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United Co-op Milnrow Band
U N C Milnrow Band can trace its roots back to 1869, when it was formed by a number of enthusiastic music lovers who were connected to St Stephen's Congregational Church, Milnrow. "St Stephen's Band" eventually changed its name to "The Butterworth Band". Milnrow village at that time was in two halves, Butterworth, being the part of the village where St Stephen's Church was situated.
The exact time of the next name change is not known. However the band was playing under the name of "The Milnrow Brass Band Club" prior to the First World War in 1914. In 1927 the band created an unbeaten record by being in the prize lists in May, July and September contests at Belle-Vue Manchester. One of the first Brass Band Concerts ever given on radio in England was part of a series of three concerts given by the band prior to World War Two.
Since its formation the band has had many homes throughout the village, however in 1972, it purchased its present home "The Old Milnrow Telephone Exchange". The purchase of the practice room made a big difference to the band and it's confidence. Under the batons of Michael Scoffin and then David Lord, many young enthusiastic players joined, and the band started to compete in local contests. It was clear to all that there was a nucleus of a very good band. In May 1995 David Morris, renound conductor and cornet player, who had won the cornet section of the National Soloist Championship of Great Britain, was asked if he would take the band to The Greater Manchester Police Championships at Wigan. David accepted and the potential of the band was starting to be realised as first prize in the Fourth section was attained. This was the band's first victory in thirteen years. From then on the band went from strength to strength. Under David's stewardship the band was promoted to the Third section and took second prize in that section at the National Finals.
David left the band in 1998 and shortly afterwards the band merged with the Rochdale Co-op Band to form the present band, The United Norwest Co-op Milnrow Band.
Ian Brownbill became the new Conductor and the band started to compete in the Second section. Soon more silverware was won, the most notable being 1st Place at North West Areas Blackpool. This provided qualification to compete at the National finals in Nottingham where second place was achieved. Ian left the band in July 2000 and David Hebb was appointed Musical Director the following month. Success in competitions continued and not surprisingly the band were promoted to the 1st Section in January 2001, 4th to 1st Section in 6 years is fantastic progress by any-ones standards
David left the band in July 2002, Mr Carl Whiteoak became custodian of the baton. His reign was short but successful as under his stewardship a second place was achieved in 2003 at the North West Area finals in Blackpool. This result entitling the band to compete at the National finals (1st Section) at Dundee in September 2003.
Andrew White took over the baton in 2003. Success followed upon success. A fourth place in the areas at Blackpool 2005 was enough to see the band gaining promotion to the Championship Section in Jan 2006. A 10th place being achieved that year in the North West Areas. In 2007 a 6th place at Blackpool firmly established the band in this top section. An invitation was received to play in the senior trophy a competition for the top British Bands. A fantastic performance from the band produced a prediction of 3rd place from 4bars rest, however a resulting 6th place was a major accomplishment. Andrew resigned in September 2007, the band was then extremely fortunate to have Jason Smith, one of their long standing and dedicated players, take over the baton until a new professional conductor was found. The band asked John Ward to take them to the Butlins Mineworkers Championships and after a fantastic 4th place they appointed John as Musical Director in January 2008.