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Skelmersdale Prize Brass Band
Skelmersdale Temperance Band was formed in 1878 and rehearsed in the bakery of a Mr Ellis Lawrence in Sandy Lane, Skelmersdale. Throughout its history, the band has had its ups and downs. Between 1908-1909, the band was giving concerts to help raise funds for the many families suffering extreme hardship during the depression. With its mining and farming community, thankfully they survived through the two World Wars.
In 1958, a youth band was formed at Brookfield Secondary Modern School. Mr Bill Lyon, who conducted the Temperance Band, and his brother Tom, took on the task of training these youngsters. The Youth Band was soon performing concerts and in 1962 won the Youth Section of the North West Brass Band Association, a feat which was repeated the following year! The Youth Band was to become the backbone for the rebuilding of the band. Through the 1960's and 1970's, under their conductor Mr Bill Lyon, the band quickly rose through the ranks from the Fourth Section up to the Championship Section.
Disaster struck the band in 1976, when a fire completely destroyed the band room, together with all the music and some of the instruments. However, with hard work and dedication, the band rose from the ashes and is now one of the top bands in the North West. Year 2000 saw the band fulfil every bandsman's ambition, when they competed in the National Finals of Great Britain, playing in the Royal Albert Hall.
Thanks to a Lottery grant, the band is now in a position to offer young people the chance to learn to play a brass instrument. The seeds were sown, with the help of St John R.C. School, Birchgreen, and one of the former senior band players Mrs Georgina Roberts. Tuition began in 2004.
With the help of Lancashire County Music , many more young people are now learning to play brass instruments and June 11th 2007 saw the launch of the West Lancashire Youth Brass Band.