One year on.....
I thought it would a good time to update on progress as I think it has been about just over a year I established the CIC.
Its been a mixed bag but pretty good overall and with some great feedback and responses.
I have visited over 200 bandstands (212 to be precise and if you include repeat visits, more like 300).
The database now covers 1,189 bandstands existing and lost and I keep finding more that crop up.
I now have a vast database of images of nearly all bandstands, although some remain elusive.
My postcard collection alone totals more than 500.
Bandstands have been restored and replaced across the country - more than 100 of them, from Hawick to Hanley, Watford to Windsor, St. Helens to Stoke. The rate of restoration has been phenomenal.
I now have a database of all bandstands and contact details for all.
We have had great coverage on media - Daily Mail to Radio 2
I managed to bag myself the status as one of the Dullest Men in Great Britain too.
We now have 2 books on bandstands out there and a third on the way (2018 ) with a fourth on the way too.
We continue to promote the wider use of bandstands to users and local authorities and will continue to do so.
The Queen now has her "own" bandstand in Royal Windsor and opened as part of her 90th birthday celebrations.
New bandstands planned in Luton and Coventry
Lesser highlights -
We were unsuccessful in our HLF bid sadly to look at encouraging greater use of bandstands in the Eastern Region
There are still many bandstands not being used that should be
There is still too much red tape and not enough flexibility for using bandstands
There are still too many bandstands in poor shape - Lancaster - you have the worst in the country.
The future -
A continuation of banging the drum for bandstands - I feel that strongly about them and their long term sustainability is vital for their long term survival
An exhibition somewhere - Ironbridge Gorge Museum? Beamish Museum? V&A? I need a venue, I need a grant and the time to do but having spoken to Lost Art guys, the time has come to celebrate the design of these iconic features
A book from Historic England - under way
A book covering ALL bandstands - almost an A to Z - under way.
Greater coverage in the media - a documentary perhaps, how good would that be?
So all in all, pretty successful. I will continue the crusade as boring as it may seem to many.
A question I am frequently asked? My favourite bandstand? By the seaside...Brighton. In a public park... Town Gardens, Swindon. But I will probably change my mind next week.
Thank you everybody for your continued support. You may also be interested in a new book out in June this year with many many bandstands included. 'Great British Parks - A Celebration' - celebrating 20 years of restoring parks with HLF funding and needless to say includes many beautiful bandstands.