Home for the Band

“On the present occasion the energies of supporters of Free Libraries, Public Museums, and similar institutions, have apparently not recovered from previous exhaustion.”

I’ve taken a tangent in research. In the midst of Belgian refugees coming to Tunbridge Wells from 1914 -1919, and thoughts of the Fonthill site (now The Forum, then a forge, fire station and house), I’ve come across post WW1 plans for War Memorials, and an ongoing project for a Winter Gardens and ‘Home for the Band’. As current plans in Tunbridge Wells are to relocate the Assembly Hall Theatre from Crescent Road to behind The Great Hall, and into part of Calverley Grounds; and given that in 1931 it was decided to turn Fonthill into a Public Convenience (which then became a brass rubbing centre, then in 1993 The Forum), letters to The Kent & Sussex Courier in January 1919 are very amusing.

Kent & Sussex Courier - Friday 24 January 1919

“I have heard complaints made by residents and visitors that whilst the charm of the town and its surroundings with its natural beauty are second to none in the Kingdom, there is something “wanting” which other towns in the kingdom provide.”

Kent & Sussex Courier - Friday 31 January 1919It was very interesting to read about the hospital, then located in Grosvenor Road

Grosvenor Rd

(on right of postcard, St Augustine’s Church on left). Sir David Salomons had made a donation of an electrical installation, which had made Tunbridge Wells an important hospital during The War.

While I probably will keep searching British Newspaper Archive for both FONTHILL and HOME FOR THE BAND, we do know what happened during the past 98 years in Tunbridge Wells, regarding War Memorials, clocks, hospitals, parks, band-stands, and even Museums and Libraries!


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