There’s nothing like a bit of brass and bombast to kick off proceedings in style, and when it comes to blowing horns and banging drums, the boys in this pic know a thing or two about a thing or two. 

It’s the Abergavenny Borough Band pictured back in the roaring twenties when the economy was booming and the Charleston was all the rage. 

By the time the 1920s swung into life the borough’s brass band had been chomping at the bit and tooting their tat for many a decade. No one knows for sure when these marching maestros first played their initial few notes together but it was sometime before 1884.

The Chronicle reports that on Whit Monday, June 6, 1881, the band marched through town,  blowing like banshees, before leading the folk up to the dizzy heights of the Sugar Loaf like a brass version of the Pied Piper.

A certain Mr. Thomas Hardy, not the one who sent you to sleep in English Literature classes, but the one who was once in the Hussars, took over the direction of the band in 1884. 

During Earl Frederick Roberts's visit to the town in 1906, the Borough Band provided the Sturm and Drang, much to the delight of the famous British military commander. 

Shortly after the First World War the band served as the 3rd Mons Battalion Regimental Band and were given new instruments. Yet in 1922 disaster struck when the  Regiment amalgamated with the Breconshire Regiment and hapless band members were rendered both hornless and toothless. 

A campaign by Abergavenny jeweller Harry Lyons saved the day and enough cash was raised for the band to brass it out again and do what they do best.

For the next four decades the band continued to entertain Abergavenny in style, but August 29, 1962, proved to be the day the music nearly died when a fire “mysteriously” broke out in the band’s rehearsal room at Fairfield and laid to waste all their instruments. 

Once again Abergavenny rallied around and a huge fundraising drive ensured the band could keep on blowing for many years to come.