Your memories of Victoria Park Bandstand throughout the years.
From Clive Goddard
My dad, Derek Goddard sadly passed away in October aged 92 but has been very excited to see that the renovations are taking place. He was a musician in numerous Newbury based ensembles including the brass band and he played on the Victoria Park bandstand many times.
Our family association with the bandstand goes back further, too. My grandfather, Fred Goddard, who also played in brass bands, moved from Lancashire to Newbury in the early thirties. He joined Newbury brass bands and was puzzled as to why there was nowhere proper to play in the park. His bandmates said the local corporation was rubbish and would never put one up.
Fred said, 'Have you asked them?' and they said no!
So, Fred approached (what was then) Newbury Corporation and asked. They were enthusiastic about the idea and to his surprise they gave him a catalogue and a budget and he was asked to choose one. Fred continued to play on it many times. And so did his daughter Sybil and son Derek.
Photo: Fred Goddard
My partner Paul Worsley has volunteered at the bandstand for the past two summers (2021 & 2022), providing sound equipment for a variety of musicians free of charge just because he loves music and wants to support local performers.
He provides the local gig guide for Newbury and surrounding areas on his Facebook Page 'Sound Newbury' every week to help promote music in the local pubs as well. We’ve had some lovely summer afternoons sitting in Victoria Park with friends listening to the music. Can’t wait to do it all again once the bandstand has had its long awaited refurbishment next year.
In 2004 Alber Davison launched the KOTG (Keep Off The Grass) summer DJ events at the park, using the bandstand as a stage. Running annually until 2011, they were the first of their kind in the area and set the blueprint for house music in Newbury for years to come. The KOTG collective (Alber, Dan Cox, Neil Selby, Sarah Cox, Paul Robbins, Jason Hagerty, James Walsh and Gary Lavish) continued running live events in the area until 2018, and still play live in various other guises.
Photos: Alber & Daughter Georgia
James Walsh, Alber, Paul Robbins, Neil Selby & Dan Cox.