Indian Queens Band – Established 1856

Indian Queens Band is an important part of this area’s traditions and musical heritage. A respected band, it was founded in 1856 and has a proud and unbroken record of bringing enjoyment to communities the length and breadth of Cornwall.

There have been many highlights in the history of the band and these include winning section ‘B’ at the West of England Bandsman’s Festival or Bugle Band Contest as it’s referred to locally eleven times. The band competed at Crystal Palace in 1929 where it came 8th out of 23 bands and in November 1937 it was the first South West Band to broadcast on the radio ‘national wavelength’ as it was then called! In the late 1980’s, the band had a run of success which saw it gain entry into the National Finals at London for three years running and into the Pontin’s Finals in Prestatyn North Wales twice.

The Early Days

Indian Queens Band was founded in 1856 by a local man Martin Strongman Kessell (1835 – 1896). As well as being a well-known musician, he worked for the Trelissick Estate as a gamekeeper.

Martin was the first of many Kessell’s associated with the band through the years. His great-great-nephew Ivan Kessell was President of the band in 1981 when the band celebrated its 125th anniversary.

Writing in his book about the history of St Columb and St Mawgan, Ivan Rabey noted that “a band of five players, trained by M. Kessell undertook their first engagement at Ruthvoes. As they only knew three tunes they played them over and over again, but Indian Queens Band has progressed much over the years”.

The earliest known photograph of Indian Queens Band dates back to 1896 and is reproduced below;

Martin Strongman Kessell

Indian Queens Band pictured in 1900

Indian Queens Band leading Sunday School procession in 1906

Indian Queens Band pictured in 1908

Indian Queens Band pictured in 1912

Back row: Bert Menear, Clare Menear, Cliff Sharp, Harry Osborne(junior).

Middle row: Tommy James, Harry Osborne, Glynn Hocking, Frank Tamblyn, Charlie Tamblyn, Will Kessell, Ford Knight.

Front row: Billy Grose, Marsh Kessell, Henry Tamblyn, Ned Osborne, Ernest Menear.

Indian Queens Band pictured in 1923

Back row: Stewart Osborne, Gerald Kessell, Cliff Sharp, Basil Tamblyn, Ray Menear, John Bray, Fred Carhart.

Middle row:(uniformed) Wilf Bettison, John Bennetto, Fred Tamblyn, Art Bullock, Jack Harvey, Will Bennett, Owen Tamblyn.

Front row: Henry Tamblyn, Billy Bennett, Percy Knight, Maurice Bullock, Ford Knight, Cliff Common, Albert Kessell, Ernest Menear, Charlie Harrison.

Indian Queens Band pictured in 1932

Back row: Stafford Luke, Cliff Sharp, Jim Pinch, Herbert Nancarrow, John Bray, Charlie Dean, Lloyd Yelland, Niles Caddy.

Middle row: Jack Yelland, Jack Rawlings, Eric Kent, Basil Tamblyn, Wilfred Gill, Cyril Lobb, Tom Hoskin, Edward Rickard.

Front row: Rodney Wright, Dick Cole, Wallace Key, Melville Brewer, Ford Knight, Cliff Common, Billy Bennett, Albert Powell.

Seated: Eric Rickard, Garfield Common.

Indian Queens Band pictured in 1956

Back row: Lionel Boundy, Graham Luke, Leonard Osborne, Tony Cole, Bill Osborne, Raymond Boundy, Stafford Luke, Garf Kent, Rex Boundy.

Middle row: Owen Tamblyn, Tony Trebilcock, Basil Tamblyn, Mark Bazeley, Haydn Knight, Gerald Tamblyn, Albert Kessell, Alan Hoskin, Jack Yelland.

Front row: Jim Pinch, Ashley Webber, David Bazeley, Ford Knight, Alfred Tamblyn, Denzil Boundy, Fred Tamblyn.

The Bandrooms

Indian Queens Band built their first bandroom in the early years of the twentieth century just west of the entrance to Barnfield Terrace.

Construction of a replacement bandroom at the top of the Drang was started in 1927. It was opened by Captain Mark Richards who had given considerable support to the project in the form of building materials and other assistance. Captain Richards was the founder of the then local haulage firm Richards & Osborne.

The band members themselves played a very important role in the construction work which was co-ordinated by two masons; Frank Tamblyn and Will Collins. It is known that the other helpers included Ford Knight, Jim Pinch, and his father William, Basil Tamblyn, Owen Tamblyn, Henry Tamblyn and Jack Yelland.

Indian Queens Band and the original bandroom in 1912

Eagle-eyed locals may notice that on the original bandroom sign (now located at the front of our new bandroom parking area) had its name chipped away. It is said that during the Second World War, everyone was expected to eradicate all ‘place names’ in their local area in order to confuse the enemy if there was an invasion.

By contrast, it was decided not to damage the front of the second bandroom, which was hidden under tin sheeting and then uncovered once again after 1945.

The opening of the ‘new’ bandroom in the late 1920’s

In the years of the new millennium a fundraising effort raised the money to replace the existing bandroom with a new and purpose built facility fit for the 21st century. The bandroom was completed in 2005 in time for the Band’s 150th anniversary year in 2006.

Indian Queens Band current bandroom opened in 2005.

Cllr. Andrew Waters, Lionel Boundy, Alan Hoskin with Denzil Boundy at the

opening of the new bandroom.

Bugle Band Contest

Indian Queens Band has been a stalwart supporter of the West of England Bandsmen’s Festival. The band won the B section at the first contest, beating six other bands (Foxhole Temperance, Lelant Brass, Liskeard Temperance, St Agnes Town, St Ives Town and Stenalees Silver). Three players also won special awards; Ford Knight (trombone), Charlie Tamblyn (horn) and G.H. Wilson (cornet).

Since that auspicious start, Indian Queens Band has won the B section on a further 10 occasions; 1913, 1922, 1938, 1953, 1956, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965 and 1968.

Haydn Knight leading Indian Queens Band through the streets of Bugle in 1960

Many band members have been special prize winners over the years. Ford Knight won a second award in 1922, his brother Percy won in 1936 and 1938 and his son Haydn in 1947. Owen Tamblyn was also twice a winner in 1921 and 1960. Other winners have included euphonium players Henry Tamblyn (1913), Albert Kessell (1921), J. Gallard (1932), Jack Yelland (1952), trombonists Melville Brewer (1932), David Bazeley (1953, 1955 and 1956) and Alan Brewer (1965), cornet players Cliff Sharp (1928), Herbert Nancarrow (1938), Rex Boundy (1953) and Graham Barker (1989) and soprano cornet player Leonard Osborne (1958).

Most successful were five times winner Lionel Boundy (1960, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1968) and four times winner Alan Hoskin (1961 and 1963, 1964 and 1965).

Musical Director Harold Trethewy and Garf Ould collecting the Ford Knight Trophy in 1968.

When Bugle Contest introduced a 4th section to its contest the Boundy Brothers Rex, Lionel & Denzil donated the Boundy Brothers Challenge Cup as the winner’s Trophy for the 4th section.

Up until 2016 Indian Queens Band had never won the Trophy and it was Denzil’s request to the Musical Director Mark Arnold that he guided the band to bring the trophy home to Indian Queens. Denzil passed away days before the 2016 contest but the band fulfilled his dream and brought home the Boundy Brothers cup to Indian Queens with flugel player Emily Henderson picking up the best player award. In 2017 Indian Queens retained the Trophy winning the section by five clear points with euphonium player Tracy Kistle picking up the best player award.

Mark Arnold holding the “Boundy Brothers Challenge Cup” in 2017.

Dedicated Servants of the Band

Over the years, Indian Queens Band has been served by many dedicated families – such as the Boundy’s, Kessells, Lobbs, Osbournes, Tamblyns, Yellands and many more.

The name most synonymous with Indian Queens Band is that of Ford Knight, who dedicated over sixty years of his life to the organisation, as both a player and conductor. Recorded as a band member in the late 19th century, he was the first man in Cornwall to own a slide trombone. Ford was still at the helm of the band in 1956 on the occasion of its centenary. This was also the year when the band won the B section at the Bugle Band Contest.

Ford Knight is one of two band members to have been honoured with memorial trophies at Bugle’s West of England Bandsmen’s Festival. The Ford Knight Memorial Trophy was presented to the festival in 1960 and is awarded to the winners of the B section and Indian Queens Band was the first to win the trophy. The Cornish Guardian commented – “it was felicitous that the band should have won this new trophy which commemorates the man who did so much for Indian Queens Band.

The other member of the band commemorated at the West of England Bandsmen’s Festival is Owen Tamblyn. He came from a large family of bandsmen and his daughter Pam Ould was secretary of the band before she became the present President of the band. Owen was an active bandsman for over 50 years and only once missed Bugle Band Contest. The Owen Tamblyn Memorial Trophy was presented to the festival in 1969 for the best tenor horn, the instrument that he played.

Ford Knight in 1949 with a quartet comprising (left to right)

Stafford Luke, Desmond Angilley, Owen Tamblyn and Jack Yelland.

Other dedicated bandsmen from this era, who played in the Band for over 50 years, include Owen’s brothers Basil and Fred Tamblyn, as well as euphonium player Jack Yelland. Local men Jim Pinch and Eric Rickard meanwhile received their 50 year long-service awards to local banding at a joint presentation in 1988.

Owen, Fred and Basil Tamblyn in 1966, celebrating 50 years of service to the band

by Owen and Fred.

In recent years, five long-serving band members have been recognised for 50 years’ service to the band.

Brothers Denzil and Lionel Boundy were honoured in 1999 along with Gerald Tamblyn whose own father Owen, had similarly served with the band for over five decades.

Lionel conducted the band in the mid-late 1980’s when it had a considerable run of success gaining promotion from the middle of the fourth section to the top of the second section. For two years running, the band gained entry into two big national competitions; the London National finals and the Pontin’s Finals in North Wales in 1986 & 1987. The Band scored a hat-trick in 1988 by qualifying for the London finals yet again.

Lionel Boundy, Gerald Tamblyn and Denzil Boundy being presented with 50 years long-service awards by Micky Hunt of the Cornwall Brass Band Association.

The last two members to be presented with long-service awards were Graham Luke and Alan Hoskin, who were honoured in 2001 and 2004 respectively.

Long standing player Graham followed his father Stafford into the band first playing cornet before moving on to tenor horn, Euphonium player Alan Hoskin was a leading member of the band before his death in 2017 and was a special prize winner at the Bugle Band Contest on a number of occasions.

Left; Graham Luke and right; Alan Hoskin

Indian Queens Band in 1970, at the presentation of a 50 year long-service award to Jack Yelland

Back row: Roland Glanville, Desmond Owens, Denzil Boundy, Philip Grigg, Derek Trethewy, Alan Hoskin, Alan Brewer. Middle row: Henry Dingle, David Bunt, Garf Ould, Basil Tamblyn, Gerald Tamblyn, Graham Luke, Brian Cowling, Doug Pell, Malcolm Williams, Raymond Johnson, David Jay, Rex Boundy. Front row: Peter Boundy, Lionel Boundy, Neil Curtis, June Chapman, Jack Yelland, Stanley Penhaligan, Cath Yelland, Wendy Owens, Barry May, Susan Owens.

Indian Queens Band in 1981, 125th Anniversary Year

Back row: Carl Boundy, Lionel Boundy, Lou Chapman, Andrew Remick, Kevin Tucker, Rachel Parsons,

Tessa Boundy, Brenda Collins, David Remick. Second row: Graham Boundy, Chris Ellacott, Shaun Varcoe, Wendy Elliot, Simon Whittle, Beverly Hugh, Philip Edwards, Gary Giles. Third row: Garf Ould, Linda Osborne, Brian Cowling, Paul Boundy, Gerald Tamblyn, Leonard Osborne, David Jay, Malcolm Williams.

Front row: Arthur Biddick, Trevan Biddick, Paul Varcoe, Stanley Penhaligan, Alan Hoskin, Denzil Boundy, Lester Chapman

Television Personality Laurie Quayle helping the band celebrate its 125th Anniversary.

Again in the 125th Anniversary year a very special guest was hosted by the band, the Brass Band legend Harry Mortimer. At an earlier contest that the band attended Harry had approached the band and expressed his wish to conduct the Indian Queens Band, a concert was arranged in the Victory Hall and Harry fulfilled his wish and conducted the band in that concert.

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Left: Harry Mortimer with Stan Penhaligan and centre and right Harry with the band.

Indian Queens Band in 1988

Back row: Peter Stephens, Tessa Stephens, Graham Barker, Nicola Giles, Tracey Collins, Brenda Parsons, Jackie Landry, Paula Chapman, Graham Boundy, Peter Richards, Chris Netherton. Middle row: Malcolm Williams, Graham Luke, Lisa Osborne, Karen Chapman, Keith Babbs, Chris Ellacott, Ann Giles, Chris Parsons, David Jay, Shaun Varcoe, Garf Ould.

Front row: Rex Boundy, Denzil Boundy, Stephen Osbourne, Alan Hoskin, Lionel Boundy, Gerald Tamblyn, Paul Varcoe, Violet Caddy, Paul Boundy.

Indian Queens Band in 2001

Back row: Jason Kitts, Emily Henderson, Zack Lawrence, Becky Bazeley, Tamsin Kitts, Holly Blackburn, Malcolm George, George Blackburn, Donna Bazeley, Olivia Rowse, Hazel Rowse,, Bob Kitts. Middle row: Andrew Key, Carly Ould,

Hannah Henderson, Sam Mitchell, Graham Luke, Ryan Bazeley, Barbara George, Andrew George, Lowenna Taylor,

Dave Bennett. Front row: Nick Pritchard, Lester Henderson, Alan Hoskin, Spud Yeomans, Graham Barker, Gerald Tamblyn, Jacob Pritchard, Wayne Williams, Denzil Boundy. Seated on floor: Daryl Bulpin, Samual Bulpin,, Lisa Mewton, Nikita Pritchard, James Mitchell, Katie Yeomans, Miranda Varcoe, David Britton, Emma Pritchard, Joaane Hicks.

Indian Queens Band in 2004

Standing: Bob Kitts, Jason Kitts, Kimberly Old, Pippa Rumsey, Michael Fowler, Vincient Gill, Siobhan Burt, Matt Purcell-Herbert, Jack Gill, Julie Nichols, Amy Bulpin, Katie Yeomans, Demelza Mitchell, Bem Williams, Josh Yeomans,

Daniel Whitford, Katie Gill, Natasha Pritchard, Joseph Sweet, Kerry Aston, Josh Bullen, James Bullock. Middle row: Malcolm George, Barbara George, Tamsin Kitts, Emily Henderson, Sean Purcell-Herbert, James Mitchell, Georgina Sweet, Nick Pritchard, Lester Henderson, Damon Kistle, Denzil Boundy, Jacob Pritchard, Phil Tape, Chris Fowler. Front row: Olivia Rowse, Donna Bazely, Becky Bazely, Nikita Pritchard, Hazel Rowse, Lowenna Taylor, Andrew George, Joanne Hicks, Jacob Kistle, Andrew Mitchell, Hannah Henderson, Gerald Tamblyn, Joe Hoskin, Alan Hoskin. Musical Director: Maurice Bennett.

A more recent history (as featured in February 2018 issue of Brass Band World magazine)

Back in 2015, Mark Arnold (ex. Black Dyke , Brighouse and Rastrick and Grimethorpe Percussionist where he spent 14 years including appearing in the film Brassed off) was appointed MD of the Indian Queens Band.

Mark started at the band with only 12 players, but this was the core of the band, that stuck together through thick and thin, with the will and determination to keep this band, which had been formed in 1856 going.

It was hard work getting through single pieces in a whole rehearsal, but to get players it was a case of asking does anybody know anybody at all who may not be playing or haven’t played for some time or who had recently left the band and want to see what was happening with this new MD. All Mark said was “you get them to a rehearsal, and it’s my job to persuade them to stay”. This in fact worked very well with the band gradually filling all its positions.

Indian Queens didn’t have many concerts as it had to let a few people down the year before purely because they didn’t have a band to perform them, so, many freebies or collection only concerts were given with the repertoire building slowly. This has paid off well with the band now attending many concerts throughout the year, and the band promoting more of their own indoor concerts which is growing and being received really well.

A measure of a bands success is as ever, Contests.

Mark wanted to break the band in gently and commented “so we entered the Ungraded section of the Exmouth Entertainment Contest. Mark wasn’t expecting any silverware at all, but the Band were placed 5th in playing (out of 15), we won the best ungraded band, Best Percussion Section out of all the bands and we won the most entertaining band of the day, beating 1st section bands”, a phenomenal day indeed. Next, Mark needed to get the band at a contest performing a test piece and get used to the preparation needed working up a single piece and the build-up of the day. We were lucky that the CBBA were having their annual contest in the Hall for Cornwall. We were drawn no.1, but the band went on stage as confident as ever and were successful in the Ungraded section for the Hymn Tune and Test Piece.

It was now that Mark knew the band were ready to take part in the South West Areas, which the band had not competed in for 22 years. The band were lucky to be performing a great test piece “The Journal of Phileas Fogg” by Peter Graham. Mark was expecting somewhere around top 10 before we played, but we were awarded an amazing 4th place, which was unbelievable after only 1 year back, but which was also well deserved. Another first for the band, was to play at the Bugle Band Contest, a local outdoor contest held every year in the Village of Bugle. Indian Queens were successful here, picking up the 4th section title, and the bands Flugel Player Emily Henderson picking up the best instrumentalist in the Section. This was on the back drop of the band losing one of its long standing members Denzil Boundy who had passed away a week before the contest. Denzil had said to Mark a week before he died that he wanted that trophy bringing back to Queens, a tall order, but one the band did with pride. The trophy in question was the Boundy Brothers Trophy, which Denzil and his 2 brothers had donated to the Bugle Band Contest years earlier but which Denzil had never won.

The Contest season started again with another visit to the Exmouth Entertainment Contest, with the Band coming 5th overall in playing, they won the best 4th Section band and the Best Trombone section of the day.

The areas beckoned for the second time with the band yet again just missing out qualifying for the Nationals with another great 4th place.

A second performance at the Bugle Band Contest provided another victory in the 4th section beating the band into second place by 5 clear points and the bands Euphonium Player Tracy Kistle winning the best instrumentalist in the section.

At this point Indian Queens band were informed officially that they had been promoted into the 3rd section from 2018 which is another amazing achievement, but shows how Indian Queens Band has been progressing.

The most recent achievement is the bands performance for the 3rd year at the Exmouth Entertainment Contest. The Band were placed 3rd in Entertainment and 4th overall in playing beating 1st Section bands with the bands percussion yet again winning the best percussion section of the day.

So the band are now looking forward to 2018 with performing to another level in the 3rd Section, but through all this the band have stayed steady together, with full commitment and full rehearsals and each and everyone is looking forward to the year ahead.

Photo Courtesy of Mark Curnow Photography

Indian Queens Band in November 2017

Back row: Kathryn Hatch, Jasmine Williams, Tamsin Kitts, Oliver Williams, Tim Roberts, Emma Roberts, Ian Jones, Lorraine Forsdick, Lindsey Williams. Middle row: Jason Kitts, Emily Henderson, Valerie Jenkins, Linaire Penny, Angela Mitchell, Paul Mitchell, Jackie Hatch, Paul Faraway, Nigel Hoskin, Robert Williams. Front row: Lester Henderson, Damon Kistle, Tracey Kistle, Hannah Curnow, Mark Arnold, Dave Hargreaves, John Roberts, Rosie Cassar, Dave Marriott.