A short history of St. Albans's Band
The story of St Albans Band, Cardiff, began in 1896 when blast furnace men from the Dowlais Iron Works formed a drum and fife band. In the next year, second hand instruments were bought by parishioners' subscriptions and a brass band was formed under the tutorship of Mr. Merry, a parishioner of St. Peter's Church. In 1913, woodwind players were added to form a military band under the direction of Mr. Jeremiah Scanlon.
In 1919 the Band began playing at soccer matches in Ninian Park, but, being rugby enthusiasts, were soon playing at matches at Cardiff Arms Park.
In the inter-war years, the band not only won a band competition at Fairford, Gloucestershire, but is also recorded as having broadcast on the 'Cardiff Station'.
In the Second World War the band became known as Band of the 22nd. Battalion Home Guard Unit of Guest Keen Iron Works.
In 1944 a boy's band was formed mainly from pupils of the schools of St. Albans and St. Illtyds. They received instruction on Tuesday evenings and rapidly became a very good music ensemble finding themselves under the lights of street lamps entertaining the citizens of Splottlands with Christmas Carols.
In the years following the Second World War the band played a prominent part in the Corpus Christi Day parades in Cardiff. The photograph below was taken on the day of the 1967 parade.
The band also continued to play at both club and international rugby matches at Cardiff Arms Park until 1987.
In 1980 what was then called a 'Stage Band' was formed from the main band and continues to this day under the name 'The Saints'.
The concert band now regards itself as a community band and is proud to contain members of all ages, including more than one generation of some families, and to entertain at dinners, weddings and in public in Cardiff and the surrounding areas.