The Bandstand, Llandudno
The Bandstand, Llandudno promenade
When Llandudno Town Band was formed in 1910, it was decided that a bandstand was needed on the promenade. The hoteliers were not happy to have the noise outside their hotels, so the council procured a mobile bandstand (picture right) on wheels. Nicknamed “The Juggernaut”, it could be dragged by horses to any part of the promenade, and the band could perform anywhere from the Happy Valley to Craig y Don. It was in disrepair by 1925 so the council built a permanent bandstand. It was inaugurated in 1926 and remains in use today.
Llandudno Town Band (pictured in its early years) was a huge success under its first bandmaster, Francis Traversi, and became a principal attraction in Llandudno. The band was one of the few in Britain which kept a full programme going through the First World War, when several band members volunteered for the army. All of the enlisted men returned after the war, and the band embarked on rebuilding and development. The standard of musicianship continued to improve and the band won several prizes in local eisteddfodau (Welsh festivals of music and literature).
At the Second World War’s outbreak, Mr Traversi started a learners’ group. Soon the learners graduated to the senior band, filling gaps left by men joining the forces or engaged in vital war work. In addition to the normal concerts, the band played to support many fundraising events such as ‘Salute the Soldier’ and ‘Wings for Victory’. ‘Warship Week’ resulted in the commissioning of HMS Llandudno, after £222, 000 was raised by the townspeople of Llandudno in November 1941.
Under the leadership of Robin Williams, the band qualified for the finals of the Daily Herald Brass Band Championship in London two years in succession, winning second prize in 1956. He developed the evening entertainments on the promenade to include talent competitions, and these twice weekly performances continue today in summer.
The bandstand was also the focalpoint for civil and military parades during the Second World War. The salute was taken by a high ranking military dignitary stood on the bandstand. On VE Day the Women’s Land Army joined a huge parade (pictured right) on the promenade celebrating the end of the war in Europe.