Walcha History: Walcha Town Band's final years

They would play anywhere: Walcha's Brass Band 1938. See names below.
They would play anywhere: Walcha's Brass Band 1938. See names below.

The Walcha Brass Band struggled during the Great Depression and for most of the 1930s before reforming on June 2, 1938.

They practised twice weekly in the old scout hall in South Street where, during winter, it was difficult to prevent fingers and instrument valves from freezing.

The late Frank Brazel recalled that band’s performance at the 1939 Walcha Show: “We marched proudly into the showground with drums thumping and trombones blaring, frightening a couple of horses in the process.

"We marched up and down playing music for much of the afternoon, receiving plenty of applause, before leaving to march to the New England Hotel where we played our last tune of the day. The band was shouted a beer each, which included me, even though I was a 14-year-old schoolboy.”

Numbers dwindled during the war years but the band kept going and had increased to 30 members within a year or two of the cessation of hostilities.

They played whenever and wherever they could and if there was nothing doing of a Saturday night they played anyway while marching around the business area of town and were soon good enough to compete against other bands.

Walcha hosted a band competition in 1949, attended by more than 200 bandsmen. It was a great spectacle with the various bands marching from the old school in Fitzroy Street to the showground for the music and marching competitions.

The entertainment concluded with performances by the grand massed bands.

The band had been inactive for some years before being wound up at a special meeting held on June 10, 1969. 

The bandsmen from the left are. Back row: Colin Chandler, Clive Roper, Sid Hoy, Bill Mulcay, Cedric Lofberg, John Andronicus, Frank Brazel. Middle row: Charlie Cross (Drum Major), Bob Kelly, Vin McMillan, Les Hoy, Merv Waller, Tom Grieves, Ossie Hoy, Ken Hoy, Cliff Ward. Front row: Fred Roper, Ron Lovett, Dial Lisle, Val Lofberg, Arthur Howard, Harold Rowe, Keith Angus, Les Markham.