Margate orchestras

As shown at Thanet Light Orchestra, in the early 20th century there used to be a South Margate Orchestra (founded 1914, disbanded 1969, probably led by George H. Last), and an East Kent Light Orchestra was active during the 1960s, but not much is known about either.

Previously, there was a Thanet Orchestra (in around 1910), and then a Margate Municipal Orchestra (a.k.a. Margate Concert Orchestra, who issued several records, including the 10-inch 78rpm record from Edison Bell entitled "The Clock is Playing" (B-side "The Bird Call") shown below.


The Wildon family also appeared to run 'orchestras' of various types during the summer, probably in the 1920s and 30s. Fred Wildon's concert party is pictured below in 1920, with Fred Gregory, Leona Copping, Fred Gibson, Marjery Fraser, Wildon, and Nancy Haines.


His wife Jessie Wildon was a 'popular musician, whose talented orchestra on the Jetty is a prominent feature of the Margate season'. The photos show her 'bijou orchestra'.


Their daughter Peggy Wildon in turn supplied an orchestra/dance band 'at the Fort Lodge hotel every evening', as in the cutting below.


In the 1930s orchestras were known to play at the 'Westbrook Pavilion'. The MMO was eventually renamed the Winter Gardens orchestra.

In the 1950s the Winter Gardens were visited by the BBC Concert Orchestra and 'Edmundo Ros & his Orchestra', promoted by Margate Corporation Entertainments.

In the 1980s the Isle of Thanet Symphony Orchestra often performed at the Winter Gardens.

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