Walcha History || The band kicks goals in fancy dress footy

Dressed to play: Walcha Town Bandsmen wearing football togs, perhaps at Uralla in 1927.
Dressed to play: Walcha Town Bandsmen wearing football togs, perhaps at Uralla in 1927.

The Walcha band re-organised in June 1907 after being in recess for varying periods since the turn of the century.

D.W. Patten was elected president; H. Doak secretary; S. Crane treasurer plus a committee of five. It was decided to commence advertising for the position of  bandmaster.

The band played at the old Empress Skating Rink on the corner of Fitzroy and South Streets, where W.A. Ryan later conducted his produce business.

They also played at night by torchlight at several locations in the main streets and were hired to perform at dances, balls and sporting events.

They were also quite busy during the years of World War I giving both send-offs and welcome-home performances for those going to and returning home from the war.

The Walcha New State League was quite active in 1920 and set about forming branches in the district. They engaged the 20-strong band to travel with them to play suitable music at each location.

Round Swamp, Glen Morrison, Walcha Road, Nowendoc, Winterbourne, Tia and Yarrowitch were on the itinerary.

In September 1927 the Walcha Band travelled to Uralla where arrangements were in hand for Walcha to play in a fancy dress football match against the Uralla Band. 

The report in the Uralla Times of September 29, 1927, reads in part: “The local band assembled at the Oddfellows Hall where the arrival of the Walcha Band had an enlivening effect on the crowd which expressed its appreciation fortissimo.

“The two bands combined to play a couple of selections under the direction of the Walcha Bandmaster. Our band is not bad, the Walcha band is good but the combination was very good.

“The fancy dress parade finished at Hampden Park where a soccer match was played between Walcha and Uralla, finishing as it should at four points each.

“The final event was a dance at the Oddfellows’ Hall where the sixty couples present voted the Walcha boys good sports and their bandmaster as extra good.”