The Sunday Bands 1856

Rotten Row c.1900

Yesterday the public promenade in Hyde Park and Kensington-gardens assumed its ordinary appearance on a Sunday. There was no attempt at music by a private band, as on the previous Sunday, nor any disturbance whatever. The weather was remarkably fine, and great numbers of people, including a large proportion of the higher classes, thronged the walks along the Serpentine and in the gardens, but no circumstance occurred to interrupt the common enjoyment, and the excitement consequent on the withdrawal of the music may be said, in Hyde Park at least, to have passed away.


The Bandstand, Hyde Park.

A band, organized by the society established for securing the performance of Sunday music in the parks, played in the Regent’s Park, on the stage erected for the performances of the band of the Second Life Guards on Sunday afternoons, prior to its suppression by the Government. It appears that, although the Government refused to countenance the performance of military bands in the parks on Sunday afternoons, intimation was given to Sir John Shelley, Sir Joshua Walmsley, and other supporters of the movement, that if the people chose to have private bands of their own in the Regent’s and Victoria Parks on Sunday afternoons they would not be interfered with.

During the week workmen had been employed, under the direction of Sir B. Hall, as Chief Commissioner of Public Works, and with the sanction of the Government, in re-erecting the stages, in order that military bands might play in Victoria Park on Wednesday and in the Regent’s Park on Friday afternoons, and we have authority for stating that Sir John Shelley took it upon himself the responsibility of directing that the ” People’s Band “ should avail themselves of the advantages of the stages already erected in both parks yesterday afternoon.

Shortly before 4 o’clock a well-appointed band of 30 performers, conducted by Mr. F. Pierce, mounted the stage, and commenced playing the March from the ” Stabat Mater,”  which was followed by the Polacca, Spanish (Godfrey);  Valse-” Fleuré die Marie” (Jullien);  Duetto-” I know a bank” (Bishop); “Pas Redoublé Nationale” (Tidswell);  Grand March (Hope); Valse-” Sylvan”  (Tinney);  Selection –” Lucia di Lammermoor “ (Donizetti);  Quadrille (D’Alhert); and Gallop-            ” Victory” (Anon). The performance concluded with a verse of  ” Partant pour Ia Syrie,” and ” God save the Queen.” Among the vast assembly were observed Sir John Shelley, Sir Joshua Walmsley, M.P., Sir Henry Halford, M.P., and Mr. W. Williams, M.P. The greatest order prevailed throughout  the afternoon, and the moment tho band had concluded the people quietly dispersed.

the above text was from the Times, Monday June 2, 1856. p.7