Brian’s Bits….

Posted on 2nd April 2020 by


If you want to talk to someone with banding experience, we have several players with more than a few years experience.

Brian is one of those people who always has a smile on his face – he’s been doing this a long time and still loves it and for those of us who know him well – his trusty mouthpiece is still going strong and has another few years in it… Brian recently shared some of his memories from the start of his banding career with us:

A Yorkshire village band in the early 1940’s:

“I started playing in Brass Bands at the age of 10. My first band was ‘Cowling Public Prize Brass Band’. What a mouthful, but the ‘Public Prize Brass Band’ was a common appendage in those days.

At rehearsals we stood around a continuous wooden circular music stand, even the basses, with the MD in the middle. During the summer months the whole circular music stand was taken outside into the recreation ground for rehearsals, quite a task.

On one occasion when we were outside rehearsing I remember being told off for eating an apple during rehearsal. It was easy to hide such a misdemeanour, or so I thought, behind this monstrosity of a music stand. How wrong I was, I was banned for the rest of the rehearsal.

On special occasions we went to rehearsals in our uniforms.

This being wartime for some engagements in nearby villages and hamlets, we had to walk to the event, carrying all our equipment, but some lucky players were able to make use of the horse and cart provided by a local farmer.

We always finished an engagement by standing and donning our caps to play the national anthem and our uniforms were mostly made by a local tailor

Our band room had one metal stand-alone coke stove, where bandsmen sat around before and after rehearsals chewing their twist and spitting on to the stove then watching it sizzle!!

As a young player I knew my place, it was very much lower status and I doffed my cap to older players.”

Well we certainly doff our caps to you Brian… Thank you!

Posted in: Band Blog