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Pavilions for Music 
Bringing Bandstands Back to Life

Pavilions for music, entertainment and leisure

An appeal

Many will know I am a regular publisher on the subject of bandstands and will have possibly bought some of my books already. For that I very much appreciate. However, having started studying and collecting information on bandstands for many years now, I have now pulled all this together into one single book and this time under the banner of Historic England. Their publishing team were keen from the outset to see a book published that told the whole story and covered the complete history of the bandstand and in essence a large part of what covers entertainment and leisure in public space - from parks to seaside towns, piers and promenades. The new book covers the following and is described below: 

In 1833, the Select Committee for Public Walks was introduced so that ‘the provision of parks would lead to a better use of Sundays and the replacement of the debasing pleasures.’ Music was seen as an important moral influence and ‘musical cultivation … the safest and surest method of popular culture’. The eventual introduction of the bandstand became a significant aspect of the reforming potential of public parks.

However, music in public spaces, and the history and heritage of the bandstand has largely been ignored. In their heyday, there were over 1,500 bandstands in the country, in public parks, on piers and seaside promenades, attracting crowds of over 10,000 in the case of the Arboretum in Lincoln. Up until the beginning of the Second World War most of London’s parks held regular weekday and weekend concerts.

Paul Rabbitts tells the story of these pavilions made for music, and their history, decline and revival. He discusses their evolution as ‘orchestras’ in the early Pleasure Gardens and the music played within them, as well as the growth of the brass band movement; he examines the intricate and ornate ironwork of the bandstand and the great foundries that produced it; he looks at the worldwide influence of the bandstand, from their great decline post Second World War to their subsequent revival in the late 1990s.

Illustrated throughout with contemporary and archive images, drawings and postcards, this is a thoroughly engaging study of an often overlooked aspect of British architectural, cultural and entertainment history. Paul Rabbitts’ unique historical perspective is complemented by a gazetteer of all extant and demolished British bandstands.

So what am I after? This is an opportunity to be part of that and to contribute towards its production. Myself, Historic England and Unbound have joined together to help fund this book. The book is complete and is due in March 2018. You now have the option of pre-purchasing this book and with 3 options available to you for your contribution. It is a wonderful concept that basically follows crowd-funding principles ensuring books are still published. I am aiming to raise £10,000 towards the publishing of this wonderful book. I would love you to be part of this so if interested, please go to the link below which takes you to the Unbound Page. Here you will see an opportunity to pledge as well as an excerpt from the book, plus at the very top of the page a YouTube link to my description of what its all about. 

Thank you so much in advance and please do feel free to share this. 

Paul Rabbitts 28th October 2017 

The Link is here

UPDATE 8th November 2017

Cassiobury Park bandstand in Watford and 3 very different images - a lovely image from Bill Cooper on the left from the 2017 summer programme and to the right, Brian Cory's Jazzmen. The bandstand features in the new book being published by Historic England in March 2018 but still requires pledge funding. By 8th November, we have 13% funding and thats raised in 10 days so if you are keen to pledge, get a signed copy with your name in it too as well as 6 postcards from Historic England, please do pledge and by the link here

Thank you once again