An article in ‘Temperance in Northamptonshire’ confirms 1858 as the year of formation of the band. The article describes that Mr Nathaniel Smith a Director of Smith and Grace, Iron Foundry, Midland Road was very involved in the Temperance Society, believing that keeping the workforce occupied would stop them from spending money in the public houses:
“The iron works at Thrapston had a staunch teetotaller for owner (Mr Nathaniel Smith) and in 1858 his employees formed a Temperance Brass Band which did good service in the County”.
The same source also states that a tea was held on Easter Tuesday 1858 (April 6th), in Raunds and a grand procession which paraded the streets was headed by Mr N Smith’s band from Thrapston. It is likely that this was the first performance the newly formed band gave. Mr Smith’s son Nathaniel Junior was a great musician and conducted the band for many years.
The band was never sponsored by the factory in a monetary sense but was provided with accommodation for practices and storage. In 1938 they opened a new canteen that was built specifically with the band in mind with a specially designed ceiling to create the right acoustics.
Unfortunately in 1939 the band was suspended due to the 2nd World War which meant instruments, uniforms etc were all placed in storage until 1952. Mr. G R Nairns lead the band until 1970 at which point , Mr Ray Jeffery took over the position of Temporary Conductor.
Ray conducted the band up to 2013 when he retired from conducting and went back to playing in the band. The band was then under the baton of Kevin Spencer.
For over 100 years the band practised at Smith & Grace in Midland Road. We then had a period where we had no permanent place to practice and used various locations until Thrapston Primary School was made our home. We remained at the school for several years until we made our next move in January 2006 to the Dodson & Horrell site, where we have top class facilities for the band’s practice and storage.
In 2008 the band celebrated its 150th Anniversary, and a book was written to celebrate this occasion. “Thrapston Town Band – 150 Glorious Years” covers the history of the band from its inception to the present day. It is an interesting and compelling read!
In October 2019, Nathan Waterman was appointed the band’s MD. It’s his objective to lead the band into a new and exciting era.