Sunday, March 3, 2013

Comber Amateur Flute Band

The photo above shows the Comber Amateur Flute Band posed in front of a grand building.  Our Irish cousin, Sam, sent us the photo that I attached  lower in this post and identified the building as the Andrews Memorial Hall, named in honor of Thomas Andrews, the lead designer on the Titanic.  (Thomas Andrews was aboard the Titanic when it hit the iceberg and did perish in the disaster.)  The hall was built in 1914 and according to Sam is still in use today.  Sam also sent the photo of the band to the Comber Historical Society and received this reply back:
Dear Sam

Very many thanks for these pictures. We are always on the lookout for any old images of Comber as they are a priceless record of our past. I know that at least one of the photos is from 1921. The following extract from the Newtownards Chronicle of 10 December 1921 refers to it:

"At the championship contests, under the North of Ireland Bands' Association, in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, the Amateur Flute Band from the "Whiskey Town" won second prize, a bass flute, in the competition open to Intermediate Part Flute Bands (not exceeding 35 players). The band (conductor Mr James Paxton) is to be heartily congratulated on its success, and we hope it will go one better next time"
The "Whiskey Town" was a nickname for the town. At one time it had a very famous Distillery and bottles of "Old Comber Whiskey" were distributed world wide. Any one who has a bottle nowadays would certainly not sell it, as it would be worth quite a lot of money.

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