John Robert Tidswell
Date of Birth: 1845 (Carlisle)
Date of Death: 1927 (Liverpool)
Conductor: 1875 - 1877
Although John Robert Tidswell was the conductor for for less than two years, his personal as well as
professional life is well documented.
So too was his success - including the victory at the Welsh National Eisteddfod
in Wrexham in August 1876, which led to Tredegar Town Band becoming formally
Tidswell is first mentioned in a report
from the South Wales Daily News in September 1875 as, ‘ … a newcomer, and, as a
performer on the cornet, has few equals in the Principality’, in a concert at St
George’s Church, Tredegar.
In October 1875 the Western Mail reported on the possibility of a ‘playing match’ between him and a rival, Mr Davies of Ebbw Vale Band, to find out who should be considered the ‘cornetto primo of the hills’.
Born in Carlisle in 1845, he was married
three times and had six sons and three daughters.
He was married a third time (to Eliza Stacey) by the time he arrived Tredegar
in 1876, but by 1881 was living in Llanberis in north Wales and was recorded
as being a ‘Bandmaster’.
Until 1885 he conducted the Llanrug Royal Band, being
paid £10 per month.
In 1881 he conducted the Corris Band (north Wales) into second place at the
Merthyr Tydfil Eisteddfod in a competition that featured an unsuccessful Tredegar
Band led by his successor Tom Hardy.
In later years he moved to Prescot in Lancashire
(noted in the 1891 census), eventually settling in Liverpool, where he died,
aged 82 in September 1927.
The image is taken from the 1881 Census for the parish of Llanberis near Caernavon, where Tidswell lived at 2, Lorn House with his wife, 3 sons, daughter and servant. His occupation is noted as 'Bandmaster'.
The image was provided courtesy of the Gwent Archives in Ebbw Vale.