Besses o'The Barn bandroom fire

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by floppymute, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    I've just read with horror the news item on 4BR about arsonists attempting to burn down the Besses bandroom.
    So far as I am aware that bandroom contains some irreplaceable items of brass band history in the library. I remember many years ago, when Roy Newsome was MD, being invited to come and view the beautiful original scores of the old Alex Owen operatic arrangements. These were used extensively in the late 19th/early 20th century as test pieces - some of them lasting over 20 minutes in duration. What's more, I remember the scores as being works of art in their own right with beautiful copper-plate handwriting.
    For many years I've thought that they should be kept safely in an archive somewhere. I may be wrong, and please correct me if I am, but I was told only a few months back that these scores were still there in the library.
    If anyone from Besses reads this forum, PLEASE do something to preserve this irreplaceable brass band heritage!
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  3. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    They shouldn't be - the Owen Scores (the proper ones rather than copies) used to be kept safe by the Directors of Besses o' th' Barn Limited.

    There are / were, however, lots of old Writght and Round scores kept in there that date from about 1874 onwards :eek:

    Edit: And while I think on there was talk at one point about them being kept in a bank vault or fire safe....I'll see if I can find out what's going on with them,
  4. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    I really hope you're right but that's not what I was told by Besses themselves when I asked about them back in the autumn.
  5. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Unless Jim's put the originals back in the Bandroom I doubt that they're there...I'll be very disappointed if they are. It's actually quite easy to mistake some of the manuscripts that are there for Owen's but a lot of them are copies made by the Bandmaster. Even so, they're their own piece of history and shouldn't be there either....and as much as I hope they catch whoever's responsible the presence of those manuscripts in the Bandroom has been mentioned to them lots over the years...including by me as both a committee member and as one of the Directors of the Company....not that I'm involved particularly any more.
  6. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    Then lets hope this is a wake-up call!

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