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Recreation Ground Bandstand

Chris Hunt 2021


For months past the work of improving the north portion of the Recreation Ground almost out of recognition has gone steadily forward. Although at the outset the scheme, which owes its inception to Councillor T.S.Duncomb, the then Mayor, was received with some divergence of opinion, it is indisputable that the appearance of the grounds has been considerably smartened. Above the rail fence which now divides the wide expanse of grass are a bowling green, and spaces to be devoted to tennis courts, croquet lawns, and quoit beds. Along winding grass-bordered paths one passes beds of shrubs and flowers, whilst scores of trees have been added. In time to come these will provide grateful summer shade for the occupants of the many conveniently placed seats.

The crowning glory of the scheme is the new bandstand, in all its bravery of white and green, surrounded by a wide circle of gravel walk. A neat plate records the fact that it was erected by public subscription.

This prettily designed structure was the scene of Thursday evening’s (July 14th 1910) interesting ceremony, Councillor Duncomb, in the presence of a large gathering, formally opening the bandstand and grounds.

The bandstand was designed by Messrs. J.B.Corby and Son, architects, All Saints’ Place, and erected by Mr Woolston. It was originally intended, if funds had allowed, to erect a more pretentious ornamental structure, including a basement below the ground for storage of chairs, also screens for the bandsmen, and other improvements. The tenders, however, came to considerably more than the promoters had in hand, so the architects modified the scheme and cut down the ornamentation to meet it.

Several gentlemen made gifts of various parts of the structure and thus enabled the stand to be erected for very much less than would otherwise have been the case, those contributing being Messrs. Miles, Williamson, Cliff, and Co., Mr T.S.Duncomb, Mr J.Woolston, and others.

The dimensions of the stand, which is octagonal, are 19 feet across and two feet from the ground to floor line and twelve feet from floor to ceiling; the total height from ground (including vane) is 33 feet. The base is built of brickwork, faced with local freestone, on cement concrete foundations; the floor is cement concrete finished smooth.

The eight posts of chestnut, having moulded bases, caps, and necking, are dowelled to the concrete angles and held in position with bolts to the roof framing. The ceiling is in match boarded panels with mould around. The main bearers are moulded and supported around each post by ornamental cut brackets in which can be seen the initial “S” (Stamford). The roof is covered with buff roofing tiles, the whole being surmounted by an ornamental weather vane, presented by the Ex-Mayor, finished on roof with bossed and dressed leadwork.

The enclosure to the stand is formed by moulded rails and sills filled in with square balusters, with gate on south side to match, having an approach of three York steps.

At the south east angle is the foundation stone, to which is affixed an engraved brass plate having the Borough Arms and “A.D. 1909. Erected by public subscription, T.S.Duncomb, Mayor.”

A print version can be downloaded HERE

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