Eastbourne Places: the bandstand

The Bandstand, which is now an iconic feature on Eastbourne’s seafront, was built in 1935, replacing the “Birdcage”.

The predecessor of the Bandstand, this was a steel and glass construction but it was not big enough to deal with popular demand during the 1930s.

The Bandstand when it opened during August 1935 had a capacity of 10,000. However due to health and safety regulations, the Bandstand’s capacity is now a modest 1,600.

But Jo Seaman, Heritage officer for Eastbourne, said that “people still flock to Eastbourne to see the unspoilt seafront.”

The Bandstand during its golden age was predominately used for military orchestras.

There is a memorial at the back of the bandstand for John Wesley Woodward who is now well known for being one of the eight brave musicians who continued to play when the Titanic sank in 1912.

Woodward had connections with the Birdcage, the original Bandstand, when he would have played their on numerous occasions with the Duke of Devonshire Band.