Entertainments at St Julians Recreation Ground


In September 1911 the Parks Committee gave permission for the Newport and Monmouthshire Hospital Workmen's Fund to hold a flying exhibition in the recreation ground on the 28th, 29th and 30th September. The event was to feature a monoplane piloted by Mr B. C. Hucks (Bentfield Charles Hucks), who had flown across the Bristol Channel. The ground to be closed for the afternoon and evening of those days and an admission charge be permitted.[1]

There seems to have been no bandstand in St Julians Recreation Ground, but band performances did take place there. In 1912 and again the following year[2] the Parks Committee agreed to allocate £175 to engage bands to play at St Julians and other parks for the coming season.[3] In April 1913 it was agreed that bands would be engaged for the afternoon of Whit Monday, and a schedule of subsequent performances would be drawn up.[4] During the 1914-18 war there was generally no musical entertainment in the public parks, and after the war a new policy was adopted. For the 1921 season the Parks Committee decided that it would not pay for entertainments in the public parks but invite the bands to play and make collections during the performances.[5]

This policy was continued in 1922, but in 1923 it was decided that a sum not exceeding £200 be spent on musical entertainments in the public parks.[6] Bands were engaged to play from Whit Week until the end of the season in St Julians Recreation Ground and other parks. Typical fees were £7 to £10 per performance and total expenditure came to £198-15s.[7] Subsequently in the later 1920s and 1930s band performances and other musical entertainments were concentrated at Beechwood, Belle Vue and Shaftesbury Parks.

In the 1950s children's entertainments were provided during Whit week and August.[8] There were also occasional band performances in summer, such as the visit of the Welsh Guards band on the evening of Sunday July 25th 1954.[9] Summer enterainments for children were still being provided in the 1960s.[10] It was reported that 4,650 children and 1,560 adults attended the children's entertainment in the parks during August 1965.[11] This continued into the 1970s. Having heard that 2,280 children and 946 adults attended children's entertainment in the parks in August 1970, the Leisure Services Committee agreed that £150 be allocated for the engagement of children's entertainers during August 1971.[12]

Sources of Information

  1. Newport County Borough Council Parks, Cemeteries and Markets Committee 21st September 1911
  2. Newport County Borough Council Parks (Amusements, etc.) Sub-Committee 29th January 1912
  3. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 21st February 1913
  4. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 18th April 1913
  5. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 18th March 1921
  6. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 11th May 1923
  7. Newport County Borough Council Parks (Music) sub-Committee 28th May 1923
  8. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 16th May 1952
  9. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 18th June 1954
  10. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 21st October 1960
  11. Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 15th October 1965
  12. Newport County Borough Council Amenity and Leisure Services Committee 3rd September 1970