Titanic tribute for bandstand

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Titanic bandleader Wallace Hartley will be honoured when Dewsbury town centre’s new bandstand opens later this month.

The new bandstand, in Longcauseway Memorial Gardens, will be officially opened with a ceremony on Saturday September 28.

And a plaque will name the monument after the conductor of the stricken ship’s orchestra, and former Dewsbury resident, Mr Hartley.

The Hartley family were living in West Park Street, when Wallace was famously ‘playing on’ with his violin on when the ship sank in 1912.

When news of the musician’s death reached the town a memorial fund committee was set up to raise money for a monument in his memory.

But the £60 raised was only enough for a marble and brass tablet which, for safety reason, couldn’t be erected in the town hall.

Dewsbury based-author Christian Tennyson-Ekbereg, who has written a biography of Hartley, approached Dewsbury Regeneration Board chairman Coun Paul Kane and suggested that the new bandstand, funded by Dewsbury Area Committee, should be dedicated to Mr Hartley’s memory instead.

Coun Kane said: “When Christian approached me and told me the story, I decided to put forward his idea to name the bandstand after Wallace Hartley.

“The bandstand is a great asset for the town and its location gives us the flexibility to use it for both smaller occasions and bigger situations.

“We are now encouraging people to come forward and use it.

“We are also hoping to have a Titanic Trail, where people can come to see the bandstand, the intention being that it will attract more shoppers and visitors into the town.”

The violin Mr Hartley played as bandmaster of the Titanic orchestra, is set to go on display at Titanic Belfast, an attraction dedicated to the ship, this month and will go up for public auction in October.