Godalming crest

Godalming Band

Brass band in Godalming since 1937

1970s and 1980s


During the 1970s the band was led by various musical directors; most notably, Stan Stanton and Malcolm Gay. This was also the period when we benefitted from a number of young players coming into the band; well over 60% of our members had joined the band thanks to their start with the Junior Band.

We were known for good regular concerts in the town, usually held at the Borough Hall and many local businesses were providing us with sponsorship.

Under Malcolm Gay’s leadership we made our first recording; an LP that we recorded at the Borough Hall. Our concerts were well supported and Malcolm added to the events by taking the role of compere, something at which he excelled. In 1973 the band adopted a new identity and became Godalming Band, the name we still use.

1975 brought the introduction of subscriptions for band members. This innovation was to cover the cost of the payment made to the band’s musical director.

Our first trip overseas came in 1979 when Visited Mayen, now one of Godalming’s twin towns. The 70s were a very much a growth decade for the band.


The early 1980s were not the easiest time for the band.

Malcolm Gay moved on in 1982 and several of our players left, forming the Guildford Friary Band. Derek Holland took over as our new MD; with the support of the remaining players, he kept us together and even though his leadership was brief, for that we will always owe him a debt of gratitude.

It wasn’t long before new players started joining us and numbers were soon back to normal.

A noticeable feature of this period was the contest successes we were enjoying under the leadership of our next MD, Stan Willis (‘Stan the man’). He travelled twice weekly from Bournemouth to take our rehearsals and under his watchful eye and careful training the band made considerable progress.

1988 heralded the arrival of a charismatic young Scotsman, David Wright with a mission to convert ‘Southerners’ to real music. His leadership continued until 2013 and history will record his years with the band as not only as successful, but also enjoyable.

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