Thursday, 19 June 2008

The Freddy Hargraves Band

I received the picture above this morning, can anyone answer Geoff’s question?

I called into you bookshop about a week ago and said that I would send you the attached picture. My sister, who is now in her seventies found this postcard with some old photo's. I imagine that it was taken in the Westcliff Hall in the early 1950s.

Having spent several holidays in Ramsgate in early to mid 1950s. My dad was, at that time a keen fan and would drag us along to either the St Lawrence bandstand or the above mentioned hall several times during our annual one week stay to hear this band play. Bearing in mind that I was still quite young, I was born in 1946, I seem to remember that their musical standard was every bit as good as dance bands heard on the radio at that time the usual bit of bawdy seaside comedy thrown in for good measure. By the late 1950s their style of music had gone out of fashion and they had gone also. Do you know if Mr Hargraves/ Hargeaves was a local man? There is a passing reference to him in This England's book of dance bands Vol 2 and minor reference to him Who's who in British Jazz.




  1. For some reason unknown to me, every so often when I add an image to blogger it won’t enlarge when you click on it, as this has happened in this case I will publish it up on and put a link to it later on, when I am on the right computer with the ftp program on it.

  2. I remember Freddie Hargraves and his band playing in the bandstand on the front in Ramsgate. We used to stay at the Royston Hotel on the crescent behind the bandstand. My sister Norma used to always come 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the talent competitions. lol
    Esme Thomas (née Josephs formerly from Hackney)

  3. I am an old Ramsgatoniam (born 1944)and I remember Freddy Hargraves band gave great entertainment on the Westcliff Bandstand included a guy playing the saw I remember.They always had a big audience overflowing onto the seafront.They were great summer days -I don't know if Freddy was a local guy -I think he was.

  4. Freddy was a Lancastrian sax player who resided locally and my old Dad played with this orchestra from 1955 until his death in 1963. They were certainly a good sounding band and did all the bandstands in Margate, Cliftonville, Broadstairs and Ramsgate and all the local theatres, dance halls and street carnivals. Freddy's son was a trombone player who I briefly made contact with just before he emigrated.


Comments, since I started writing this blog in 2007 the way the internet works has changed a lot, comments and dialogue here were once viable in an open and anonymous sense. Now if you comment here I will only allow the comment if it seems to make sense and be related to what the post is about. I link the majority of my posts to the main local Facebook groups and to my Facebook account, “Michael Child” I guess the main Ramsgate Facebook group is We Love Ramsgate. For the most part the comments and dialogue related to the posts here goes on there. As for the rest of it, well this blog handles images better than Facebook, which is why I don’t post directly to my Facebook account, although if I take a lot of photos I am so lazy that I paste them directly from my camera card to my bookshop website and put a link on this blog.