RIP Calverley Bandstand
16th June 2010
... Comments

A disappointing announcement was made last week: on 28th May Tunbridge Wells Borough Council received consent from the Secretary of State to demolish the beloved bandstand in Calverley Park in Tunbridge Wells.

Apparently the demolition will take place very soon.

I can't help thinking that both Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, and the office of the Secretary of State have utterly disregarded the wishes of the local people. In larger transport schemes such as the A21 Dualling, opinion is divided amongst locals and travelers as to yeas and nays for the scheme to go ahead - therefore difficult decisions need to be made.
However, in the Case Of The Calverley Bandstand, there was an overwhelming cry for its protection and restoration - yet this apparently went unheeded.

Frankly I'm quite shocked and very saddened by this.

One positive from this sorry tale is that the Tunbridge Wells Civic Society are planning to start fund raising to build a replacement. Although the TWBC had indicated positively towards this, there will probably not be a financial contribution from them, so the funds will have to be raised privately.

Something tells me this ties in with current Governmental Revues into spending, resulting in Joe Public having to foot the bill, but maybe I'm just having a Cynical Monday.

Anyway, thinking positively, we could end up with a shiny new bandstand, however the money's raised, which will continue to benefit the local community.

If you wish to be involved in raising money and/or awareness for the civic societies efforts please contact Alastair Tod at

It is my belief that the new bandstand should be of a traditional style, much in keeping with the original structure and the current doomed one.

The concept of the terribly British bandstand evokes a certain image and I believe this needs to be maintained. I don't feel a modern design would do justice to the spirit the community wishes to maintain - after all, it's the spirit we want to pay homage to as much as the structure itself.

I hope we can channel local efforts and raise sufficient money to replace and maintain our beloved bandstand, although official permission to build one is yet to be granted.

It would be a huge positive to be able to show The Suits unequivocally that we do deserve to choose what happens in our own community.



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Natelie Fitzroy is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.

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