How many local bands do you have?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by sevenhelz, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. sevenhelz

    sevenhelz Active Member

    Just a thought.
    Saw this in our local paper and was unimpressed with the tone - they obviously don't think there are any brass bands left around here... I wouldn't mind so much if they hadn't mentioned Parr Prize and Temperance Bands - I'm not clear on the history here but surely one of them is still going strong?
    So I thought about it, and off the top of my head I can name five, maybe six bands in St Helens. Mostly ones I've played or depped for, so there're presumably one or two I've missed.

    Got me thinking... how many bands are there in your town?

  2. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Define local bands and, in ones town. I live in the City of Columbus, OH. It has an area of 550.5 km² (212.6 mi²) which is the equivalent of about 15 miles x 15 miles (much bigger than many towns). We have 4 adult bands (3 of which are proper brass bands) and 3-4 youth bands. In the township we rehearse in, we are the only band however.
  3. sterlingsop

    sterlingsop Member

    In the North Manchester Area we have Middleton, Blackley, Moston & Beswick and Failsworth bands within about a 3 mile radius of each other. Next nearest is Besses Boys and Besses O' The Barn big band in Prestwich and after that the next nearest bands are over Saddleworth/Oldham way on one side and Eccles on the other, with Blackburn & Darwen and Bolton to the north and Marple and Hawk Green to the south.

    Not bad really, but there used to be loads more not that long ago - whatever happened to Prestwich band??
  4. Melph

    Melph Member

    Not sure if this counts, but from what I have seen in Switzerland, Brass bands are going very strong!

    In the Valais region of Switzerland (where some of the best bands are) I have been told that some villages have 2 bands as there are so many players! From an outsiders view, I rather think banding in the mountains (with it's seclusion in winter etc) is much like how banding was in UK a hundred years ago - ok, there is still TV and other stuff to do, but banding rates high.

    Another factor is the community support a band gets with very good attendances at concerts - I arrived at a concert 45mins before it was to start (having not bought a ticket beforehand) and was surprised to see most of the hall occuipied - now that is keen!
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Within a few miles of us we've got Southend Town band, Thundersley Brass, Castle Point and Rayleigh, plus Salvation Army bands at Hadleigh, Leigh on Sea, Southend and Rayleigh.
  6. Nuke

    Nuke Active Member

    Well im in liverpool so i commute to st helens for what i think is the closest band. In huddersfield where i used to live theres, Huddersfield brass, Golcar band, Sellers, Lindley, Vintage brass. Then going out from there would be Slaithwaite, Marsden, Emley. Im sure i havnt named them all but there is a fair few bands around huddersfield.
  7. BbBill

    BbBill Supporting Member

    We're all on our lonesome! Because we live on the west of Scotland, our nearest bands are in the Glasgow area, some 130 miles (3hrs) away by road, but if I had a wee boat, the Ayrshire bands are just about 20 miles over the water....!
  8. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    2 within quarter of a mile of each other, then some 25 miles to another 2. Not enough, really!
  9. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Taking say a 10 mile radius from our band room - you could get to

    Cresswell Colliery
    Ireland Colliery
    Sheffield 13
    South Yorkshire Police

    add another 5 miles and you get to

    Barnsley Building Society
    Darley Dale
    Stocksbridge Brass
    Thorpe Hesley
    Worsborough Brass

    Does that make Killamarsh the centre of the brass band world or what?
  10. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Good grief, local to us could include all the bands of Huddersfield, Bradford and Leeds, which could run in to dozens!! And in that lot you have YBS, Dyke, Briggus, Hepworth and Sellers to name but a few!! It's a wonder the lower section bands round here get any players at all!!
  11. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member


    Some us have to travel for our artistry.:rolleyes:
  12. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    A little history about banding in Belgium: Until 30 years ago, we had no "brass bands" here (as far as I know), but in literraly every village there was at least 1 "harmony Band" (=wind band) or "fanfare band" (like my own). If there were two bands, it was often because of politics: one band would be "catholic", the other "socialist". Since the 1960's, a lot of village bands are finding it difficult to attract new players, So a lot of bands had to merge or some bands disappeared. Other struggling bands survived by exchanging members (we don't have many contests, there is no registry and bands only rehearse once a week). The result is that most villages still have at least one wind or fanfare band, but a lot of people play in more then 1 band.

    Some 30 years ago, the first "brass bands" appeared. At this moment there are about 40 bands. Most of these were formed as "regional bands": its members come the different local wind and fanfare bands and most of them still play in their local bands as well (but not everyone is verry happy about this!). Some examples of these bands are Willebroek and Metropole Brass Band. There is also a number of bands that used to be fanfare bands and that changed their instrumentation to that of a brass band (e.g. Brass Band Buizingen).

    The region with the most brass bands in Belgium seems to be the western side of the provinces of Antwerp and Vlaams-Brabant (South of Antwerp, towards Mechelen and to the West of Brussels). In my province (Limburg), there are only two brass bands: one in the south-east (BB Smeermaas, about 50km from were I live), which used to be a fanfare band, but switched 10 years ago, and a regional band for the North of the province (Noord-Limburgse BB), that rehe***** about 15km from my village. In our Dutch sister-province there is another brass band, just accross the border (Brass Band Limburg, a regional band as well)
  13. rutty

    rutty Active Member

    Nottingham seems to be a bit of a Brass Band black hole. There are plenty of bands in the surrounding areas but only two (that I can think of off the top of my head) in Nottingham itself, and one of those in Bestwood which could be described as it's own village.
  14. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    It depends how you define "local". If you look at Leicester City there is only one contesting band still around - Foresters Brass 2000. But if you start to look at the outlying villages and suburbs there are loads. Within around half an hours drive of my house are (apologies for any I miss):

    Croft Silver
    Travelsphere / GUS
    Market Harbrough
    Ratby (A band & Mid Band)
    Unity Brass
    Leicestershire Co-op
    Snibston & Desford
    Melton (just)
    Corby (on a fast motorbike ;) )

    I think thats everyone - i've only included contesting senior bands, there is also Youth Brass 2000 and Hathern , Enderby and Ratby also have junior bands. Maybe Dinie can fill in any gaps caused by mental blockages on my part. :D

    EDIT: There are also a couple in Coventry (Roll-Royce) and Rugby (Bilton) both commutable (I drive to Cov every day) but perhaps a couple of minutes oputside of my 30 minute limit.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2005
  15. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Being in Market Harborough I have all of the above just up the A6 and then just beneath me there is the Northants Bands.

    Raunds (obviously)
    Travelsphere (are now northants again Ian)
    Rushden Town
    Rushden Wildmill
    Stamford Brass
    Bilton Silver

    Sorry to the ones I missed, I think thats all of them though
  16. Crazysop

    Crazysop Member

    Also there is St Micheals and Chadderton bands, although I dont think they contest, they are still around and only a mere stones throw away from our Band

    I suspect I could include any Oldham / Rochdale based bands on the lists of bands local to myself personally, so thats loads and loads!!! I would be here all night trying t list them all!

    Its "band fest" around here!
  17. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    Ermmm not many! My band is 20 or so miles from where I live, so thats 1!

    There's Bideford Town Band which is about half a mile from my house, so 2

    There's Torrington Silver about 8 miles from here

    Hatherleigh Silver about 20 miles away

    Okehampton Excelsior about 20 miles away

    and Hartland, Holsworthy and Appledore who are all non contesting and are various distances away.

    all of these are at least 20 miles from my band though.
  18. sevenhelz

    sevenhelz Active Member

    so there are places overrun with bands, and places where it's a bit quieter, no pun intended... if there are a lot of bands around how do you decide who to play with? :confused: lol
  19. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    In my case its easy - I just play for the only one who'll have me....;)
  20. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    There's not that many near me.. 2 I can think of: Yiewsley and Capital. That's why I commute 40miles to band!!