On 28th May 1919, at a meeting of the Tilbury Branch of the National Union of Railwaymen, it was agreed to form a brass band. By 1st July the Tilbury Railwaymen’s Band had called its first meeting and two delegates were appointed to travel to Shoeburyness to view a set of 24 instruments. At the next meeting 47 members were in attendance.
At the Band’s AGM in January 1921 the decision was made to purchase the Band their first set of new instruments from Hawkes & Sons (now Boosey & Hawkes) in London. On these, it was said, the Band made favourable progress. Later that year, following repeated requests of supporters in the town, it was decided to change the name to The Tilbury Town Band.
February 1922 saw a contest for local bands at Grays. Wishing to gain a conductor with contest experience, Mr. G Nicholls of Grays Temperance Band was engaged. After five weeks of tuition, the Band mounted the contesting platform for the first time, securing second prize and two medals. Following this success, the Band entered the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain, held at The Crystal Palace. By the next year they secured third prize in the Junior B Section having competed against twenty seven bands from all over the British Isles.
World War II – Suspension and a New Home
During World War II, the Band’s activities were suspended, but it was quickly re-formed after peace was declared in 1945. Three years later the Band purchased an old Salvation Army hall in Dock Road, Tilbury for £400. This became the new Band Headquarters.
In the 1960s the Band changed name again to its present name – “The Tilbury Band”. In 1976 the Band Hall was demolished to make way for a purpose built headquarters at a cost of £22,000. This hall continues to be the Band’s much loved home.
During the 1970s and ‘80s the Band made the finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain three times, coming third in the Second Section in 1978. In 2001 the Band won first prize in the second section of the London and Southern Counties contest and qualified for the national finals in Preston.
Today the Band continues to thrive, attracting talented players from both the local area and further afield and competes and performs at concerts and events throughout the year.