Hello again, CITP fans! Things have been extremely busy leading up to our first concert of this series. There is a heck of a lot to sort out in order to make these concerts happen. One item in the mix that has recently been ‘on the boards’ is the stage itself! Our beautiful old Victorian bandstand – the star of our De Waal park performances for many years.
De Waal Park was opened in 1895, although the bandstand only arrived around 10 years later. It was built by Glasgow company, Walter Macfarlane. At the time, the Macfarlane foundry supplied many parks in Britain and its empire with bandstands, as back in those days, military bands and park entertainers were very popular (and remained so until about the mid-20th century).
Unfortunately, not many bandstands in Europe survived World War II, as their iron fittings were melted down and turned into weapons and artillery. After the war, most of the surviving ones fell into disrepair as the era of brass bands playing in parks had passed.
Our own De Waal Park bandstand was actually built for the Cape Town Exhibition which took place in Greenpoint in 1904/05, and was moved over to the park afterwards.
Fast forward a few decades and enter ‘centre-stage’ Higgovale resident Charles Lindsay-Bowman, who had the inspiration to start the concerts after he had joined the Friends of De Waal Park committee. He recognised what a potential gem this old bandstand could be. Of course, old gems occasionally need a bit of polishing, and the bandstand was lovingly restored to its former glory.
Very happily, it can once again play host to wonderful musical performances for the entertainment and inspiration of all. Do come and enjoy the wonderful music and be enthralled at our first concert on the 8th of December, featuring the incredible Arno Carstens, as well as Crimson House and The Dukes of note. It promises to be a cracker and is not to be missed!