Haverettes

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The Haverettes were formed in oldparade11965 by Alf & Sylvia Smith due to their daughter, and other girls, only being allowed to follow behind a band in a ‘Majorette’ fashion. The decision was made to form an all girls marching band, which it still is today.

From the humble beginnings of knowing and competing with just one tune the band have improved their performing routine and their repertoire. Over the years the band has had a major impact at various levels in national competitions and regularly compete at the highest level in major TYMBA-run contests.

In the early days of the band, lots of fetes & carnivals were attended where the girls could show just how effective their military styled uniform and the music they had learned was in an arena setting or as part of a parade.

During the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s the Haverettes were invited to play across Europe including Norway, Holland & Belgium and were part of the official festivities when their home town, the London Borough of Havering, was twinned with Ludwigshafen in Germany. Since the twinning, the band have been invited to Germany many times to play in parades, festivals and European competitions.

enya

The girls were, and still are, requested to perform in music video’s and during the 90’s & 00’s such bands as Inspiral Carpets & Blur have turned to the band to add a splash of colour & disciplined marching to this way of promoting pop songs. Some  of the girls appeared on BBC’s “Top Of The Pops” with Enya (the release of her debut single after leaving Clannad) and this appearance led to the band performing with Enya at a special concert for the then Pope John Paul II, in the Vatican.

As the times moved on the band’s uniform stayed true to the original dress code with only the hats being upgraded for a better fit and more aesthetically pleasing skirts were sourced to give the girls a much smarter look, a look that is commented on at almost every event the band attends.

By the end of the 20th century the band had travelled to the United States of America to march in the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade 1996 following their success at the TYMBA National Championships the previous month, the first English band to do so. The band followed this up by becoming the first all girls marching band to be ‘Supreme National Champions’ of TYMBA in 1999.

As the millennium changed the band was again required by the organisers of parades to provide entertainment and disciplined marching & display routines for the masses. In London, the band was to have the honour of being included on one of the final events before the closure of the ‘Millennium Dome’ (now known as The O2 Arena). This event, tied in with the band retaining their ‘Supreme National Champions’ title, made a great start to a new century.

brixton2

It was also noted that the Haverettes were the first and the only all girls band to be ‘Supreme Champions’ in two different centuries. To date the Haverettes are still the only all girls band to be Supreme Champions in two different centuries as the band won another ‘Supreme Champions’ title in 2009. 

The new decade brought more TV appearances for the band including playing for a new morning show for UK’s Channel 4 called ‘The Big Breakfast’ and with more video shoots filmed, along with performances with the Inspiral Carpets at Brixton Academy and an impromptu appearance under David Blaine’s London stunt, The Box, it also marked other changes in personnel.

margaretSadly our founder, Mrs Smith, passed away in July 2004 but it was fitting that her last official band engagement was to meet the Queen during Her Majesty’s visit to Havering in 2003. As the band’s founding partnership had now passed on, the titles of President & Vice President were accepted by Mrs Weston & Mrs Miller respectively,  who were long standing aides to Mr & Mrs Smith and helped out with the band over many years.

It was during this period that Nicola Matthews took over from another long serving member and became joint Band Master with Trevor Owen. It was not long before Nicola became sole Band Master, the title she still holds today. Th e band also held a 40th anniversary event, in 2005, where many former & current band members were reunited at a party and lots of ph oto’s & press cuttings were on display for all to see the impact the band has had on many different organisations throughout the years. 

Numerous events, parade’s and competitions followed throughout those years culminating in becoming overall winners at a European competition in Germany and then being named Supreme Champions at the TYMBA Nationals competition in 2009, alongside being crowned National Class League Champions, and being undefeated for the entire year.

As the band wo6moved into the next decade requests for the girls to attend events continued and, also, became more diverse. From leading out Great Britain’s & Argentina’s Polo teams onto the field of play, being a part of a video for a Pastor to show his congregation a message of togetherness across culture’s, the band heading up & leading hundreds of ordained female ministers in an anniversary celebration from Westminster Abbey to St Paul’s Cathedral and then to be leading the Christmas Parade in Disneyland Paris in 2013, for which the band girls raised over £11,000 in less than a year to fund.

In 2015, the band celebrated it's 50th anniversary with a reunion of members, supporters and officers from across the decades. Today we look forward  a future where the band will once again travel to cities in Germany, France, America and the UK. The band continues to compete in local & national competitions and is still providing entertainment in parades as well as adding colour to events & promotions around the country.

 dartford2011