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This page is part of an archive of historical details from existing or defunct brass band websites. This is being maintained to provide a record of this information in the event of a band folding, its website disappearing or other loss of the historical record. Where possible, and appropriate, the information cached will be updated from time to time - and any corrections or updates are welcome.



Boarshurst Silver Band

The band was formed in 1849 at Boarshurst School in Greenfield, which make it one of the oldest established brass bands in the country. The first Minute Book records meetings being held in various Inns in the village, with rehearsals being held in a loft over the stables at the Casey Mill and, during the summer months, under the railway arches at Arthurs Lane.

At the very first Belle Vue contest in 1853, Boarshurst Band competed and played 'The Hallelujah Chorus' and 'Fill the Shining Goblet'.

By 1877, the band had aquired a full set of 'Besson Best' instruments and also engaged the legendary Alexander Owen as the Bands Conductor, this was Mr Owens first professional appointment.

In 1901, land in Greenbridge Lane was purchased for building a band room, and the formation of the Boarshurst Brass Band Institute Limited, with the floatation of five shilling shares. From 1926 to 1930, the band achieved outstanding results under the Professional tuition of J.A. Greenwood, and then Charles Anderson, who composed the famous contest march ORB, with which the band won many prizes.

In 1938 the famous Harry Mortimer was appointed Professional Conductor and expectations were very high, but the war years intervened, and the band room was commandeered by the Home Guard.

During the 1950's and 60's the fortunes of the band ebbed and flowed, with the band club being sold after the war, the band were without a permanent home.

The early 1970's saw many changes on the committee, and the appointment of a new secretary, Arthur Woodhead, who had the clear intention of returning the band to its former halcyon days.

In 1972 Bryan Garside was appointed Musical Director, and very quickly achieved some outstanding results. The highlight being first prize at the Leicester Brass Band Festival, the first major title won since 1939 under Harry Mortimer. Throughout the 70's success followed seccess, with major prizes won at contests in the Northwest and London.

In 1979 new headquarters were established with the purchase of the Band club which was actually very close to the original home of the band on Greenbridge Lane aquired some 80 years earlier.

In the late 1980's, David Morris was appointed M.D. and the band had remarkable success, winning many prizes both Nationally and Locally and finally gaining promotion to the Championship Section. Also at this time the Youth and Training bands was making good progress and towards the late 1990's, under the Direction of Linda Finan, the bands became very strong and started to enter Youth Contests having several excellent result and winning several Trophies.

In November 2000, Boarshurst Band was successful with its application for Lottery Funding, supported by the Arts Council of England.This award made a very significant contribution towards developing all aspects of the bands activities. At this time the band commissioned a piece of music and as a result Peter Graham penned 'Northern Landscapes'. A test piece which has been used as both National 3rd Section Area Test Piece and also the 3rd Section Test Piece for the National Pontins Brass Band Championships. Something that the band is very proud of.

In 2001, Jonathan Webster was engaged as M.D. and the band entered yet another successful period. In 2002, they won the French Open Championship at Amboise in the Loire Valley. Over the next three years the band won several Local contests and appeared at the National Brass Band Finals on two occasions at Harrogate, North Yorks.

Since Jonathan left the band, a number of Conductors have taken the helm at Boarshurst. These include David Hebb, David Morris, Graham Hetherington and Alan Hobins.

In May 2008, David W Ashworth was engaged as Musical Director. Since taking the position, he has taken the great steps in rebuilding the band with the serious intention of returning the band to its former glory. Which is the target to which he will strive to succeed. The inclusion of several new players highlights his intention.

Several good quality concerts have been performed and moral is high with all players now aiming for a common goal of putting Boarshurst Band back where it belongs.

After only 12 months with the band, David led them to become Tameside Champions 2009, (see above picture). a very well deserved 3rd place at Buxton, 1st place at the Hebden Bridge March Contest and the most successful Whit Friday that the Band has ever enjoyed, winning 7 prizes out of 8 Contests entered.

In October the band gained 3rd prize at the Pontins Championship at Prestatyn and followed it up with a 3rd place at the Wilkinsons Northern Open Championship in November. This was followed by numerous wins at several March and Hymn Contests.

In the very short time that David has been with us, we have acheived a record never before equaled at Boarshurst. Under his direction, David has taken the band to a total of 26 prizes out of the 26 contests entered and a total of over £3000 in prize money.

This has been the most successful period which has never been acheived before at Boarshurst, and we are all looking forward greatly to what is going to happen in the future.

The band originated in the village of Greenfield with close family connections - names such as Ashley, Ashton, Bibby, Bourne, Bradbury, Buckley, Cox, Payne, Rhodes, Thewlis, Widdall, Wood and Woodhead - some of whom are still involved and play today.

2009 / 2010 was the most successful period at Boarshurst, and we are all looking forward greatly to what is going to happen in the future.

The 2011 Contest season has started extremely well with a victory at the Brass at the Guild Contest at Preston Guild Hall on Sunday 6th February.