"Grimethorpe Colliery Band in danger of folding" ?

Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
It was perhaps a bit odd that Fairey were featured but it was short notice. Maybe Grimethorpe were asked first, I don't know.

Given that it sounds like the booking came at about 3 in the afternoon, might have been a tall order to get a band over from near Barnsley. I think Faireys are just about the closest top section band to Media City, with Wingates a close second, there's only a mile or two in it. I suspect programme budget would also have been an issue - no travelling expenses available from the new leaner, meaner Auntie Beeb, I'm guessing...
 

Sonorous

New Member
Is that not why we're called a 'movement', because generally speaking we're all moving in a similar direction? Now of course like in everything there's the monkey that picked the stone up first to break the shell, the one that decided walking on two legs was better and the rest see it and think I'll have a bit of that.

But we generally follow a mould, but the mould every few years changes and we all move with it? That's why we don't play quadrilles anymore or wear caps? I think you might be being a little hard on bands?

completely right. And my comment is not a criticism of bands themselves, more the fact that when a monkey throws a different stone, people are often quick to disparage. Some lead, and if it works, others follow. That's why we need the grimethorpes (and others) of this world, paying out such a sum for players would be unthinkable for us mere mortals. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be ok for grimethorpe.

my only personal criticism of them is that I wish they would use this investment to push the boundaries a little more. Then again that's probably more difficult for them with the baggage of heritage they carry. So the youth programme, and their status as the public face may be what their position is more suited to. which is all good, we don't want every band to be exactly the same do we?
 

Ianroberts

Well-Known Member
Ive not got much of a problem with players being paid (to be honest, good luck to them!!) but when the begging bowl comes out because the band will fold unless it gets some more money sticks ever so slightly in my craw,

Those commited players would surely do it for the love of it wouldnt they, or would they move on to the next band that pays ?
 

Sonorous

New Member
Ive not got much of a problem with players being paid (to be honest, good luck to them!!) but when the begging bowl comes out because the band will fold unless it gets some more money sticks ever so slightly in my craw,

Those commited players would surely do it for the love of it wouldnt they, or would they move on to the next band that pays ?

I guess it’s different strokes for different folks… Some do it for the love, and the money is just a nice extra (they’d stay without it – or with a reduction). Others do it for the love, but also subsidise their income while they’re at it. While ever someone’s willing to pay them for doing what they love, then they’ll take up the offer (Some of these may stay, some may move to where the money is). For others the money is crucial. They may bring in all their income (or the substantial part) through music – teaching, adjudicating, arranging, solo work etc – and they have to go to where the money is. There is also the extreme end that can’t find the money or commercial future in banding and have already moved on to other things (It would be lovely one day to maybe offer similar options within banding for these – dream on.. yes I know, but we shouldn’t automatically discount this possibility just because we’re so determined to remain a fully ‘amateur movement’)

The intensity of the concert schedule that Grimethorpe has is enough to make many professional outfits shudder. These players are giving up a huge amount of their time for the band. Yes we all give certain commitment, but not to that level. Added to this is that surely we want Grimethorpe to be out performing to the public as much as humanly possible? don't we? They are in a prime position to attract audiences from outside of the normal brass band set (and regularly do). Expecting them to just make do and become ‘just like the rest of us’ would only potentially be hurting all of us in the long run.

Hence why I personally would love to see them try to go that final step and raise much more revenue to start paying their players enough to warrant the schedule and profile of concerts (and potentially become fully professional).
 

cshimmon

Member
Honestly, do many bands do such a punishing concert schedule? 40-50 concerts a year? That's a hell of a lot! Plus rehearsals, home practice, travelling time...! That's a heck if a commitment, how many people could take up something like that without any payment at all on top of their jobs and without their family lives suffering?

Only asking, I don't know the answers.
 

RamasII

Member
Desford in the 90's did a huge amount..fri,sat,sun concerts..sometimes we did 2 on the sat..! No players were paid to play.
 

ghost

Member
According to a new article on 4barsrest the response today from potential sponsors has been great. Good. I am very pleased for Grimey. Grimey are a wonderful example of our great banding tradition. Congratulations to you all. And for the record, the way they decide to run their financial affairs is up to them. The accounts are transparent and clear and open free of charge to the entire population and as long as one is suitably professionally qualified to read and understand them (which excludes quite a number of contributors to this thread), then it would appear that the financial base is actually sound and with some new sponsorship, all will be well. Merchandising was up signnificantly last year and this shows the effectiveness of the new management. I am sure that we will see Grimey go from strength to strength and that they will be back to the top of the pile again before too long. It will be good to hear them again with Messers Webster and Crockford back in situ. What a treat we have in store!
 

critic

Member
According to a new article on 4barsrest the response today from potential sponsors has been great. Good. I am very pleased for Grimey. Grimey are a wonderful example of our great banding tradition. Congratulations to you all. And for the record, the way they decide to run their financial affairs is up to them. The accounts are transparent and clear and open free of charge to the entire population and as long as one is suitably professionally qualified to read and understand them (which excludes quite a number of contributors to this thread), then it would appear that the financial base is actually sound and with some new sponsorship, all will be well. Merchandising was up signnificantly last year and this shows the effectiveness of the new management. I am sure that we will see Grimey go from strength to strength and that they will be back to the top of the pile again before too long. It will be good to hear them again with Messers Webster and Crockford back in situ. What a treat we have in store!
wouldnt bet on webster!
 

euphalogy

Member
Having paid good money to hear them recently, the quantity of concerts is obviously taking its toll on the quality of programme and performance.
Too many deps, including conductor for it to be a Grimey concert.
Very disappointing really.
 

ben16

Member
LOL at the fully professional idea. The amounts of money involved here are miniscule.

Grimethorpe players are getting less than expenses to travel all over the country every week reprising Brassed Off. No-one is doing this for the money.
 

Sonorous

New Member
LOL at the fully professional idea. The amounts of money involved here are miniscule.

Grimethorpe players are getting less than expenses to travel all over the country every week reprising Brassed Off. No-one is doing this for the money.

you're not wrong there! On all points. Still.. Would be nice if it ever could happen :)
 

ben16

Member
Direction of travel is decidedly in the opposite direction I'm afraid. Hard to see how it could work for a band. I think a mainstream 'hit' record or two would need to be part of the formula.

The amount of money required to take on so many players (even at minimum wage part time) is huge. Most 'famous' professional orchestras lose BIG money and are propped up by arts funding.
 

euphalogy

Member
They could enter Butlins ! Seems odd that the mining "heritage" elite Bands dont enter for the Big Un!
Carlton Main excepted of course.
 

Aussie Tuba

Member
Honestly, do many bands do such a punishing concert schedule? 40-50 concerts a year? That's a hell of a lot! Plus rehearsals, home practice, travelling time...! That's a heck if a commitment, how many people could take up something like that without any payment at all on top of their jobs and without their family lives suffering?

Only asking, I don't know the answers.
talking with an ex member of Grimethorpe. the concerts do not include contesting. so contests are on top of that.
 

BigHorn

Active Member
They could enter Butlins ! Seems odd that the mining "heritage" elite Bands dont enter for the Big Un!
Carlton Main excepted of course.

Trouble is Butlins takes 3 or 4 days out of their schedule which could be used for highly paid concerts. Also its not a given they would win.
 

hobgoblin

Member
Can't see Grimey struggling to beat the likes of Flowers, Redbridge and Desford at Butlins, but I suspect it's just not worth the risk to their reputation of not winning if they entered butlins - despite the cash on offer. Also, if just one of the big boys enters a contest like butlins it would probably be viewed as a cynical cash/pot-hunting expedition. Can we not (perhaps with the help of the forum administrators) set up a paypal or giftaid donation thingy on here, so we can make individual donations to help Grimethorpe. I know it's not a time of year when folk are feeling flush, but I bet if everyone who posts/reads tmp were to give whatever they can spare we could save Grimey for us all to enjoy? There must be loads of old instruments rotting in bandrooms up and down the country - if each band were to ebay just one and donate the cash to Grimethorpe it could make a real difference.
 

Bob Sherunkle

Active Member
Further to HG's generous suggestion above.

How about if as a one-off this year the Butlins contest organisers allowed Grimey to enter every section to increase their earning potential.

I am sure draw times could be staggered through the day on Saturday to give them plenty of time to travel between venues on the camp. There would no doubt be plenty of volunteers from other bands to carry the top players in sedan chairs accross the camp if needed.

I know that a few bands might miss out on the chance of victory and some cash, but in compensation for this they would get the opportunity to hear their respective test pieces played properly and would have the warm glow of knowing that they had helped to preserve the People's Band.

Lets all get to work and save Grimthorpe!
 

trumpetmike

Well-Known Member
Can we not (perhaps with the help of the forum administrators) set up a paypal or giftaid donation thingy on here, so we can make individual donations to help Grimethorpe. I know it's not a time of year when folk are feeling flush, but I bet if everyone who posts/reads tmp were to give whatever they can spare we could save Grimey for us all to enjoy? There must be loads of old instruments rotting in bandrooms up and down the country - if each band were to ebay just one and donate the cash to Grimethorpe it could make a real difference.
Or you could donate to your local bands that are also struggling (probably struggling a great deal more than Grimethorpe).

If Grimethorpe are "The People's Band" (according to them, although no idea who gave them this title) then surely the great British public would be up in arms at the possibility of them being unable to compete and put on as many concerts?

Most amateur bands, ensembles and orchestras survive through concerts and grants - the members frequently have to pay to belong to the group in order to keep it going. Wonder how many members of Grimethorpe (or other top flight bands) pay subs? Or how many would stay if this was the only way that the group would survive?
 

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