Cheshire East has given Fodens Band the opportunity to name the streets in a new housing development in Elworth. The development is on one of the former sites of the Fodens Motor Works.
In July 2012 the Council formally adopted nine names including Teddy Gray Avenue and Harry Mortimer Way, both named after solo cornet players and well known conductors in the brass band world.
With the expansion of the site the builders have again granted the band an opportunity to name three more streets. After much debate the following names have been submitted and have been accepted under the usual rules for naming streets in Cheshire.
‘Foden Place’ has been named after the family who built up the manufacturing business in Sandbach and who backed the original band when the original Elworth Band was about to be disbanded due to internal disputes. Family member Edwin Foden Jnr was a cornet player and William Foden played the Euphonium in the original band however after an internal dispute as to who should play for the King’s Coronation in 1902 the band started to break up and Edwin Foden decided to fund a new band under his factories name. He also decided to furnish them with instruments and uniforms and to use them to promote the works alongside providing a local band for events in the area for his employees to enjoy.
It is with grateful thanks from the band that the family name has been included in the estates street names.
‘Men O Brass Square’ is named after an ensemble of musicians from the Fodens Band, Fairey Aviation Band and Morris Motors Band. Harry Mortimer had joined the BBC and was put in charge of the Brass Band output of the radio stations run by the Corporation. As part of his job he was in charge of organising concerts to be recorded. Originally Harry put together an ‘All Star Concert Brass Band’ which was made up of the best players from various bands he was associated with. This proved to be difficult to organise and so he decided that it would be easier to have a Massed band made up of the three bands Harry had worked closely with over the years. The Men O’ Brass made their debut in concert on the 30 November 1958 at the Civic Hall, Wolverhampton. The name “Men O’ Brass” came from a newspaper columnist called Hannen Swaffer who had once described Harry Mortimer as “That Man of Brass” in the Daily Herald.
The last name on the list has a special significance to Elworth. It is ‘Alpine Echoes Close’ named after a tune written for Harry Mortimer by Basil Windsor in 1927 and played at the opening of the original Elworth Park on the 8 May 1937.
Foden’s Band were asked to play at the ceremony and included the tune ‘Alpine Echoes’ with the echo in the arrangement being provided by a soprano cornet player hiding in the shrubbery almost one hundred yards away from the band. This story of Elworth Park has gone down in the history of the band and now is immortalised after Elworth Park’s reopening when a new set of gates were designed by Christine Wilcox-Baker and include the tune in reference. Christine met up with Foden’s Band Archivist Stewart Green in Sandbach library when she was researching the history of Elworth to put various aspects of is past into her design. Seeing her reading a book on Fodens Band, Stewart enquired further and on discovering she was designing the new gates for Elworth he told her the story of Alpine Echoes which now appears on the final design in the form of the actual musical notes of the piece. Reopened on the 6 July 2013 the gates are now part of the history of Elworth as well as the new street names.
Fodens Band are very pleased to be associated with Sandbach and Elworth and the new street names are a great reminder of the home of the double, Double Champions (First in the 1910 and 2013 British Open and National Championships) as well as a reminder that the band will always have a future in the town.