Okehampton has a long and proud Brass Banding tradition going back to the early 1800’s.
Since then there have been three Brass Bands: the Okehampton Borough Band (previously known as the Okehampton Town Military Band), Okehampton Salvation Army Band and Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band. The latter is the only surviving Band now, continuing the Brass Banding traditional in the town.
We would love to have further information on the history of Brass Bands in Okehampton – please contact us via the contact page.
Thanks to Reg Beardon for supplying the photos and much of the Information
of this History page.
Okehampton Borough Band in June 1928 outside Market Hall in Okehampton.
The Conductor/Bandmaster was Jimmy Gale
(legendary dance bandmaster with the “Jimmy Gale and the Premier Dance Band”),
who succeeded Conductor/Bandmaster Ogden.
The first lady admitted to the Band was Audrey Friend.
Reg “Reggie” Beardon, Musical Director (1971 to 2002), and the Band at the 1972 Okehampton Carnival.
Reg took over leading the Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band in 1971 following the retirement of Jimmy Gale. Jimmy Gale formed the Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band in 1934 and was Bandmaster for 37 years.
Reg Beardon and the Okehampton Excelsior Silver Junior Band at the 1973 Annual Championship held in Paignton.
Des Law, Musical Director (2002 to 2012), and the Band at the 2012 West of England Regional Championship Contest held at Torquay.
Richard Beardon, Musical Director (2012 to 2017) at Bugle 2014.