In the late 1800s and early 1900s musical events were a common occurrence in Reepham and were often given to raise funds for more street lighting, church repairs, and other charitable concerns.
Concerts in St Mary’s School were given each winter to raise money to supply a quantity of coal to the poor of the parish.
Major outdoor celebrations, such as Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 and Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and the coronation of Edward VII in 1902, would call for the band of the 3rd Norfolk Rifle Volunteers.
Various musical groups were formed in Reepham in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, including the Hackford Glee Singers, Hackford and Whitwell Musical Society, Reepham String Band, Reepham Handbell Ringers and Reepham Troupe of Black Diamonds.
Pictured in the Reepham Life 2019 Calendar for May, the photograph (above) of Reepham Orchestral Band taken in 1910 includes familiar names like Edward Gibbs Jnr; James Dixon from the shop at Towns End Corner; James Wasey, tinsmith; F. Hurn, who later worked for Gibbs; and George Juby, tailor.
Arthur Lubbock, on the left of the back row, was a gardener and groom for Reverend Lanchester at Salle Rectory.
Next to him, Harry Youngman was a railway clerk and son of Reepham’s stationmaster. In 1915 he enlisted in the British Army while working as a railway clerk at Stratford goods station.
In 1916 Harry had spent two months in hospital at Church Stretton in Shropshire recovering from wounds in the head and neck, but a year later was reported missing and later presumed dead.
He is commemorated on the World War I memorial tablet in St Mary’s Reepham, and also on the Cambrai Memorial in Louverval, France.
The photo below shows the band of the 3rd Norfolk Rifle Volunteers, established about 1860. Seated, front row (left to right): Thomas Pitcher, William Huggins, Henry Hawes, James Wasey and John Flatman (drummer). Standing, back row (left to right): Alfred Barber (conductor), a visitor, Thomas Morris and Fred Hudson.