Bicycle band – Cool stuff for NZ Music Month #6

The Bicycle Band

Christchurch’s Bicycle Band claimed to be the only one of its kind in the world. Joshua W. Painter (d. 1944), a well-known distance and trick cyclist, and his brother Fred started the bicycle band in 1895. It was really an offshoot of the already established Christchurch Professional Brass Band. The men held instruments in one hand and steered their cycles with the other, and they rehearsed in the open ground of Barracks Square, Hereford Street. Left to right, front row: H. Woods, T. Dalton, A.J. Watts; second row: G.H. Gordon, W. Crawford, F. Hopkins, F. Painter; third row: F. Taylor, A.W. Gordon.

Circa 1900

Bicycle Band at the Ellerslie International Flower Show

Bicycle Band inaugural performance at Ellerslie International Flower Show, 9th March, 2010.

Bret Painter, great grandson of Fred, had the idea to reform the band and drew together an intrepid bunch of bandsmen and women from Canterbury Brass and the New Zealand Army Band

Image of the week

A cycling novelty, 1898.

A cycling novelty

The Christchurch cycling brass band is pictured on their Star cycles. The band claimed to be the only one of its type in the world. They held instruments in one hand and steered their cycles with the other. Pictured from left are H. Woods (euphonium), A. Gordon (cornet), H. Flanagan (trombone), F. Taylor (cornet), W. Crawford (side drum), T. Dalton (trombone), F. T. Hopkins (drum), F. W. Painter, Bandmaster (cornet), Arthur James Watts (1863-1956) (bass), G. Lake (horn).

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Image of the Week

The Bicycle Band
[ca. 1900]
The Bicycle Band

Christchurch’s Bicycle Band claimed to be the only one of its kind in the world.

Like what you see? Complete this form to order an image. If you have any further information on any of the images, or if you would like to donate images to our collection please contact us. Want to see more? You can browse our collection here.