Malmesbury is a wonderful town. Not only is it attractive and its Cotswold stone walls cry out its history but the people are nice too. There is a tremendous spirit within the town; people work together and support each other and the town. It’s said if you open any door in Malmesbury on a Tuesday night at 8.30pm out will fall a committee!
The earliest club in Malmesbury seems to have been the Gardening Club. Malmesbury Floral Club was among the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society in 1804. It resurfaces in 1870 with annual Flower, vegetable and horse shows; such was the popularity that special trains were laid on. The shows now are popular too although horse are excluded and no trains run.
The town band was formed in 1858. Its chief function appears to have been to lead processions; when the railway opened it had a field day. After an erratic history it still is a favourite part of the carnival festivities. The carnival was first held in 1924 to support the hospital.
In 1902 the Freemasons on the instigation of Baldemiro Hyacinth de Bertodano formed a new lodge, St Aldhelm Lodge No 2888, and this was consecrated with a service in the Abbey.
There are several amenity societies. Friends of Malmesbury Abbey was formed at the end of the Second World War in 1945 – a wonderful commitment to the future after the dark days of the war. The Civic Trust was the first to take the town as its remit, being founded in 1963 but was soon joined by the Resident’s Association and then the River Valley’s Trust in 1992.
We are also an artistic lot. The Athelstan Players started in about 1935 and have delighted Malmesburians ever since. There is an Art Society. Malmesbury Singers do several concerts each year; Malmesbury Abbey Music Society arrange at least four concerts a year – usually in the Abbey.
And many more!