Ever Ready No More


One of the North of England's best known brass bands have hit a high note in their 94-year-history with the announcement that Reg Vardy plc is to support them with a five-year sponsorship deal.

The Reg Vardy (Ever Ready) Band is the new name for the 28-musician band, which was formed in 1910 at Craghead Colliery, near Stanley, in County Durham.

For the last 12 years the former Ever Ready Band have been self-supporting but are still recognised as one of the leading bands in the country and are the reigning Northern Area Champions.

Announcing the support by Reg Vardy plc, Chief Executive Sir Peter Vardy, said: "Colliery bands are part of our heritage in the North East and over the last 94 years the Ever Ready Band has proved to be one of the best.

"Its lack of sponsorship in recent years has placed a financial burden on the members who, despite this, have maintained the highest standards of musicianship on which the band's reputation has been built.

"Music is one of my passions after the car business and we're delighted to support the dedication and talent of the band so they can go on to entertain and bring pleasure to many thousands of people."

The support from Reg Vardy will allow the band, who are based at Stanley, to update their recognisable scarlet uniforms, to commission new music, to upgrade the band room and to subsidise travel and accommodation costs.

Band Manager Les Palmer said: "Everyone is delighted to have the support of Reg Vardy and we're looking forward to a long and rewarding relationship with one of the most successful motor dealer groups in Europe."

The Craghead Colliery Band, as they were then known, was formed to lead a funeral procession following a fatal accident at the pit, and to provide social activity for the miners in the village. By 1924 they had become North of England Champions.

After several post-war appearances in the National Finals, the band were promoted to the prestigious Championship Section in 1959, a level of achievement they have maintained ever since.

In 1968 Craghead Colliery closed and much of its workforce found jobs at the newly opened Ever Ready Batteries factory at Tanfield Lea. Ever Ready soon agreed to sponsor the band and provide a new home and rehearsal facilities at the factory. The sponsorship lasted for 24 years during which time the band were prize winners at all the major UK competition, including being crowned BBC Band of the Year in 1974.

Since 1992 the band have been self-supporting but have kept the Ever Ready name. An Arts Council National Lottery grant allowed them to buy new instruments in 1996 with the band immediately going on to take fifth place at the 1997 National Championships.

They have won the North of England Regional Contest 26 times and were twice invited to play before the Queen during her Golden Jubilee tour of the region in 2002. The band, whose members are aged 16-55, is Band in Residence at Durham University this academic year.

They perform concerts across the region and further afield and have made numerous appearances on radio and television. They have recorded a number of CDs and have built up an extensive library of music.

The band's next performance is this Saturday when they play at Elvet Church in Durham from 7pm-8.30pm. Tickets are available on the door.

Next month they will play at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on 13 March when SAFC, which Reg Vardy plc also sponsors, entertain West Ham United, followed by the North of England Regional Championships at Darlington's Dolphin Centre on 21 March


Active Member

Congratulations to you all. Does that mean the first round is on you (or Reidy?!) at Darlington?



yorkie19 said:
Does that mean the first round is on you (or Reidy?!) at Darlington?


Im a Yorkshireman. The only time I would put my hand in my pocket is if my trousers were on fire. And that would only be to check my Wallet wasnt in flames.


Active Member
Congratulations are on securing the band's financial future, even if you will have to suffer a multitude of sponsors gigs at SoS.

Will the transport assistance be in the form of a fleet of 2nd hand cars? :lol: :lol:


Active Member
Let me guess: one very careful lady conductor, right? And you play everything in easy installments?

Nah! The valves rattle, the bodywork is shot to pieces and the big end has gone...




geordiecolin said:
even if you will have to suffer a multitude of sponsors gigs at SoS.

Fortunately its just the one job. unvieling the new Sponsorship deal for Sunderland ACF at the Stadium Of Light.

It will be our biggest audience since being on the best of brass i would think

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