Although not reported in the local press, it appears that major problems had
been bubbling within the ranks of Tredegar Band for some months.
Such was the discontent that it was finally reported in the Monmouthshire Merlin
newspaper of 21st July 1876, that proceedings,
‘…in which the old Tredegar band figured in a way not very creditable’, had
been undertaken at the County Court, held in the upper room of the Temperance Hall, before Judge Herbert.
Owens versus Vines
The case of Owens versus Vines concerned five ‘seceders’ as they were called, who
had decided to split from the old Tredegar No1 Band and form a new Tredegar No
The case of Owens versus Vines concerned five ‘seceders’ as they were called, who had decided to split from the old Tredegar No1 Band and form a new Tredegar No 2 Band.
The five had allegedly agreed to raise £10 amongst them to purchase some of the
old band instruments (including a circular bass), with one, Mr Owen, raising
the full amount with the others agreeing to pay an equal share of the cost of
£2 each to him over the next fortnight.
However, Mr Vines, the defendant in the case, and one of the five, had
allegedly declined to pay his share, therefore bringing forth the proceedings.
After hearing both sides of what appeared to be a fractious argument, and under the
terms of the Judicature Act, the Judge ordered the partnership between the five
men to be dissolved and the instruments to be sold by auction, if they could
not agree, with an appropriate ‘division made’.
Four days later and the South Wales Daily News also reported
on the dispute under the by-line; ‘Discord in a Brass Band’.
Despite the outcome, a new Tredegar Band, the one that was soon to claim first prize at the 1876 Welsh National Eisteddfod was set up, but
was still in need of urgent funds.
However, as seen in later press reports over the following few weeks, a new era
had been sparked into life by the court room squabble, one with beneficial results in more ways than one...