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Frickley South Elmsall Band
Formed in 1969 as the learner band to Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band under the guidance of Robert Oughton, the aim was to train and supply future players for the Championship band. Having obtained an old set of instruments through the CISWO organisation for miners, the first competition was entered in 1970 and 3rd prize obtained.
Soon the band had registered in the 4th section of The National Brass Band Registry and entered competitions run under national rules. A list of some successes is given later.
With the involvement of so many parents and helpers the band became independent in 1976 and gained income by giving concerts at local venues such as Galas, Working Men's Clubs and Parks along with the usual fund raising raffles, coffee mornings and sponsored events etc.
It was also a policy of the band to give free concerts for local charities and entertain the elderly, especially at Christmas.
In 1980 we were granted a small levy paid by the NUM members of Frickley South Elmsall Colliery and this continued to when the colliery closed in 1993.
As the standard of playing improved the success achieved also brought its problems as the better players moved to higher section bands, (including Black Dyke, Brighouse and Grimethorpe), leaving us to fill the gaps with less experienced players, but after all that is what we were founded for. This has been the trend until today, hence we have never progressed to the top of the tree in banding, but the old players still have a respect for their first band.
With the closure of the Colliery in 1993 things began to change as a depression set in on the village, which has never really been overcome despite the efforts made by different organisations. The local community spirit was lost and people had no desire to try and do things other than work, thus very few took up the challenge of learning to play an instrument. For years a shortage of young players has built up, affecting first the lower sections but now the middle sections.
Due to a television programme in 1994 dealing with how mining communities were coping, and 21 appearances of the band on television in one year, including a trip to Germany, we gained a sponsorship from the local firm of
Standard Fireworks and enjoyed their patronage, but after two years the recession in firework manufacture caused the closure of the factories and the end to the deal.
With the need to renew the now very old instruments a successful application was made to the Foundation of Sports and Arts (organised by the Pools Promoters Association) allowing five new instruments to be bought. A year later another successful grant from The Arts Council of England (Lottery) and the local EEC Re-generation Grant, enabled the rest of the instruments to be renewed.
With the release of the old instruments a new learners group has been formed and has been building steadily ever since, though interested youngsters are difficult to find today.