Hidden History Page

Coat of Arms

The Poole coat of arms has been the symbol of Poole Borough Band since being given permission to use it as the Borough’s official brass band. Find details of its history at: Wikipedia



An appeal for information by a researcher on the IBEW website.

Available at:http://www.ibew.org.uk/misc44.htm [Accessed: 17 Feb 2017]

Bournemouth and Poole bands
I am currently researching and writing the history of the Brass and Military Bands of Poole and Bournemouth (The BH Post code Area). I have established that the oldest band was Poole Town Band with a mention pre-1849. Wareham Town Band 1850 and the oldest Salvation Army Band appeared as Poole Christian Mission Band before becoming the salvation Army in 1878. I have records of over 80 current and extinct bands. I am appealing for information and photographs however insignificant. Information before the second world war is the most scarce and anything from this period would be much appreciated.

Roland Clark
 01202 730723



Poole’s fighting men

At the time the war started Poole was a much smaller conurbation covering Hamworthy, Oakdale, Branksome and Sandbanks. Approximately 10,000 men from Poole took part in World War 1.
The local section of the Naval Reserve was one of the first groups of men to leave Poole on 6 August 1914. They were given a civic farewell outside the Customs House from the Mayor of Poole, Councillor G Kentish, and Members of the Corporation (pre Borough of Poole). In wishing the reservists ‘good bye’ and ‘good luck’ in the name of the town, the Mayor expressed the hope that they would maintain the honourable traditions of the ancient Borough. After the Rector of Poole, The Rev H Lawrence Phillips, gave prayer, the men marched to the railway station to catch the 1.43pm train to Portsmouth. They were accompanied by cheering crowds and headed by flag bearers and the Poole Town Band. Before the train left the band played Rule Britannia and Auld Lang Syne.


Thomas Joyner, craftsman, artist, musician, inventor

Joyner’s shop on the far left, opposite Topp’s corner & Ansty Arms

In 1927, the Poole and East Dorset Herald announced the death of long-time High Street trader, Thomas Joyner, who kept an antiques and curios shop at No.185 just opposite the Ansty Arms. According to the newspaper he died in his 99th year, and as a tiny child in 1830, was held up by his father in the crowd assembled to greet the dethroned King Charles X of France as guns fired a salute from the Quay. The official record is confusing on the subject of his age and it’s possible that this story was a family legend, but there is no doubt that he was in his 90s when he died – an excellent age for the period. He lived through the reigns of five monarchs and could remember a time when Bournemouth was wild undeveloped heathland.

Thomas was the son of Francis Joyner, a tinsmith and brass worker. He was educated in Christchurch where he witnessed the celebrations for Queen Victoria’s coronation. At the end of his school days he returned to Poole and became an apprentice to the iron and brass trade in his father’s workshop. In 1851 the family, consisting of Francis, his wife Elizabeth and their two children Thomas and Maria, were living in West Butts Street. Once he had learned his trade, Thomas became a skilled craftsman and ‘did much important work in the borough, one of his best examples being the weather vane on the dome of the Poole Free Library’.

Outside his profession, Thomas had a tremendous range of other interests. He was a good violinist, played in and at one time led the Poole Town Band and composed much of their music. One of his patriotic compositions entitled ‘The Honour’d Flag of England’ was a favourite in local primary schools. He was also a talented painter and many of his oil paintings were added to the Poole Museum collection. His ingenious mind led him to invent, among other curiosities, a pipe with a nicotine trap and a racing yacht that would sail to windward without the need to tack!

Thomas married Sarah Burge in 1858 and they had one son, Francis William (or Frank). At first the family lived in Union Buildings near Hunger Hill but by 1875 they were living in High Street, Longfleet near the Port Mahon Castle Inn in the premises that became No. 185. In the 1881 census, Thomas was described as a brass founder, while his son was learning the trade of a tinker or tinsmith. Sadly, Frank died in 1888 at the young age of 27.He had strong views on Poole Harbour and its development and proposed a scheme to create a new harbour entrance by cutting through the Sandbanks peninsular as a solution to the problem of silting. To promote this, he conducted a long campaign in the Herald, backed up by plans, drawings and oil paintings. His ideas were so well argued that the Harbour Commissioners considered forwarding his letters to the newspaper to their consulting engineers. Thomas was a reader of the Herald for over 81 years from its first issue in 1846,  and a prolific writer of letters and articles for the paper.

The scene today taken from the site of Joyner’s shop

As the Longfleet end of the High Street became more developed, Joyner’s shop became a familiar feature with its sign of a giant key to advertise his craft. By 1891, Thomas had added gas fitting to his repertoire of practical skills. Later, he developed the antique and curio side of the business. He retained his faculties almost to the end. Although he had to take to his bed for a few weeks ‘he refused to believe he was seriously ill, and his buoyant spirit prolonged his life. He rapidly sank on Thursday [3rd Feb 1927]  . . . and lost consciousness, passing peacefully away about 7.30 pm.’


Sources: Poole and East Dorset Herald Feb 10th 1927 / Census returns / trade directories


Extract from
Herbert, Trevor. 2000. The British Brass Band: A Musical and Social History’. Oxford University Press Inc, New York.
The local paper expressed some disapproval that locals seemed to prefer ‘jazz’ bands, and foreign bands at that, to the ‘excellent local brass bands.(Don Pedro was in fact John Guy from Birmingham). Brass Bands did continue as dance bands in certain settings, particularly at private, socially select gatherings. In 1930 for example, Brighouse and Rastrick in Yorkshire, Mere Band in Wiltshire, and Poole Town Band in Dorset all found themselves playing for dancing at Conservative Party Fetes. How long this kind of work continued is not clear, but it is apparent that by 1930, one of the links that held the brass band in mainstream popular youth culture had been broken.


Appeal for information on IBEW website. Available at http://www.ibew.org.uk/misc31.htm

“Leslie Sidney Wellman – My grandfather is in this photo of the BG WG Band (from Poole?). He worked at Poole Pottery in Branksone. He’s the drummer, 2nd row,4th one along. His name was Leslie Sidney Wellman. The photo may have been between 1934 and 1944. Any information about him, or the band would be very welcome.”
Contact: Michelle Harris –  
[Date submitted: 30 September 2005]


National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain

London, Saturday & Sunday, October 4th & 5th, 1980 – 50p

NationalBBCHapmps London 4&5Oct1980-50p

The page from the programme listing the band.  Section 3 played Concertante for Brass Band – Bryan K. Kelly


British Bandsman Issue 4579 Page 3 Saturday 21 July 1990 price 35p

British Bandsman Saturday 21 July 1990 Issue 4579 Page 3

British Bandsman Saturday 21 July 1990 Issue 4579 Page 3

“Poole Borough Band is now enjoying a second lease of life after being reformed last October. The band is now graded in Section 2 (national) and Championship Section (Wessex).”



Apologies to the company shown as holding copyright. I have tried to locate the company online but to no avail. If you know the company please let me know so that I can ask for permissions for this photo.

From left…

Back Row –  1st-Roy Jones, 4th -Nigel Lees, 6th-Polly Dear

Frint Row – 1st-Tim, 8th-Barry Dear



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Concert listed onloine- 5 August – Poole Borough Band – Bandstand, Swanage, 3pm

2003, Saturday 1st November

Charity Concert at the Upton Community Centre, Poole. Dedicated to the memory of David George Polley.

Scan_20170222 (4)


PBB 20090926 NatBBChamps

Photo by R&P Photographic Service, Norwick House, The Court, Crowcombe, Taunton, TA1 4AD

From Left…

Back row … 1st-Donna Jones, 3rd-Derek 5th-Stuart Sanders 8th-Rhys Dear 10th-Nick Froom

Middle row…. Eileen Lock, Mick Kenyon, Susan Evans, 5th-Polly Dear 7th-Chris Clifford,

Front row… 3rd-Mick, 4th-Jane, 5th-Phil Randell, 6th-Alison Clifford, 7th Stuart Hamilton, 8th-Barry Dear

Poole Borough Band taking part in The National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain 26th & 27th September 2009

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