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Bands and orchestras in the major northern seaside resorts of England, 1865-1911 : a socio-cultural history.

Ounsley, Karen Esme


Karen Esme Ounsley


Christopher R., 1952 Wilson


This thesis investigates the social and cultural history of the seaside bands in Bridlington, Scarborough, Blackpool, Southport, and Douglas (Isle of Man), from 1865, the start of the Bridlington era, to 1911, the end of the long Victorian period. It pays particular attention to the Bridlington Quay Parade Band as the starting point of the thesis. The bands will be looked at in terms of repertoire, personnel, instruments, function, management, and their relationship with the local councils, management boards and owners. Extensive discussion of the Bridlington band will centre on the social, economic and management aspects of the Parade band, which taken in conjunction with other bands will give new insights into the barely researched world of the late Victorian and Edwardian seaside band.

To facilitate the research, archives and libraries in the relevant seaside resorts have been visited. Primary sources have been rich in some categories, e.g. local newspapers, and limited in others, e.g. programmes and local records. The main sources for this enquiry have been the newspapers of the period. They frequently reported on council meetings, and where local records have survived generally gave much more detail than the official council minutes. They have provided a wealth of information on the conductors, the bands, how the visitors and residents regarded the bands, and the importance of the bands and conductors to the seaside resorts. With the exception of the Scarborough Spa, very few programmes have survived for the period 1865-1900. Local records for this period are also scarce. Primary sources for the period 1900-1911 are more abundant, with some programmes and local records generally surviving. The available programmes have provided information on the bands and repertoire, whereas local records, for example council minutes, do not often go into detail and so information is patchy. It has also been possible to locate primary sources through Internet searches; this has resulted in original pictures of bands and conductors, several programmes, and contemporary picture postcards of the selected seaside resorts and has enabled the assembly of a personal archive.


Ounsley, K. E. (2009). Bands and orchestras in the major northern seaside resorts of England, 1865-1911 : a socio-cultural history. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jan 17, 2012
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Music
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Music, The University of Hull
Award Date Nov 1, 2009


Thesis (32.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2009 Ounsley, Karen Esme. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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