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Old Harrogate

Vintage pictures

Early Victorian Harrogate
Historical Harrogate Music
Early Contests
Talk on Harrogate Bands
Philip Wilby's Local Composers
Harrogate Band Song

Music at the Spa
Daily Spa Routine
The Royal Hall (Kursaal)
Early Victorian Harrogate

Since the early 17th century the waters of Harrogate had been taken by locals and visitors to the area. The chalybeate springs of High Harrogate were originally the more popular, but by the middle of the 18th century doctors had discovered a satisfactory method of using the sulphur wells of Low Harrogate for internal treatments and extended their use in baths. A separate chalybeate spring was found, where the Royal Hall now stands, which effectively made it independent of High Harrogate. The Pump Room was opened, a Promenade Room built and the Valley Gardens laid out.  

The chalybeate well, High Harrogate, 1796

The first honorary secretary of the Harrogate Bath Hospital, Pickersgill Palliser, was a man of many talents who in 1834 started to produce a list of The Company at Harrogate - a list of visitors to the town and where they were staying. As time went on he added information about events, church services and advertisements, and by 1836 he realised that a newspaper had evolved from the List of Visitors and he adopted the name The Harrogate Advertiser. In an edition of the List of Visitors was a notice of the "High Harrogate Band", consisting of harp, violins, clarionet, flagiolet and 'cello.

According to a record of 1845, the Band (probably a different outfit altogether) "played every evening in the season" on the Green at High Harrogate.

The 1931 (12th) edition of the Ward Lock Illustrated Guide Book to Harrogate notes that "Bands play before breakfast in the Crescent Gardens, and in the afternoon in the Valley Gardens. Admission free."

Some other Harrogate service organisations

Harrogate's first Fire Brigade - 1880

Harrogate postmen, 1889

Harrogate Policemen - 1890s

First Harrogate Steam Bus, introduced in 1906

Harrogate's first taxi cabs, 1908, in front of the Victoria Baths