A brief insight into St. Swithun's Band's history
The history of brass band music in Bridport dates back to around 1875 when the Forester's band played within the town. They eventually merged into the Bridport Artillery Band. The combined bands continued throughout the First World War up to 1937.
In addition to the Royal Artillery Band was the Rifle Volunteer Fife and Drum Band. This band ceased to function shortly after the First World War.
Live Brass Band music fell silent in Bridport upon the demise of the Royal Artillery Band although a youth organisation produced a Drum and Bugle band which operated throughout the years of the Second World War and up until 1950.
In 1949 Councillor Sidney Welch began to investigate the forming of a Town or Borough band and spoke to former band members and others with experience of bands elsewhere. A public meeting was convened with interested parties from the Town and after considerable discussion and work to secure musicians and funding for instruments, a band was formed. The first public announcement of the band's formation appeared in the Bridport News published October 5th 1951. It was later announced that the band would be known as St. Swithun's Band after the name of the Parish in which the idea to form the band had been conceived. The band's first public performance was Sunday 6th January 1952 when it led the Civic Parade to St. Mary's Parish Church.