Saturday, April 11, 2009

Christchurch Bicycle Band Coda

The Bicycle Band [ca. 1900]. Re-published Christchurch Star, 10 Mar. 1965, p. 10
Christchurch City Libraries Image Collection

Accompanying caption:

"Christchurch's Bicycle Band claimed to be the only one of its kind in the world. Joshua W. Painter (d. 1944), a well-known distance and trick cyclist, and his brother Fred started the bicycle band in 1895. It was really an offshoot of the already established Christchurch Professional Brass Band. The men held instruments in one hand and steered their cycles with the other, and they rehearsed in the open ground of Barracks Square, Hereford Street. Left to right, front row: H. Woods, T. Dalton, A.J. Watts; second row: G.H. Gordon, W. Crawford, F. Hopkins, F. Painter; third row: F. Taylor, A.W. Gordon.

Despite the claim to uniqueness, evidence from the Netherlands and Australia suggests other bicycling bands existed and some remained playing long after the Christchurch bicycle band disbanded circa 1915.

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