The Royal Doulton Band

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassfanatic, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. brassfanatic

    brassfanatic Member

    The Royal Doulton Band, from Staffordshire, whatever happened? I'm lead to believe they folded around 1995? Why? They were Championship Section weren't they?

    They recorded a load of albums! Shame the band is no longer around. Anyone know any players that were in the band?
  2. JPCoulson

    JPCoulson Member

    I had the pleasure of helping them out for a while after they "folded" when they reformed as City of Stoke brass band. The late great Ted Gray conducted us for a while and had the vast majority of the Royal Doulton players were still there.
    Don't know what happened after that but they were an awesome band!
  3. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member

    My husband Simon was at Royal Doulton for a while.
  4. westburykid

    westburykid Member


    The Band folded cos the Royal Doulton company could not keep the sponsorship going.
    Yes the band became the City of Stoke Brass, supported by the Musicians Union and the City of Stoke Council for a good number of years. They became a stable 2nd section outfit.
    The band had its best years conducted by Paul Andrews (now of Wire Brass) in 1994 with a good mix of
    ex-Doulton players and new players from the local area.

    Later, some of the players who were travelling distances (from Wigan, Warrington, Telford etc) found positions in more local bands to themselves.

    I believe the band split into two separate bands now! Both 4th section, one called Trentham Brass and one Ceramic Brass.
  5. HelterSkelter

    HelterSkelter Member

    I can fill in a few details - I played with the band in the late 80s/early 90s - the band "folded" in about 1991 I think, when Royal Doulton decided they no longer wished to sponsor a band. I believe this was as a result of Ted Gray's retirement from the company. Many of the players wanted to keep a band going, so we got together and had a few rehearsals in the hotel opposite the railway station in Stoke (the North Stafford, I think), conducted by the late Eric Johnson, former euphonium player with the band and conductor of the then Ind Coope band and also solo euph with Derwent Brass.

    The band managed to obtain support from Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the Musicians' Union and was allocated a rehearsal room in the bowels of the Town Hall (I remember the band collecting egg boxes and sticking them to the walls to improve the acoustic!). Under the leadership of Paul Andrews the band reached the Second Section National Finals in 1994. Paul left before the finals, and Andre Helleur (who played - I think - flugel with the band) took up the baton - the band gained a creditable 7th place at the finals.

    I left the band shortly after as the travelling had become a bit too much (this was before the days of the improved A50 link between Nottingham and Stoke!). The band changed its name to Trentham Brass a few years back to reflect a new sponsorship deal. Ceramic Brass are a fairly new band, and I'm not sure if they have any direct relationship to the old Royal Doulton Band.
  6. brassfanatic

    brassfanatic Member

    One of the euph players in is playing with a band in Ireland now

    George McLean?
  7. andreab

    andreab Member

    Is that Scottish George who used to play at Selectus?
  8. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    ... and who started his playing career as a cornet player with Dalkeith Burgh Band?

    If it is, and you know him - say hello for me, please :)
  9. andreab

    andreab Member

    ...and from me please. He used to give me a lift to band sometimes.
  10. nadband

    nadband Member

    I can fill in a few more gaps from the mid 90's on as I played with and then conducted them for a while. We hung around the middle of the second section (Doultons had dropped but moved back up after winning the 89 area) getting mid-table placings under Andre before an upturn in 1999 saw us qualify for the Nationals and win a fair few prizes. We came 6th at the areas in 2000 and nearly gained promotion but a change in conductor saw a lot of players leave and the band fell down to the 3rd section. It later became Trentham Brass when they gained a new sponsorship deal. Ceramic has had a few ex-City band players (including me) but is a separate band.
  11. KenHughes73

    KenHughes73 New Member

    It is good to read what happenned to Royal Doulton Brass Band. My dad, Mike Hughes, was a euphonium player for two stints first during the earlier 1980s and then again in the late 1980s until it folded. I played for the last two years of the band until the last supper at Christmas 1991. Since then i have bumped into a number of former players from when i played and before who spread to the four winds and played with various bands. As for me i stopped playing a few years after leaving, but not before i played for a period at Marple including at the British Open. Of recent times i returned to playing. Work has given me the opportunity to play with various bands but none have had quite the sound or quality achieved so easily and without pressure as Doultons achieved. A privilage to be part of as a teenage trombone player.

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