Sunday, 17 April 2016

Coming to Well Hall & Woolwich .................. a Brass Band

Now it is easy to dismiss Brass Bands.

I know I did, partly in my youth because this was music that didn’t appeal and later while still growing up in Well Hall it was because they were so distinctly “Northern.”

Well I now live in the North  and Brass Bands have drawn me in.

I have written about our own band which was formed in 1820 and lasted till 1945, explored others like the Stalybridge band that headed up a contingent which marched to Manchester in 1819 and faced the sabres of the militia an event which quickly became known as Peterloo.*

And in the course of doing some research I knew that there were also bands in the south and so in response to a wonderful set of pictures posted by Tricia recently I went looking for those bands.

They are listed on an excellent site on Brass Bands and include, Eltham Town Band, active in the 1900s and the Eltham United Band active in the 1920s.**

There was also the Woolwich Borough Silver Band founded in 1906.  Its conductor was J. Reay, and it remained  active into the 1910s. The bandmaster was Mr A. Prescott and the Secretary was  Mr W. Knight in the early years.

Much earlier and to my surprise was the Woolwich Dockyard Brass Band which played during the 1840s and 1850s. and what might have been its later reincarnation which also carried the name and was active in the 1920s.

Some brass bands were based around a local church others around a work place and the rest like the Chorlton-cum-Hardy band were formed by local people with a love of music and a desire to play just for the sake of it.

All of which I think points to a fascinating new line of research and set of stories.

And that is all I am going to say except I hope Trcia has some time to go looking for those stories.

Location; where ever there were people with a love of brass band music

Picture; The Chorlton-cum-Hardy Brass Band, 1893

*Chorlton Brass Band,

**History of Brass Bands, IBEW,

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