During the First World War the gramophone became one of the most sought-after items to have in the home. Soldiers would even take them away to the trenches and play the popular and uplifting songs of the time.
Other families would gather round the piano and sing songs together. R M Roberts, Exchange Buildings, Oswestry advertised pianos costing from £18 to £50, a considerable amount for low paid families. In January 1915, the Rev. Lutener and his wife Mrs Anna Laura Lutener invited local PALs and their lady friends to a dance at Church House. Mrs Campbell from Broom Hall loaned plants to decorate the stage.
During the summer months of 1916, regimental bands played every week in Cae Glas Park. A music lover from Oswestry praised the bands saying ‘the music played is some of the best and most of the bands have a richness of tone and effect which Oswestrians have rarely had the opportunity of listening to at home’.
Recitals were popular in the town such as the one by Mr W H Jude, performed in the Zion Calvinistic Methodist Church in October 1918. Mr Jude played to a packed congregation and included music such as two musical portraits of Haydn and Beethoven along with a fantasia of Welsh melodies. In 1918 at Church House in Oswestry, Charles Downes’ Orchestra played dance music at a charity event organised to collect enough funds to pay for mouth organs for the troops. Dances popular at the time included the Waltz, Foxtrot and Castle Walk.
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