Jon Horlor’s grandfather and various other members of his family were in the Varteg Silver Band. Varteg was a small mining village near Pontypool, Monmouthshire, Wales. The band was formed in July 1914, competed at Crystal Palace in the 1930s, were “C” class champions in the South Wales & Monmouthshire contest in 1944, and were still active in 1948. Other than the picture below, with named band members, which Jon has kindly provided, little else is known about the band.
There was a Varteg District Memorial Hall Band which competed at Belle Vue in May, 1940, conducted by J.H Tipton – whether this is the same band or not has yet to be determined. There was a Mr Tipton in the Varteg Silver Band in the late 1920s. He was an official at Lower Varteg Colliery, and also a committee member of Varteg Silver Band.
When Haydn Jones, as a lad, was walking around the village with some of his friends, Mr Tipton asked the lads if they were working, only to be told that they had tried for a job in the colliery but nothing was available. Mr Tipton assured them if any of them wanted a job in the pit, they just had to turn up at the Band Hall on band night, join the band and a job in the pit would be theirs. Haydn joined the band and he, in return, got a job. The job lasted up until his death in 1956 and he was a proud member of Varteg Silver Band for many years. (reported by his son, Grayham Jones)