In compiling our history, trumpeter Laurine Green has gathered together many details and pictures of the previous bands. She has produced a compact history in a small book and also a more comprehensive work that details the life of Ely through the bands' eyes from 1852.
If you have an interest in local history or had a family member who was associated with the Band our book may interest you. Laurine would also welcome any more information or old photographs relating to Ely Band, especially of the 1939 Band as many of the gentlemen in the pictures are still unnamed.
Ely City Band can be traced back to 1908. This is when the Ely Militia was disbanded by the government and the citizens of Ely purchased the old instruments with the intention of forming their own band.
This picture shows the first Ely Band in their new uniforms. The Bandmaster is Mr J. J. Smith; the gentlemen sitting in the centre. He is behind the bass drum and side drum which were purchased from the Suffolk Regiment. The picture was taken in 1910 and the Band are seated outside the Corn Exchange, Market Street, Ely.
In 1938 the Ely British Legion come to the aid of a failing Ely Band. A new Bandmaster is appointed, Mr Rob Currie, and new uniforms are provided. This picture was taken in 1939 and shows a strong Ely Band after giving a concert in Bury gardens.
In 1940 twelve Bandsmen are on active service, so the band is put on hold until January 1946 when they start rehearsing again and advertise for new members. However in 1950 the British Legion reported with great regret that the Band was now defunct.
A new band forms in 1962 under the leadership of Mr Eric Peters. A Bandmaster of the Royal Marines. This picture shows the Band parading in Ely Hospital Sunday 1964 in their new blue uniforms.
This posed photograph shows the 1964 Band in their new uniforms. On the front row you can see Mr Bill Cooper, an ex-Royal Marine Bandmaster and friend of Eric Peters, who has now taken on the role of Bandmaster.
The Band carries on doing what it does best all through the 1990s and into the new millenium and in 2009 is awarded the Freedom of the City of Ely by Ely Council in recognition of four decades of service to the city.
In 2012 the Band celebrated its Golden Anniversary. 50 years of musical memories. We undertook a series of different engagements to commemorate this achievement, such as performing in the Jubilee Gardens with the Glenmoriston Pipe Band.