The Banbury and District Musical Society was founded in 1919, its aim being to provide concerts for the people of Banbury. From the first, the Society engaged professionals, and some of the most distinguished musicians of this century have performed for them (some of the better known ones are mentioned in O7/N1). The Society first arranged 7 concerts a season, but this was reduced to 4 in 1926, and for a while to 3 in the 1960s. For many years the Society put on members evenings, which were open to members only and were provided bylocal musicians. However, this gradually became uneconomical, and these evenings stopped.
Except for a gap during the Second World War, the Society was in continuous existence until the late 1980s, when it ceased to function, although it has never formally been wound up. During the Second World War, some concerts were put on at Banbury by CEMA and the Banbury Concerts Society, until this Society was restarted in 1946.
The records include financial documents and material concerning the administration of the society (including minute books), but perhaps the mostinteresting items are an almost complete series of programmes of the Society's concerts.
Most of the records were given to Oxfordshire Archives via Banbury Museum in November 1993, and given the Accession Number 3726. Further deposits were made in March, June, July and December 1995, February 1996 and February 1998, and assigned the respective Accession Numbers 3946, 3977, 3992, 4049, 4069 and 4320. An appendix at the end of the catalogue lists the contents of each accession. I would like to thank Lt.-Col. B.C. Mallinson for providing much useful information about the history of the Society, which has been of great help in the compiling of this catalogue.
Recatalogued in February 1998 by Robin Darwall-Smith.