This piece was contributed by Ian Gregory, a volunteer at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery
The Pavilion Gardens date from 1871 – 1875 and were a venue for live music and for eating out. The dome is known as the Octagon and is, unusually for the United Kingdom, one of several impressive domes and cupolas in the town. It was built when Buxton was at the peak of its popularity as an inland resort.
I have scanned programmes of live music at the Pavilion Gardens. Many are for The Spa Orchestra of Buxton. These date from the 1940s and include summer seasons (May to September) and winter and Christmas concerts. There are, unsurprisingly, differences between live entertainment then and now but also parallels. The programmes are overwhelmingly Classical apart from a little Rodgers and Hammerstein and Irving Berlin. Many end with the National Anthem. There are names of composers now forgotten although many are still familiar.