Grays Town Band


Founded in 1888 and originally called ‘The Sons of Temperance Band’. It was the musical arm of the ‘Sparkling Spring Lodge of the Sons of Temperance’ which was just one of many similar groups campaigning against the evils of alcohol amongst the working classes in areas like Grays, Tilbury etc. at that time. The members were known as ’Brothers’ not bandsmen and met every Monday night for practice above the Queen Victoria Coffee Tavern in High Street, Grays (now the HSBC Bank).

The first Bandmaster was Mr. W. Layzell who ran a music shop in New Road, Grays. Brother A. Bradish was the treasurer and Brother J. Cornhill was the Secretary.. 1905 saw the arrival of Mr. Frank Gray, from Durham, as bandmaster and the band changed its name to the ‘Grays and District Temperance Band’. They moved their practice venue to premises above the Knowles and Tampkins Mineral Water manufacturing works in Crown Road, known as the Niagra Works. They subsequently changed their name to the ’Grays Temperance Silver Band’. The name remained unchanged until 1950 when it became known as ‘Thurrock Silver Band‘.

In 1928 they moved their headquarters to John Street. This was due to the fact that Frank Francis bass trombonist and band member for over 50 years mortgaged his house to secure the finances for the building for the band.

In 1987 the band became known as Grays Town Band.

The band have been Essex Champions 8 times and have won overseas titles too. In 1945 they won the Daily Herald Silver Challenge Cup and were the youngest senior brass band to have won in the history of the competition. 1946 saw them win the Victory Band Contest at East Ham.

In 1991 the Band uniform was changed from brown to royal blue and black. The outside of the Band hall was also refurbished.