recent and in their opinion, “the most professional and entertaining of the Band’s performances”.
The 23rd July 1971 Kentish Times report ‘School Can Be Proud of Their Band’ says it all and gives a glowing report of the 1971 ‘Sounding Brass’ concert. Note the reference and thanks to Andrew Dingwall who is also mentioned in Peter Woodward’s interview.
At the July 1971 ‘Sounding Brass’ programme, the highlight was a performance of Tchaikovsky’s ‘1812 Overture’ complete with canon effects. The 1972 edition of ‘The Rook’ says “Owing to the explosives, I know many a heart missed beat during rehearsals”. The concert was also the debut for the Dance Band Section and, as can be seen here, the Band played ‘The Girl from Cambridge’ by Owen Bryce, father of Jan, who was the trombone soloist.
A further autographed copy from the second night performance of the July 1971 ‘Sounding Brass’ programme, and includes Messrs Menhinick, Gould, Isom, Palmer, Hall and Thornhill – the Band’s founder members.
This copy of the 1971 ‘Sounding Brass’ first night programme must be a collectors item, featuring the autographs of Peter Woodward and the Band members of that time.
The press cutting from July 1971 shows the return to Cray Valley of Clive Menhinick, Ian Gould, Timothy Isom, Michael Palmer, Peter Hall and Graham Thornhill who, as founder members of the Band, returned to play in the ‘Sounding Brass’ concert.
Iris Bryce, Jan Bryce’s mum, is featured in the Sevenoaks Chronicle with her a book about bringing up a family in rural Kent from the ‘50s to the ‘70s.
This press cutting features Jan Bryce, the son of Owen Bryce the prominent jazz musician. Jan is mentioned in Peter Woodward’s interview and, in this press cutting, talks of his playing of Jazz. Jan is quoted as saying “Although the Head is not exactly encouraging me, he’s got nothing against me playing it. My music master though, is also a jazz fan …. We often have jam sessions together.
The Orpington Gateway Club writes a letter of thanks to the School for the Band’s performance at the Orpington Gateway Youth Club. The amount raised on that evening was recorded as £41.
On 15th January 1971 the Band appeared at the Civic Hall in Orpington at the ‘Festival of Queens’, again in aid of the National Children’s Home.
Just a few days after the Orpington ‘Festival of Queens’ Mr Turner received a thank you letter from the Appeals Secretary of the National Children’s Home, conveying their appreciation and saying how the Band’s performance added greatly to the success of the endeavour.
The Programme for the 9th January 1971 Festival of Queens at the Central Hall Westminster is pictured here, together with a receipt for £5 17s 6p (£5-87½p) that had been raised by the sale of records. The Festival was in aid of the National Children’s Homes and two memorable performances were given to a combined audience of around 4000 people.
On 14th January 1971 the National Children’s Home wrote to Mr Turner to express their thanks for the splendid performance which the Band gave at the London Festival. “Their splendid playing was much appreciated, and greatly enjoyed by all.”g
In addition to the Band, the 1970 Christmas Concert programme includes performances by the Clarinet quartet and first year choir.
Continuing the style of previous years this is the Christmas Concert programme for 1970.hg
‘Voices ands Brass’. On 8th December 1970 the Orpington Silver Band with the Cray Valley Technical School Band and the Crofton Choir performed at the Civic Hall, Orpington in aid of the Bromley Society for Mentally Handicapped Children.
The second of the adjudicator’s reports for the Band at the 1970 Winter Band Festival.
The first of two adjudicator’s reports of the Chatham Winter Band Festival.
The 6th Winter Band Festival of the Royal Tunbridge Wells and District Band Federation took place in November 1970 at Chatham. The Band took first place in the contest, beating an adult Band, and won the Arthur Jarvis Memorial Trophy. They also came second in the Schools’ section on the same day.
In December 1970 the Hon. Secretary of the Orpington Silver Band thanks Mr Woodward for the Cray Valley Technical School Band’s “fine performance” at the concert.
In October 1970 the Chislehurst Imperial Centenary Committee writes to thank Mr Woodward for the excellent performance which he and the Cray Valley School Band made for their Centenary Celebrations. The Centenary Committee had been formed to commemorate the arrival of the Imperial Family of France on 20th September 1870. In connection with this the Band was also heard on the Radio Europe programme ’Tonight’.
In October 1970 – A thank you letter is received from the Vicar of St Barnabas Church at St Paul’s Cray for the Band’s performance.
The Band and the School’s contribution to the Old People’s Welfare Organisation minibus fund are reported by the press. “The Band’s continued success is clearly due to the skill and enthusiasm of its conductor, Peter Woodward; and his pleasant and informative way of addressing the audience greatly adds to the enjoyment too”. Note also the reference, amongst others, to Graham Ashton and his achievement. At the top of the scan of this page is a press cutting which mentions the Band’s forthcoming second L.P.
This was the 1970 programme for the Sounding Brass concert which also featured the Orpington and District Caledonian Society Junior Scottish Country Dancers. The Euphonium soloist was Graham Ashton.
The cover of the programme for the June 1970 Warren Road School fete.
The Warren Road School (Orpington) Parents’ Teacher Association thank the School for the Band playing at their June 1970 fete. The letter says – “I have lost count of the number of complimentary remarks ….”
The School receives another thank you letter this time for the Band’s participation in providing entertainment during an Inter-Schools Quiz Competition.
June 1970 and the Chislehurst, Mottingham & St Paul’s Cray Old People’s Welfare Committee thank the School and the Band for £30 that had been raised for their minibus fund.
In April 1970 the School received this thank you letter from the Chislehurst branch of the National Federation of Old Pensions Associations. They had attended at the School to listen to a Band Concert. They “could have listened all night…”
The 1969 Christmas Concert programme features the Band, again with an interesting repertoire both for the Band and brass soloists. Note here Graham Ashton, the Euphonium soloist. With a distinguished career in music, and with many achievements, Graham is currently Professor of Trumpet, and Chair of Brass at Purchase College, State University of New York.
It looks the same as the previous photograph, but here the Band take a break from their playing.
The Band resplendent on the stage in the Cray Valley Assembly Hall. This picture also features in the 1970 Edition of ‘The Rook’.
In October 1969, using a garden hose, the Red Hill Junior School Parents Association audience received a demonstration of the principle of a wind instrument.
This is the Band photograph that featured in the 1970 Edition of ‘The Rook’ next to a report of the Massed Bands Concert.
An outstanding picture of the members of the Band with their instruments. Was this used for the LP sleeve I wonder?
And here is the full plate black and white negative of the Band’s photograph.
1969 – The trombones perform.
1969 – It’s not quite so easy to recognise who is playing here. Can you tell us who is who?
1969 – Who recognises themselves from the seven lads performing here?
1969 – This is another of the more detailed shots of the combined Cray Valley and Ringmer Band.
This longer shot, taken in the Cray Valley School Assembly Hall, shows the combined Cray Valley an Ringmer Band at rehearsal. Does anyone know what is happening at the table in the bottom left of the photograph? Could it be the reel-to-reel tape recorder sometimes borrowed from the Borough Music Director’s (Roy Smith) office to record school performances and transfer them to LPs?
1969 – A further sectional photograph of the combined Band with the trombone section to the fore.
1969 – Peter Woodward rehearses the joint Cray Valley and Ringmer Bands in the Assembly Hall at Cray Valley.
1969 – The scan of this photograph is particularly interesting as it also features an actual Band Badge, worn on the blazer sleeves of the players. In this scan the badge which overlays the photo looks almost three dimensional.
1969 – Again, a different perspective of the combined Bands in action when the girls from Ringmer School as well as the boys took part.
1969 – Aside from the gleaming brass instruments and performers shown here, note the Cray Valley and Ringmer Schools’ different neckties.
1969 – Another section of the Cray Valley and Ringmer combined Band perform.
1969 – The following sequence of photographs shows the combined Cray Valley and Ringmer Brass Bands performing. Note each School’s banners displayed on the music stands.
And so that the Band knew the running order for the 1969 ‘Sounding Brass’ concert here is their copy of their version of the programme.
The 1969 ‘Sounding Brass’ Concert was somewhat different. The Cray Valley Band joined with that of Ringmer School from Lewis to form a combined Band of some 79 players. The Schools’ had twice competed previously in Band competitions. The first ‘Sounding Brass’ performance was at Cray Valley and the second at Ringmer School. As Ringmer was a mixed School, six girl musicians also participated. It is understood that the Ringmer School Brass Band still meet at reunions under their original conductor, Michael Fairhurst.
The resulting press report of the 1969 ‘Sounding Brass’ concert describes it as “Very Thrilling” and “there was absolute precision and first-class tone, throughout …” These are just two of the accolades. The report was also reproduced in the 1970 edition of ‘The Rook’.
The 1969 ‘Sounding Brass’ programme shows the wide repertoire covered at the two concerts.
This is a press report on the Band’s performance for the Orpington Old Age Pensions Association at All Saint’s Church Hall, Orpington. 36 boys played at this occasion.
Top – Roy Dalpra, Steve Woodward and the choir in full tilt. Today Roy continues with an interest started at Cray Valley and is a Jazz Double Bass Player. The bottom photograph shows Steve Woodward singing with a passion. He is still doing so, and now resides in Florida, USA.
The top Trial by Jury picture shows Steve Woodward (head boy in 1969) and members of the choir, and the bottom one Sally Godsell and David Stent. There are two interesting memories from this evening. The first is that the gowns worn by the ‘judiciary’ were the academic gowns of members of staff who had very kindly loaned them to the performers. The second is that after the performance, one of the staff kindly let it be known that he felt when the Judge sang the line ‘Put your briefs upon the shelf….’ He should have sung that to the Plaintiff and not to the barristers and attorneys! All of the performers made their grand entrance after the interval down the centre of the School Hall to take their places for this performance.
These photographs of are of the 1968 Christmas Concert production of ‘Trial by Jury’. The part of the Plaintiff was played by Sally Godsell from Newstead Wood School in Orpington. The Judge (in long wig) was played by Graham Mitchell, the Court Usher (baldhead wig) by Roy Dalpra and the Defendant (resplendent in bow-tie) by Stephen Woodward. The Counsel for the Plaintiff was played by David Stent who can be seen at the left of the bottom picture. Amongst her many accomplishments Sally Godsell is now Chorus Master of Whitstable Choral Society.
The Band participated in the Royal Tunbridge Wells and District Band Federation contest at Chatham on 30th November 1968 and here can be seen the adjudicator’s deliberations on the Band’s performance on that day. They were beaten into second place by an extremely narrow margin.
This press report tells of the Midfield Boys and Midfield Girls and Cray Valley schools collaborative concert during Education Week in which the Band created “a fine sound”.
Inside the 1968 ‘Sounding Brass’ Concert programme the foreword by Peter Woodward tells us that since the Band was formed in 1965 its number of instruments had grown from 10 to 40, 28 of which were in use on that evening. This would have been in a period of just three years.
The press report of the 1968 Festival Concert talks of “the tremendous enthusiasm of the performers” and that “all seats were sold”. Peter Woodward is mentioned as taking over the baton for the massed secondary Schools’ Brass Band and the grand finale with the full ensemble “giving us an unforgettable rendering of Holst’s noble ‘Lord who hast made us for Thine own’, a work which summed up the deep spiritual and musical feelings which imbued this whole concert”.
The local press report of the 1968 ‘Sounding Brass’ Concert which concludes “Obviously this is not just a boys School, trumpet-and-drum group, but a real brass band, complete, in all sections and properly trained, which the School is fortunate to have – which, indeed, the district is fortunate to have”.
On 5th July 1968 G V Welbourne, the Chief Education Officer for the London Borough of Bromley, writes thanking Mr Woodward for his part in one of the most enjoyable evenings he had experienced. He goes on to say that the “standard of band was quite professional” and that “this is due in no small measure to your enthusiasm in training the Band”.
The cover of the 17th July 1968 ‘Sounding Brass’ Concert programme.
July 1967 and the Friends of Farnborough Hospital thank Mr Woodward for the Band playing at their fete. “Everybody said how well the boys played, and a number of people remarked how nice it was to hear “decent” music and not that awful “pop stuff” over the speaker system”.
In Spring 1967 the Orpington Old Age Pensioners Association thanks Mr Mayo for the Band’s visit and for their playing. Note the comment that “the boys’ manners and kindness to the pensioners was greatly admired and many have requested that I ask you for another visit”.
The inside of the Programme for Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Pirates of Penzance’, performed on 20th and 21st July 1964 with Mr & Mrs Zobell taking the lead parts. The producer was Mr John Carbery. The female roles were taken by the boys.
The Band in action. Note the legend “Quite well polished playing ……”
Six members of the Band practice/perform in the School assembly hall. Do you remember that lectern in the background and our fellow pupils making announcements there during School assemblies?
The Band in rehearsal under the baton of Peter Woodward, possibly in the School dining hall?
And for something completely different this is the press report of the School’s production of Brecht’s ‘Galileo’, proving that Cray was not only able to deliver superb musical accomplishments but also excellent dramatic productions.
A picture of Band in the School assembly hall.
And here is the accompanying summary text and photograph for the press write-up of the Band’s triumph at the Tunbridge Wells and District Band Federation Festival at Hastings. Note the adjacent ”All Hell Let Loose” Rate Payers Complain” headline. A co-incidence (?) which amuses Peter Woodward to this day.
This the original of the press picture of the Band with the Hawkes Challenge Shield following their success at the Tunbridge Wells and District Band Federation Festival at Hastings on 11th May 1968.
And here is Mr Mortimer’s second adjudication report at the 40th Annual Festival at Hastings. ‘Very Good, most enjoyable’ he concludes.
In his audio interview, Peter Woodward mentions his meetings with Harry Mortimer. Here is the first of the two adjudication reports by Mr Mortimer’s on the Band’s performance at in 1968 at Hastings.
The Band emerged triumphant in May 1968 when they took the highest honours at the 40th Annual Festival of the Tunbridge Wells and District Band Federation at Hastings.
The Programme cover for the 1968 40th Annual Festival at Hastings.
“High Praise for Cray Valley Boys” and “stunned by the high standard attained by this youthful Brass Band” sums up the press’s report of the 1967 Christmas Concert.
The Christmas Concert programme for December 1967 features the Jonah-Man Jazz; those who sang will no doubt remember it well. The Band performed throughout evening.
February 1968 and a further thank you letter from Orpington Old Age Pensioners Association – “It really does give us such great pleasure to have a party of lads so well behaved”.
A further picture of the Band, this time with Peter Woodward conducting. Please note the lovely School crested banners on the music stands.
A splendid picture of the Band on the tiered staging in the School assembly hall. I am sure we all remember sitting on that staging during our 1st year at Cray. Perhaps this was taken during the Band’s earlier years?
The press report of the 1967 Sounding Brass evening which concluded “A delightful evening with every aspect of it produced with real skill and expertise. Even the attractive programmes were produced on the School’s press. This Band is surely destined for great things and should now be thinking of entering the Band contest field”.
The programme for Sounding Brass 1967 concert, again featuring a comprehensive repertoire.
A Fete programme featuring the Band. It looks Orpington oriented. Could it be the Farnborough Hospital fete?
Here is the original photograph for the National Schools Brass Band Association Festival press report.
‘Pride of the Valley’ – the accompanying press photograph. Left to Right: Michael Palmer, Thomas Hayward, David Tapsell, Mr P G Woodward, Graham Thornhill, Timothy Isom and Ian Gould.
The ‘Pride of the Valley’ press report on the National Schools Brass Band Association Festival.
The Band plays at the National School Brass Band Association Festival at the Guildhall, Portsmouth, one of only two Bands from Kent who were invited to play.
The Band move yet further afield with a performance at Christ Church Bexleyheath.
And the Band performs at the Winter Gardens in Margate with the guest baton of Professor Hargreaves of the Royal Marines School of Music.
The October 1966 Prize Day programme tells of another performance of the Band and, in particular shows our very own Leslie Burrage as giving the address.
Now this really is the ‘Good Old Days’ when, in December 1966 Cray Valley embarked on a Victorian style period production of a “stirring tale of temptation sordid and virtue rewarded” when Messrs P G Woodward and S Dawson provided the musical accompaniment for “Foiled and Counter-foiled”.
And so “Foiled and Counter-foiled” gets its just reward when the local press talk of a ‘robust, rumbustious affair with an equally rumbustious and appreciative audience’. The second half of the programme featured the Band, of whom the press said the general performance and platform discipline were highly commendable.
The programme for the Sounding Brass concert detailing their very full repertoire.
The Band’s performance is reviewed in the local press with particular reference to their talented conductor Mr P J(G) Woodward.
The Press pick up on the forthcoming ‘Sounding Brass’ concert, probably from the information published by the School. Note the reference to the Band’s participation in the BBC’s ‘South East’ programme.
On 7th June 1966 John Kingsland writes to parents telling them of the Band’s successes and invites them to attend the ‘Sounding Brass’ concert on 19th July 1966.
And here is the programme for the Band’s performance on 6th July 1966 at Bromley Technical High School for Boys.
The June 1966 press cutting tells about Band performing at an exceptionally high standard at the Bromley Schools Music Association performance at Midfield Secondary Girls School. The Choir also sang at this event. The letter to John Kingsland in July 1966, from the Head of Bromley Technical High School for Boys, thanks him for allowing the Band to perform in July 1966.
‘The Trumpeter’ thanks Clive Menhinick for his contribution in March 1966.
Clive Menhinick, Band Secretary, writes in The Trumpeter about the Bands activities, including playing on the BBC programme ‘South East’.
The inside of the ‘Our Mr Pip’ programme. Girls from Midfield Secondary Girls School assisted us by taking many of the female roles. On one evening the Orchestra’s lighting system failed during the first half performance. The house lights at the front left of the hall had to be employed (how else could the Orchestra read the music). A faulty rheostat was diagnosed and a speedy replacement obtained from the physics department. All continued normally in the second half. Who remembers the stage ‘smoke’ for the Kent Marshes and the net curtains and lighting effects for the ‘Satin, Silk and a Parasol’ scenes?
‘Our Mr Pip’ was a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens ‘Great Expectations’ it had been written and performed at Rickmansworth Grammar School and it was Ron Sallis, our English Teacher at Cray Valley, who was instrumental in arranging for it to be performed at our School. Directed by Mr Sallis the Musical Director was Peter Woodward and it is still a firm favourite in the memories of many of us. These cuttings appear to form some sort of pre-performance promotion, possibly issued by the School. in more recent times (2010) I made contact with the composer of the music, Gwyn Arch MBE. In emailing and speaking with him a penny dropped and I asked him if he was related to David Arch the Music Director of BBC’s highly successful ’Strictly Come Dancing’. It transpires that Dave Arch is Gwyn Arch’s eldest son.
This is the programme for evening of the informal concert by first & second year boys. Here the Brass Band makes one of its earliest performances and the 1st Year singers get to reprise ‘The Daniel Jazz’. This was clearly a well balanced programme of spoken, choral and Brass and other instrumental work by the 1st and 2nd Year pupils.
Here are three press cuttings including a picture (top) and coverage of the very early days of the Brass Band.
The inside of the programme for what would have been the Christmas Concert programme for 1964. The School Orchestra performed as did the Choir.
‘A Rare Bevy of Beauty’ indeed. The local press report of the July 1964 Pirates of Penzance production. Note the reporter’s point that “Mr P G Woodward, the musical director deserves acclaim for his inspired conducting of the cast and Orchestra”.
The 1963 Christmas Concert programme front cover. This was probably the first major concert conducted by Peter Woodward after his arrival at CVTHS in September 1963.
Inside the 1963 Christmas Concert programme. Note the performance by the School Choir of Haydn’s ‘The Creation’ with the soloists Mr & Mrs Zobell who also sang in future musical productions at Cray Valley. The accompanist was Mrs Smithson and the leader of the School Orchestra was Peter Cramp. Those who sung as Trebles in the Choir will no doubt have fond memories of singing ‘The Daniel Jazz’, all about Daniel in the lion’s den! Oh, and ‘PLEASE DON’T SMOKE IN THE HALL’ (as if we would).
Before he passed, Colin asked me to look after the blog and I happily agreed. With limited knowledge of WordPress I will do my best, but if you would like to contact me directly, please email Ken Lloyd at: firstname.lastname@example.org