Oakridge Orchestra - An interview with Mr Austin Gardiner


Oakridge Orchestra - An interview with Mr Austin Gardiner


Oakridge Orchestra - An interview with Mr Austin Gardiner


I used to play the cornet in the Oakridge Orchestra. But I lost my front teeth in a motorbike accident and turned to the violin which my father and taught me to play while I was at school. I was a member of the Chalford Brass Band — Silver now In my father's time Oakridge was a Liberal stronghold. When Charlie Allen won, we used to sing, "Vote, vote for Charlie Allen, he's sure to win the day"! The last remainder of the Drum-and-Fife Band used to march round the village with torch Poles with sack-bags dipped in tar made the torches. Bits of tar came down n your shoulders and burned holes in your jacket. This was 1912. They played Irish Jigs, Scottish Reels, and "Break-Downs" — a sort of Jig. They have engagements at Tarlton and they walked over there. They also went to Edgeworth and Miserden. They went Christmassing and called at the big houses including Edgeworth where on the way back Mr. Stevens with the big drum disappeared down a quarry during the short cut through Westwood. This is opposite the Trench, near Keepers Cottage. Squire James used to be then at Edgeworth — a nice man, good to poorer people; a number of Waterlane men used to work for him.
Oakridge Orchestra was 12 to 15 strong and was engaged by Rev. de Freville to play at St Bartholomew's Festival on the 24th August. It was also on the lawns of the vicarage if dry and if wet in the Parish Hall where we practised. The Hall used to be below the stables and near the School House. We played excerpts from Rigoletto and Il Trovatore and lovely old tunes like "Lass of Richmond Hill" and "The Last Rose of Summer". Dr Percy Dearmer wrote in a national newspaper, "The Village I know best has a large and excellent band, but they tell me, they have never been asked to play inside the Church." He meant Oakridge Village for he lived then at Lyday Close. The band did play at the Chapel however.
When the Foxtrot and the One-Step came into fashion a few of the younger members formed a Dance band about1930. They carried on till 1939 and played at Bisley every Saturday night through the 1939 war at the W.I. Hall there.


The Pat Carrick Collection


Oakridge Orchestra - Interview with Austin gardiner.pdf


“Oakridge Orchestra - An interview with Mr Austin Gardiner,” Oakridge Community Archives, accessed March 21, 2019, http://oakridgecommunityarchives.org/items/show/692.

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