Why we can't fit a band in our 'bandstand'!

Because it's not a bandstand. It's the Prince Memorial shelter.

Many children growing up nicknamed it 'the bandstand' as it looks so much like a Victorian bandstand but you would be struggling to fit in a quartet inside!

It was built to commemorate William Alfred Prince by his sister Anne. The Prince family had their background in medicine and Balsham, a village story, 1617-2017 reveals the part they played in saving Balsham from a potentially fatal small-pox outbreak.

The Prince Memorial and the Old School. Note the village water pump on the green.

The Prince Memorial and the Old School. Note the village water pump on the green.

The shelter is a memorial to William Alfred Prince, as the inscription inside the roof reads.  William and his sister Anne Ellen were the children of Thomas Prince and the last generation. Neither married. Anne was shown as living with her brother at 4 Durham Villas, Kensington, Middlesex in the 1911 census. William, a solicitor, died on 8 September 1928. His effects amounted to £22,807 1s 2d, which he left to Anne Ellen. She died three years later on 4 June 1931; her effects were £17,597 19s 1d with a bequest for a shelter to be built in memory of William to be known as the Prince Memorial

The shelter was commissioned as a resting place for the aged and completed in 1932.  She also left instructions in her will for £500 to be gifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital to ‘fund a bed in perpetuity to be named the Thomas Prince of Balsham cot’, and £300 to fund a district nurse. Records show that the weather vane at the top of the memorial was made by Mr Harold Kitchener, blacksmith, whose forge once stood at 7 High Street, Balsham.  It was on this site that K.N.S. Limited, agricultural engineers, and Balsham Buildings traded. Did you know that K.N.S. stand for the original directors’ surnames? They were Kinsey, Neale and Stone.

Do you have any memories of hanging out at the bandstand as some of children of our authors did?? Or was your haunt outside the Bell? Do come along and share with us on 27th May at our Talk, Tea and Cakes event. We're really interested in getting more information on 60s, 70s and 80s history too.

You can read more about the extraordinary Prince family and their family history in our book!