Historical notes and newscuttings relating to
. BRASS BANDS AND MARCHING BANDS

FROM THE FURNESS AREA

 

This page is still under construction and much of the necessary research remains as work in progress.
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The disappearance of any archives from many of the long-defunct bands probably means that

little of their history can now be discovered except from isolated press reports, or possibly from

the records of other organisations with which they were affiliated.  In the early years  the

situation might also be confused by many bands lacking any settled legal constitution,

with membership frequently being fluid between the different bands and with bandsmen

apparently being recruited on an ad hoc basis.  Hence some of the dates suggested can only be tentative.

 

Including Askam Silver Band; Barrow Amateur Band; Barrow Borough Brass Band; Barrow Church Army Band; Barrow Ex-Servicemen's Military Band; Barrow Iron & Steelworks Band; Barrow Labour Silver Band; Barrow LMS Railway Band; Barrow Military Brigade Band; Barrow Old Band; Barrow Rifle Volunteer's Band; Barrow St Andrews Pipe Band; Barrow St John's Military Band; Barrow Shipyard Band; Barrow Steelworks Band; Barrow Town Band; Barrow Unemployment Band; Barrow Wesleyan Band; Barrow Youth Band; Bread & Treacle Band; Cleator Moor Rechabites Band; Coniston Band; Cousin Jack's Band; Dalton Amateur Brass Band; Dalton Fife & Drum Band; Dalton Orchestral Society; Dalton Rifle Band; Dalton Town Band; Flookburgh Band; Flute Band (Dalton); Furness Railway Band; Garnett Family Band; Good Templar's Brass Band; Gradwell's Band; Haverigg Band; Hindpool Band; Holborn Hill Royal Brass Band; King's Own Band; Labour Silver Band; Leven Valley Brass Band; Lindal Band; Lindal Moor Band; MacDougall's Brass Band; Park Mines Band; Rifle Band (Dalton); Rising Star Lifeboat Crew Temperance Brass Band; Roose Band; Salvation Army bands; Splendid Brass Band; Stank Mines Brass Band; Swarthmoor Brass Band; Territorials Band; Ulverston Town Band; Ulverston Volunteer Band; Vickers Band; Volunteer Band (Dalton).

There is a separate and extensive website including Archive Histories of many other UK brass bands here and further local references to performances in different competitions here.

 

Furness Choirs: historical notes [Homepage]
Barrow Male Voice Choir [Homepage]
 

Askam Silver Band/Askam Town Silver Band: Established 1889; centenary 1989.  Still active.

 

ASKAM TOWN BAND 1913: source?

BARROW HERALD, 3 SEP 1864

   Band contest in Manchester

 

Barrow Amateur Band: former name of Barrow Rifle Volunteer Band, qv.

 

Barrow Borough Brass Band: concert under Mr Dudley in Central Hall to wipe out a debt of £22. (Barrow News 14 Feb 1891; article reprinted in 'Looking Back' feature on 15 Feb 1941). The future Dalton bandmaster J H Carter is recorded as having been a member c1890.

 

Barrow in Furness Church Army Band: Dalton bandmaster J H Carter is recorded as having been a member during the 1880s.

 

Barrow Ex-Servicemen's Military Band gave two splendid concerts in the Public Park, Abbey Road, on Sunday afternoon and evening to large audiences ... The conductor was Mr W H Bonell, late bandmaster of the 32nd Divisional Band. Barrow News, 22 May 1926.

 

Barrow Iron & Steelworks Band see Barrow Steelworks Band

 

Barrow Labour Silver Band

Barrow LMS Railway Band (Barrow London Midland and Scottish Railway Band)

Barrow Military Brigade Brass Band see MacDougall's Band

 

Barrow Old Band: formed by some ex-members of Barrow Amateur Band including Nimrod Wood in c1876, with Mr Marshall as first conductor.

Barrow Rifle Volunteer Band active 1860s-70s.

 

      BARROW HERALD, 23 DEC 1865

Barrow St Andrew's Pipe Band: established in current format 1909, when a previous informal pipe band (from 1903 and earlier) began to receive financial support from the Barrow St Andrews Society (founded for ex-patriate Scots in 1878). Still active. Wears highland dress and would traditionally march through the streets piping in the new year. Fuller history and photos used to be included in their former website here.

Barrow St John's Military Band: This band held their third supper and ball in the Lyceum Hall on Friday evening last … Mr Low kindly occupied the chair and made a few remarks, dwelling on the welfare of the band. Barrow Herald, 27 Jan 1900.

 

Barrow Shipyard Band: "Originally formed in 1892 as Barrow Temperance Band, then Barrow Temperance Band changed its name to Barrow Shipyard (Prize) Band before the shipyard was taken over by Vickers Sons and Maxims in 1897 ... As the company changed its name throughout the years, so did the band, which played under the name Vickers Band for many years (from 1968) and as BAE (Systems) Band from 2000, before reverting back to the original name in 2003." Cumberland News, 25 Feb 2009. (The 1939 Furness Year Book also dates the Barrow Shipyard Silver Band from 1892.) Senior band wound up in 2012.

BARROW HERALD 18 April 1914

COST OF BAND PERFORMANCES:

BARROW NEWS 6 Feb 1937

Herbert Sutcliffe, bandmaster

BARROW NEWS 12 July 1937

VICKERS BAND, 1988

Acknowledgments: VSEL "Link" No. 33, Dec 1998

Photographer: A Colyer

 

Barrow Steelworks Band/Barrow Iron and Steelworks Band: "Started life in 1884 as The Rising Star Life Boat Crew Temperance Brass Band".  competed at Barrow Music Festival (e.g. 1st place reported in Barrow News, 8 October 1932). Moved to Barrow Central Library in 1983.  Still active; currently meets at Trinity Church Centre, Barrow. See also the band's Facebook page.

BARROW IRON & STEELWORKS PRIZE BAND from Furness Year Book 1934

NIMROD WOOD,

   Conductor of Iron & Steelworks Band from 1890s onwards

Barrow News, 1 Oct 1932

Robert Latimer: BARROW NEWS 23 June 1951 (see also item below)

Former conductor of Shipyard Band and Holborn Hill Band; also member of Salvation Army band.

 

BOB LATIMER, conductor of Barrow Shipyard Band & Holborn Hill Royal Brass Band during 1950s

NW Evening Mail, 13 June 1996

Barrow Town Pipe and Drum Band: see under Barrow Unemployment Band (below)

 

Barrow Unemployment Band: active 1920s-30s?

 

 

BARROW TOWN BAND, 1936: Barrow News, ?- April 2006

 

A photograph appeared in Barrow News April 2006: allegedly "based on the Barrow Town Pipe and Drum Band ... played the famous Jarrow marchers on their way through the town in 1936" [?1926]. A reader asks whether the story is true.

 

Barrow Wesleyan Band: Concert at Walney – The Wesleyan Band gave the first of a series of evening concerts in the James Dunn Park, Vickerstown, on Thursday. There was a fair attendance. The band, which was conducted by Mr F L Traversi, played a splendid programme of lively music, and each item was heartily appreciated. The Wesleyan Band has achieved much progress, and its performance on Thursday evening was very highly commented upon. Barrow Herald, 1 July 1905.

 

Barrow Youth Band

 

Barrow Youth Band: conductor Mr Sutcliffe

NW EVENING MAIL 24 DEC 1949

 

Bread and Treacle Band: One of several early nicknames for Dalton Town Band (qv.). "At first it was mostly composed of Cornishmen, and it is supposed that the title of 'Bread and Treacle' was an allusion to the hard times which were experienced in the Duchy, when many of the miners and their families were reduced to living on bread with treacle as a substitute for butter." Barrow News, 1 Mar 1924

 

Church Army Band: see Barrow in Furness Church Army Band

 

Cleator Moor Rechabites' Society Brass Band:

Great North of England Temperance & Alliance Demonstration on Barrow Island, Tuesday 24 July 1866. The first class brass bands of the Barrow Rifle Corps and the Cleator Moor Rechabites' Society are engaged. Boats may be engaged for trips to Piel and Walney Island. Barrow Herald, 24 July 1866.

 

Congregational Church Flute Band (Dalton) see references to Lindal Band under Dalton Town Band.

 

Coniston Band

Contests (miscellaneous):

Cornish Band: One of several early nicknames for Dalton Town Band (qv.). Barrow News, 1 Mar 1924.

 

Cousin Jack's Band: One of several early nicknames for Dalton Town Band (qv.). Barrow News, 1 Mar 1924.

 

Dalton Amateur Brass Band: There appear to have been at least two separate organisations operating under this name, although the history of the bands is confused since often the same players were involved in more than one band without any of them having any formal legal structure. :

 

[1]  "The Amateur Band was a contemporary of the Park Mines and Cornish Bands ( the Town Band) [1850s-60s] , and it survived both of them, becoming eventually the Volunteer Band.  Practices used to take place in the Green Schools, William Brockbank being the conductor." Historical article in Barrow News, 8 Mar 1924.

[2] "In January 1897 the annual meeting of the Town Band was held at the Wellington Hotel and the following officers were elected: Mr T Deason as chairman; Mr R Atkinson as treasurer; Mr W Boundy as secretary; and Mr H Baker as conductor. Very soon after this meeting had taken place, there was some disagreement among the members of the band, and, whatever the cause may have been, it was serious enough to make some of them terminate their association with the town band and start a band of their own. This was officially formed as the Amateur Brass Band at a meeting held in the Wellington Hotel in March 1897. Mr H Baker was appointed as conductor of the new band which survived for many years and frequently performed at concerts, parades, etc."  [James E Walton, A History of Dalton-in-Furness, pp.99-100]

Dalton Fife and Drum Band: The New Fife and Drum Band: The new band, under the leadership of the Rev. C A Singleton [the minister at Dalton Congregational Church], paraded the streets on Good Friday and created quite a favourable impression. We understand there are fifty members, in various stages of efficiency, and over £9 has been spent in instruments by the members, who are taking to the recreation in a most enthusiastic manner. Barrow Herald, 4 Apr 1891 [Dalton News column].

Dalton Orchestral Society and Brass Band: concerts mentioned in Soulby's Ulverston Advertiser, 18 Feb 1897

 

Dalton Rifle Band see Rifle Band (Dalton)

 

Dalton Town Band: Claims 150 year history, although the early years seem intermittent and they are confused by the lack of any formal constitution or any settled membership list. Still active. The band retains some historical scrapbooks. It also currently has a Facebook page.

 

DALTON TOWN BAND/DALTON TOWN PRIZE BRASS BAND in Edwardian times (c1900)

 North West Evening Mail, 25 Nov 2011

Another copy of the same photograph shows the following names:
BACK ROW: P Snell (Committee); T Thwaites (Committee); H Todd (Committee); W Corris (Committee); R Towers (Committee); R Nicholson (Committee).
2ND ROW: J Pye (2nd Cor.); G Barker (2nd Cor.); H Williams (Reps); H Bartle (1st Cor.); A Snell (1st Cor.); A Baker (1st Cor.); C Faragher, Junr., (Sopo. & Treas.).
3RD ROW: J Jones (Solo horn); J Kneebone (1st horn); W Fisher (2nd horn); R Atkinson (Solo euphon.); R Peters (Drum); T D Shaw (Solo flu.); S H Penrith (Solo trom.); T Little (2nd trom); W Bayliff (Bass trom.).
SEATED: J Corkhill ( Low E flat Bassoon); C Faragher, Senr (E flat Bass.); W King (2nd Bar.); T Deason (Chairman); J H Carter (Conductor); T H Kneebone (Secretary); W Pye (Solo bar.); T Williams (E flat bass.); T Preston (E flat bass.).
ON GROUND: H Baker, Junr. (3rd cor.)

 

From: J E Walton, A History of Dalton-in-Furness, pp.99-100:

"By about 1870, the musical scene in Dalton seems to have been rich and varied with an incredible number of bands, orchestras, choirs and minstrel troupes all drawing on the same reservoir of talent. Of the bands in the town at this time, the names alone are worth recording. They included: The Scrap Band, The Volunteer Band, The Flute Band, The Bread and Treacle Band, Park Mines Band and several others. The story of the bands in Dalton at this time is complicated, fascinating, and at times very humorous, and would be an excellent subject  for further research. Here we can do no more than give a brief outline ... The constantly changing pattern of the Dalton band scene makes it difficult to pin-point the precise beginning of the Town Band, but it seems to have been about 1870"  From newspaper reports and a short anonymous chronicle in the town band's record book, it appears that in 1894 the two principal bands were the Town Band and the Salvation Army band, and that the Salvation Army band under the able leadership of Bandmaster Jim Coward who later emigrated to South Africa and became Mayor of Germiston in the Transvaal, was the more successful of the two. It included in its ranks several fine musicians; among them were Albert and Herbert Williams, brothers of Sir Thomas Melling Williams, later according to an undated cutting from the Dalton News, of the British Air Command.

In January 1897 the annual meeting of the town band was held at the Wellington Hotel and the following officers were elected: Mr T Deason as chairman; Mr R Atkinson as treasurer; Mr W Boundy as secretary; and Mr H Baker as conductor. Very soon after this meeting had taken place, there was some disagreement among the members of the band, and, whatever the cause may have been, it was serious enough to make some of them terminate their association with the town band and start a band of their own. This was officially formed as the Amateur Brass Band at a meeting held in the Wellington Hotel in March 1897. Mr H Baker was appointed as conductor of the new band which survived for many years and frequently performed at concerts, parades, etc.

 

Bob Atkinson remained loyal to the town band and in the succeeding years established his reputation as a solo euphonium player ... One result of the difference of opinion between the two factions was that the town band was left in a sadly depleted condition and without a conductor. Fortunately for them, it was only a matter of a few weeks before they acquired the services of Mr John H Carter of Roose, a man who was destined to lead the band to a greater glory than they had ever known before - of since. Under his inspired leadership they entered and won competitions, and became known as the Dalton Town Prize Band. Mr Carter resigned as conductor on 2 April 1913, and his place was taken by Mr Atkinson, who because of ill health was unable to join the army when war broke out the following year. This together with the fact that many members of the band were miners, who were exempt from military service and not required to work weekends, meant that during the war years Bob's Band, as it became known, was the only one in Furness that could meet and practise regularly. It was in constant demand to play at concerts, galas, etc., and raised a great deal of money for the war effort and charity." [James E Walton, A History of Dalton-in-Furness, pp.99-100].

[Mr Carter is also shown on the photograph of the Barrow Shipyard Prize Band, 1914. An obituary notice in the Barrow Herald, 11 Sep 1926, contains a number of variations from the above details, stating that he was born at Roose and that his father emigrated to South Africa. The same 1926 notice refers to Mr Carter studying under "the late Mon Lexhime of Barrow".  James Francis Lexhime, FCLV, of 20 Hartington Street, Barrow, was a Belgian national and a violin teacher who first came to the town with Durand's Opera Company and who eventually worked in local theatres, also conducting the Barrow Orchestral Society and producing various compositions. A fuller obituary notice for Monsieur J F Lexhime (occasionally spelt Lexheim) appeared in the Barrow News, 7 Dec 1912.]

         

DALTON TOWN BAND DURBAR: Opening by Mrs Wadham, Barrow News, 1929

Flookburgh Band: said to be established 1909 and still active (see website).

 

Original source?  (Also appears on Flookburgh Town Band website)

 

Flute Band: see under Dalton Town Band (with separate references to Congregational Church Flute Band in association with Lindal Band)

 

Furness Railway Band:

 

 

Furness Railwaymen's Gala: The second annual sports of the Furness Railway Athletic Club were held in Cavendish Park, Barrow, on Saturday ... Lively selections of music were also played by the new Furness Railway Band.  Barrow News, 12 Aug 1922.

 

Garnett Family Band (Ulverston):

 

 

Supplied to Barrow News, 22 Oct 1971

by Mrs N Kay of Newland

Good Templars' Brass Band (Barrow): The members of the Furness Lodge, No 87 (Mr H Pill, chief templar) and friends held a social tea and concert on Wednesday evening in the Clive-street schoolroom, in aid of the movement to form a brass band in connection with the lodge. About 150 sat down to an excellent tea provided by Miss Kelly, Dalton-road, and the following ladies kindly gave their services at the tea-tables … The concert was well attended, and In the absence of the Rev. T P Bullen, was presided over by Mr Wightman … [Songs listed] … The concluding song was given by Miss Hughes, a blind lady, who accompanied herself n the harmonium and also acted as accompanist for several of the other singers during the evening. Barrow Herald, 28 Sep 1890.

 

Gradwell's Drum and Fife Band (Barrow): Gradwell's Band Supper and Presentation: On Wednesday evening last the members and friends of the above band held a supper and presentation at Mr Stewart's Coffee Rooms. About forty sat down to an excellent repast provided by the host … Mr Atkinson (chairman), on rising, said that as the programme was a long one he would reserve his remarks till late on in the evening … Mr S Newgreen, the secretary … was loudly applauded … the Chairman called on Mr Holme, the leader, to make a presentation to Mr Binless, the bandmaster. Mr Holme said that he had very great pleasure in presenting the cup which was won at the late Barrow Band Contest … Mr Robson was then called upon to present Mr Baythorpe with a silver cup … This cup, as you are all aware, was won at the late Workington Band contest, when we gained such a complete and satisfactory victory over the crack bands of Durham, Workington, and Whitehaven … We should persevere and strive to compete at the Manchester contest next year … Allow me further to say that we hope to present Mr Gradwell, junior, with a cup, as we have already presented Mr Gradwell (the Mayor) [i.e. William Gradwell, mayor of Barrow, died in office 1882] with one for the kind respect he has shown to the band … the band had been so successful in gaining four cups during the last two years … The cups were very tastefully engraved by Mr Harper Gaythorpe, Harrison-street. Barrow Herald, 26 Nov 1881.

 

Haverigg Band (Haverigg Prize Brass Band):

Hindpool Band (Hindpool Drum and Fife Band): News item: proposed Drum and Fife Band for the Hindpool District – A short time ago Mr T Nichols, one of the managers of the Steel Works, suggested to the members of the Ever Welcome British Workman public house, that he would like to get something done for the lads and young men of the district, and he thought that the best way to get at them was to form an drum and fife band. A meeting of the committee was called and circulars issued to all the leading men of the district asking for subscriptions on behalf of this object. Up to the present time a number of gentlemen have promised their support. Barrow Herald, 1 June 1878.

 

Holborn Hill Royal Brass Band (Millom): founded by 1875 and still active.

 

Holborn Hill Royal Brass Band: NW Evening Mail, 25 Mar ?1985

Kings Own Band: (see also Territorials' Band)

 

BARROW NEWS 23 FEB 1935

Labour Silver Band: see Barrow Labour Silver Band

 

Leven Valley Brass Band: active c1900-c1970?

 

Leven Valley Brass Band 1905: source?

Lindal Moor Band: Lindal Brass Band Concert: There was a large assembly on Sunday afternoon, when the Lindal Moor and Dalton Volunteer United Bands rendered a selection of music on the Green, under the conductorship of Mr H Baker. The collection amounted to £2 1s 5d. The following programme was very ably rendered: - Opening march; grand selection, 'Weber' fantasia; 'Alpha;' selection; 'Don Pasquale' overture; 'Frivolity' anthem; 'Cherubim'; National Anthem. Barrow Herald, 5 July 1898.  (See also references to Lindal Band under Dalton Town Band.)

 

MacDougall's Brass Band (Barrow Military Brigade Brass Band): active in early 20C. 

 

 

Old Band (Barrow) see Barrow Old Band

 

Park Mines Band: "Out of the Rifle Band, the Park Mines Band came into being, and "Professor" William Stephenson became the bandmaster … After Mr Stephenson Mr Arthur Keen, uncle of the present headmaster of Lindal schools, became bandmaster. [other members are also listed]." Barrow News, 23 Feb 1924 ... "The Park Mines Band, like many other bands in Dalton, owed its dissolution to emigration. During the rush to New Zealand, many of its best members left to go abroad. Others joined the Cornish band [Dalton Town Band] and the remainder appear to have thrown in their lot with the Volunteer Band, so that about 1870 or 1880 it [Park Mines] faded out of existence." Barrow News, 1 Mar 1924. 

 

Rifle Band (Dalton): Founded c1850s; "attached to the Rifle Corps, of which Mr. H W Schneider was the founder and captain ... . Out of the Rifle Band, the Park Mines Band came into being." Barrow News, 23 Feb 1924.

 

Rifle Volunteer Band (Barrow) see Barrow Rifle Volunteer Band

 

Rising Star Life Boat Crew Temperance Brass Band: see Barrow Steelworks Band

 

Roose Band: Future Dalton bandmaster Mr J H Carter was reportedly conductor of this band between 1895-97.

 

Saint Andrews Band (Barrow) see Barrow St. Andrews Pipe Band

 

Saint John's Band (Barrow) see Barrow St John's Band

 

Salvation Army bands: The Salvation Army established itself in the Furness area in 1881, with meetings being held in Barrow, Dalton and (after 1895) in Ulverston.The present citadel in Barrow dates from 1910.  The army's work in Millom began in 1883, with the present fortress opening in 1889.

Scrap Band: see Dalton Town Band and also Dalton Amateur Band (1897).

 

South Ulverston Brass Band: The New Brass Band - On Thursday night the new instruments, a very fine set, were given out to the members of the South Ulverston Brass Band, and to celebrate the occasion there was a potato pie supper to which about 50 sat down at the Empress Hotel. The after proceedings were of a convivial and harmonious character. During the evening the following letter was read:- "7 Culford Gardens, London, S.W., May 5th 18898. Dear Sir, - I am very glad indeed to hear of the movement which has been started for the formation of a brass band in South Ulverston. Such a band as is proposed will supply a long-felt need and will give many opportunities for hearing first-class music which otherwise they could not enjoy. It is with great pleasure that I enclose a subscription of £1 1s and wish you every success. - I am, yours faithfully, R F CAVENDISH. To the Secretary, South Ulverston Brass Band." - Barrow Herald, 7 May 1898.

 

Splendid Brass Band (leader Mr J Cass):

 

BARROW HERALD, 7 JULY 1865

 

Stank Mines Brass Band: Annual Supper. The annual supper of this successful band was held on Friday evening last, at the Ship Inn, Roose, when a large company sat down to a most enjoyable spread, provided in Mrs Clarkson's best style. After supper the chair was taken by Captain J Polkinghorn, and the vice-chair by Mr J Patterson … The Chairman in a brief speech complimented the band, and its leader on the great progress they had made…. Mr Kitchen in response to the vice-chairman gave a few particulars as to the position of the band and said it was in a prosperous condition, both numerically and financially. Mr Bawden also made an appropriate speech … [various members performing songs thereafter listed]. Barrow Herald, 8 Feb 1884.

Swarthmoor Brass Band: formed 1890.

 

BARROW NEWS 21 Aug 1964

Territorials Band (see also King's Own Band): Hospital Band Concert – A very pleasant evening was given in the Hospital Grounds on Monday evening, by the Territorial Band, under the leadership of Mr N Wood. Although a shorter programme was given because of the failing light, the usual pleasure was afforded to the inmates and visitors present. Barrow Herald, 3 Sep 1910.

 

Ulverston: see also South Ulverston Brass Band

 

Ulverston Town Band: "Ulverston Town Band has been in existence for over 150 years. The earliest documented performance of the band was from the laying of the foundation stone to commence the building of Hoad Monument in 1850" (website). Still active.  

 

 

Ulverston Town Band c1960s

 

A few other references:-

Ulverston Volunteer Band: c. early1900s

 

Ulverston Volunteer Band c1900

BARROW NEWS 1 Oct 1971

Vickers Band: see under Barrow Shipyard Band

 

Volunteer Band (Dalton): see under Dalton Town Band and also Dalton Amateur Band.

 

Wesleyan Band (Barrow) see Barrow Wesleyan Band

 

Youth Band (Barrow) see Barrow Youth Band

 

 

"Alas for those who never sing
But die with all their music in them."

Holmes