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Blackhall Youth Brass Band
Blackhall Youth Brass Band, an organisation that in its day was the premier youth band in the county. Formed initially in the sixties, by Gerald Gregory, as a feeder band for the ailing Blackhall Colliery Band, the Youth Band was reformed in 1969 under the direction of "old Mr Gregory". Independance from the Colliery Band was then established after his death with the return of his son Gerald to conduct. Things took off in 1972 with the arrival of Albert Haswell to conduct the band. His enthusiasm and drive revitalised the whole organisation and the band was soon into the groove of winning contests.
The Band's first contest was the curiously named Teeside International Eisteddfod in 1972 on "Indian Summer" and the band came last, perhaps not surprisingly at the time. Two years later this contest proved to be the first triumph for the band, on "Rule Britannia" (adjudicated by Harry Mortimer). The peak of achievement was probably the years when the Band won the Brass Section of the National Festival of Music for Youth playing Petite Suite De Ballet (adjudicated by Eric Ball), in 1975, then was second the following year.
The youth band moved into the senior sections and progressed swiftly to the second section. The period of 1979-1980 was a time of change and turmoil for the band with Albert Haswell's death.
His successor, Cecil Peacock introduced the band to the ways of the championship section, with the aquisition of sponsorship from AMOCO, the name of Blackhall Youth Brass Band disappeared.
The last remants of the organisation persist in the guise of the Broughtons Brass Band in South Hetton.
To conclude, the Youth Band produced a raft of good players, locally these bandsman have played with Fishburn, Ever Ready, Horden, GT Group Peterlee, Chester-le-Street Riverside. Nationally with bands like Redbridge, Regent, Broseley, Wantage, Travelsphere, City of Coventry and into the ranks of the forces and the music profession, both classical and pop.