Cornwall's Brass Bands 
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Compiled by John Brush - notes on the history of the bands of Cornwall from the earliest days to the end of the Second World War.

It is hoped that John Brush's extensive research and materials will shortly find a home in the Cornwall County Archive in Redruth.

If you have any comments on this page, or further information you would like to submit, please email

Brass Bands Service & Volunteer Bands


Altarnun Brass Band (North Cornwall)
Situated west of Launceston, this band was formed c1864 and is known to have carried out engagements up to 1891. A known conductor was G Clifford (who was also conducting Launceston DCR Band). He finished with both bands in 1891 and was succeeded at Altarnun by J Deacon.
Balwest Brass Band (Kerrier, Cornwall)
In 1868 this band was reported playing at a Sunday school procession and tea treat, then no more can be found of them. So was this a group of brass players who got themselves together to help this Sunday school?
Blackrock Band (Kerrier, Cornwall)
This band was, in fact, based in the village of Crowan, due south of Camborne, so one can only conjecture as to why the name Blackrock when this village is about one mile east of Crowan. Perhaps the unknown leader was about the only person who lived in Black Rock? They worked from c1870 to c1895 and in the later part of their life carried out contesting challenges, not with any noteworthy results however.
Blackwater Band (Carrick, Cornwall)
The band, which was originally a brass & reed combination, was formed in 1901 by a clarinet playing ex-bandman of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, C.Retallack. As implied, the instrumentation was changed later on, by Mr Retallack, to an all brass band, and Mr Retallack continued to lead them on his clarinet. No contesting can be discovered.
Bleak House Band (Carrick, Cornwall)
What a wonderful title! Formed just after WW1, this band, at first, consisted almost entirely of members of the Trebilcock and Marshall families. Their first set of instruments were bought from the defunct Feock Band. One of these Trebilcocks lived at Bleak House, so much of their rehearsals were carried out there. They carried on until they had to disband in 1929.
Blisland Temperance Band (North Cornwall)
Formed about 1863 and found east of Wadebridge, they later changed their title to Blisland Brass Band. Their appearances were known to have been carried out up to 1902. A non-contesting band.
Bolingey Band (Carrick, Cornwall)
Bolingey will be found half way between Newquay and St Agnes, and a band under this title appeared at the St Agnes Regatta of 1891 under the direction of a Mr Veale. No other mention can be found of this band.
Boscastle Brass & Reed Band (North Cornwall)
They were formed about 1899 and changed the title in 1919 to Boscastle Brass Band. Their conductor in 1905 was Leslie Prout, who went on to conduct the Delabole Band. He was succeeded in 1912 by William Hochin who carried on until WW2 when band duties were suspended. Reformed in 1945 under Mr Grigg, who came from a whole family of Griggs that played with the St Dennis Band, they began contesting. Mr Grigg handed over to Charles Berryman in 1953 who, sadly, was drowned in the Boscastle floods of 1958. Arthur Biddick held things together until another Leslie Prout came along. For many reasons the band had to disband in 1973.
Brea Brass Band (Kerrier, Cornwall)
Brea can be found a few miles south-east of Camborne and were formed c1883. Of the list of engagements that have been discovered, it seems odd (but not impossible) that their only appearances were at Sunday school tea treats. This band disappeared at about the same time that Camborne Town Band was formed (1896). Probably a coincidence.
Budock Water Band (Carrick Cornwall)
That there was a band under this title there is no doubt, but all that can be discovered is that it carried out two engagements in 1897, and that was that. Probably a makeshift band of players who wanted to earn a few extra pennies.
Calstock Band (Carrick/Cornwall)
The Calstock Band was playing publically from c1858 to the late 1920's. There engagements were of a very local nature and in 1887, as a reward for playing at the Calstock celebrations of Queen Victoria's Jubilee, they were given £4 and a free tea! The man who conducted them from 1920 to 1925 was known as "Old Bob Presron" and seems to have been looked upon with great affection both by band and public.
Cardynham Brass Band (Caradon/Cornwall)
This was a very "on/off" outfit that first appeared c1895, disbanded about 1898, reformed in 1909, disbanded again in 1928, reformed in 1930 but finally finished in 1933. A few contests were entered in 1914 under S Carne. It probably did not help matters when Bodmin Band, whist attempting to form their band in 1927, invited the players of Cardynham to join them.
Carfury Brass Band (Penwith/Cornwall)
This band was certainly functioning from 1911 to 1914, but more than that is not known at present.
Chilsworthy Brass Band (North Cornwall)
An article in the Cornish Times of 1863 reads "CHILSWORTH BRASS BAND. The members of the Chilsworthy and Latchley "Brass Band" respectfully beg to inform the public generally, that they are now open to treat with all parties for further engagements, and having selected suitable music for all occasions, arranged by some of the best men of the day, (the same, being under the management of J.C.PURTOX, Esq, Plymouth), they hope as hitherto to give satisfaction to their emplyers. Applications to be made to MR W STENLAKE, Chilsworthy, Gunnislake, Calstock." A photograph of the 1907 band shows a well balanced band of 15 players. A non contesting band, the village of Chilsworthy can be found 2/3 miles west of Tavistock, near the Cornwall/Devon border. This is not to be confused with the Devon village of Chilsworthy.
Congden's Shop Amateur Brass Band (North Cornwall)
Only one reference to this band has been found - when they appeared at a Temperence Festival in 1886. One does wonder if they were formed for this one event. The village called "Congden's Shop" can be found a few miles south west of Launceston.
Copperhouse Brass Band (Penwith/Cornwall)
Copperhouse, close to Hayle, had a brass band for at least twenty years (1891-1911). They never attended any contests.
Crantock Brass Band (Restormel/Cornwall)
A mile or so south of Newquay, this band was in existance in 1888. This is the only reference found to an engagement. Not surprisingly, they were not a contesting band.
Cubert Band (Restormel/ Cornwall)
They existed in 1897 and were probably formed just for the village celebrations of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Situated a mile or so south of Newquay, they also did no contesting.
Davidstow Temperance Brass Band (North Cornwall)
This band carried out engagements over a period of at least four years - 1872-76. Davidstow is a few miles north of Camelford.
Delabole Temperance Band (North Cornwall)
This band, formed in 1864, became a very popular and successful group, changing its title in 1919 to Delabole Ex-Servicemen's Band and then to Delabole British Legion Band, this probably in 1921 on the formation of the British Legion . 1930 and they changed once again, this time to Delabole Silver Band. They were eventually disbanded c1953. Their known conductors were Mr Horne: J David Smith: WH Hawke: Mr Ough: B Parsons: John Males: Jim Avy: WB Williams and Leslie Prout who served them from 1933 until their demise in 1953. From 1928, under WB Williams, they began sporadic contesting, and whilst not achieving any notable results, the feeling today is that this was a very happy band.
Deveral Brass Band (Penwith, Cornwall)
There was a brass band existing in Deveral accepting engagements from 1897 to 1911. They did no contesting.
Devoran Brass Band (Carrick, Cornwall)
Devoran Brass Band was active from c1866 to 1888. In 1887 they played during a church service celebrating Queen Victoria's Jubilee, a type of engagement that was not usually trusted to a Cornish brass band of that time. The reason could well be because they were, at that time, most certainly one of the leading bands in the county, taking 1st place in the few contests they entered.
Drift Band (Penwith, Cornwall)
Reference to only one engagement can be found, and that was in 1895 playing at the Wesleyan Sunday school tea treat in St Buryan.
Enniscaven Brass Band (Restormel, Cornwall)
Next door to St Dennis, they were formed sometime before 1933 and continued up to, and after World War 2. They did no contesting. Their only conductor appears to have been a James Best, an ex baritone/trombone player from the St Dennis Band.
Feock Brass Band (Carrick, Cornwall)
Not a long history, they were known to be functional from 1882 to 1914. In the 1887 period they were conducted by John Chegwyn. After World War 1 they found that they were unable to continue, so they sold their instruments to Bleak House Band.
Forest Gate Brass Band (Cornwall)
This is the band refered to in the Illogen Band report above that entered a Redruth Contest. My first reference to this band is 1862. Later in the same geographical area was Forest Lane End Brass Band in operation in 1877. Then further reference is made to Illogen Broad Lane Band in 1889. There could have been bandsmen from any of these bands when the Illogen Military band was formed because it is on record that that band was started with men from the area that could already play.
Forest Lane End Brass Band (Cornwall)
Active in 1877
Foundry Brass Band (Penwith, Cornwall)
Engagements for this band can be found in 1885/86. Their first engagement, in 1885, was given an encouraging report in the local press, then in 1886 they played at a regatta in Falmouth, and that seems to be that!
Four Lanes Brass Band (Kerrier, Cornwall)
It was in 1888 that Four Lanes Brass Band entered their first contest, under Mr A Bartle. Most of their subsequent contesting was carried out under William F Floyd, their standard being that required of a Section 3 band. The results ranged from 1st to 4th but they were forced to disband in 1924/25. From 1910 to 1913 they managed to organise and run band contests that were reasonably successful.
Fowey Brass & Reed Band (Restormel, Cornwall)
This band was formed in 1905 and continued in fits and starts until 1919. They did change to an all brass combination. No contesting. The first conductor was a Mr J Cleaves. A band was formed in 1919 to celebrate the peace, but nothing came of it.
Foxhole Brass Band (Restormel, Cornwall)
Formed about 1896 and kept this title until 1909 when they adopted the name Foxhole Temperance Band. This carried on through to 1920 when they made the slight, but no doubt important change brought about by a slight feeling of hypocrisy, to Foxhole Silver Band. They started contesting in 1908 and whilst never rising above 2nd section, their results were quite impressive. From 1926 it appears that the only Cornish contest they entered was that at Bugle, and their best achievement was in 1934 when they took 2nd in Class B. John Morcom was their first conductor in 1896. He handed over (and stayed on as a player) to William H Juleff, who himself left in 1906 to take over the St Dennis Band. At this point there was a slight hiccup and the band ceased operations until John Morcom helped reform the band in 1908. He stayed in control until 1929 when the duties went to Albert John Morcom who carried on to the band's demise in the early 50's. Instruments and music were loaned to the Cornwall Education Authority then, in 1971, were returned to Foxhole as they now intended to form a new band. Harold Trethewey was the man attempting this resuscitation, but it was only short lived, and the final bell was sounded in 1973.
Fraddon Coronation Band (Restormel, Cornwall)
Formed in 1910, this band kept its title until 1920 when it became the Fraddon Temperance Band. Its last recorded public appearance was in 1922. During its short lifetime it contested frequently, eleven appearances taking place from 1920 to 1922. The first conductor was A Bullock who was also involved with the Indian Queens Band. Then came William H Juleff who was also principal cornet of the St Dennis Band, and upon his moving on, the next, and last, was W Weedall.
Germoe Brass Band (Kerrier, Cornwall)
Evidence of this band can be found in 1860 playing in Crowlas, then in 1875 in Camborne. So far nothing else can be found about them.
Godolphin Teetotal Band (Penwith, Cornwall)
Records of engagements in the local press can only be found for Helston and Penzance in 1855. It is doubtful that much else was carried out.
Golberdon Band (Caradon, Cornwall)
Golberdon - a village North West of Callington boasted a band that is known to have existed from c1860 to c1879. A quote from the Cornish Times of 1862 reads:- "The enlivening strains of the Golberdon Band quite counteracted the weeping humour of the skies." What can one say after that?
Grampound Band (Restormel, Cornwall)
Known to have accepted engagements from 1875 to 1935 they changed their title after WW1 to Grampound British Legion Band. It does not appear to have attended any contests. The only conductors names discovered are Charles Mannell in 1899 and Percy Hill in 1935.
Greenbank Band (Caradon, Cornwall)
Formed around 1885, Greenbank Band carried on until c1900 when they disbanded to help form the Liskeard Borough Band. The only known conductor was John Mitchell.
Greensplat Band (Restormel, Cornwall)
Formed in 1913, the circumstances of WW1 interfered somewhat, and the band experienced problems with repayments on the instrument loan and so had to cease activities. Immediately after that little European disagreement was resolved they restarted their band life, which carried on until about 1935. Situated just outside the village of Bugle, for Greensplat bandsmen, contesting was an important activity from 1919 until 1930. R Hancock led the band from its inception to 1920. It is not known, at present, who was resident conductor from this point on but they did continue to contest, once under EJ Williams (sen) three times under a J Bassett (perhaps by coincidence, there was a J Bassett horn player who had finished playing with Foxhole Band - was this the same man?), and a couple of times by a G Attwood but in 1926 Charles H Baker became professional adviser to them, continuing for the next four years, after which Len Manhire took over until their demise.
Gunnerslake Temperance Band (North Cornwall)
Formed about 1898, they quietly carried on with the usual engagements of the time, and after World War 1 became Gunnerslake British Legion Band, and later the Gunnerslake Silver Band. They were a non-contesting outfit. All that can be discovered regards conductors was that in 1937 Mr C Trewin finished and Mr W Westlake took over. It must have been soon after this that they folded up as I can find no more references to them after 1937. Also in the town of Gunnerslake was a Salvation Army Corps, complete with a band that carried out "outside" engagements at least in 1930.
Gwennap Band
Truro City Band had disbanded in 1969 so was it a coincidence that the Gwennap Band, who were only five miles from Truro, started up at that same time, albeir under a different conductor? This was Rex Little who stayed with them until 1975 when they became the basis for a new Truro band. Rex Little stayed with this new band for about thirteen years.
Harrowbarrow Band (Caradon, Cornwall)
This band seems to have been in existance between 1906 and 1909. In 1907 they played for a Friendly Society procession at Linkinhorne, then in 1908 they performed at a sale of work in Stokeclimsland and the next day at a Harrowbarrow fund raising event in aid of the local foottball team and band funds. That same evening the band played for dancing. I can find no record of who conducted them and they certainly did not indulge in any contests.
Hayle Town Band (Penwith, Cornwall)
There was a town band in operation in 1858 through to sometime after 1891 when it disappeared. By 1908 there was a reformed town band. This is known as there was a Mr Head, a band cornet player, who took part in a solo contest at Newquay, representing the Truro band, and it would seem that the band was back in business under a Mr M.A.C.Trebilcock, attending to the usual run of Sunday school and Band of Hope tea treats. During the 1914/18 Great War, Hayle Band continued to function despite a "Hayle Military Band" being form by one Harry Robins, a man who was conducting St Agnes and Perranporth bands before and after his sojourn at Hayle. After WW1 they took on the title Hayle Comrades of ther War Band, then Hayle Town Band on then on to Hayle Silver Band. In 1925, John Tanner, who had been conducting the St Ives Band, took over. There was, later, a C Williams conducting and in 1938 the Welshman Beth H David came along. Apart from an appearance in 1912, contests were mainly carried out from 1925 to 1938. During this period one 1st is recorded, their results being mainly placings. WW2 saw the demise of the band and it was not until 1973 that a new band was formed in Hayle. To find out more, they do have their own excellent website on IBEW.
Heamoor Brass Band (Penwith, Cornwall)
Heamoor Brass Band was performing at the usual run of engagements from the 1860's through to about 1935. In 1909 they were conducted by a J C Matthews and in 1934 by H P Richards. They took part in two local contests, one in Camborne and the other at Redruth. At Camborne they played in Section 4 and came 3rd, then at Redruth, conducted by Charles H Baker, in Section 3 they were unplaced but in the Junior Section they came in 3rd playing the march "The Old Warrior" and won £1.
Helland Band (Caradon, Cornwall)
Formed about 1890 they kept up a fairly busy life until 1927 when what was left of them became the nucleus of the Bodmin Town Band. In their earlier days they were conducted by George Bailey who went on to conduct St Blazey & District Band until the day of his retirement. A R. Symons conducted the Helland Band before and after World War 1. No contesting was ever carried out.
Henwood Band (North Cornwall)
Henwood Band was in action from c1858 to c1868, generally playing around North Cornwall. Nothing is as yet known of their conductor(s), but it is known that they did not partake in contesting.
Herland Cross Band
The only reference to this band is of them leading a large and impressive procession celebrating the end of the war with Russia in 1856. By this date they were almost certainly a "brass band". The event took place in Marazion but they were almost certainly an ad hoc band (all established bands would have already been booked in their own towns for an event such as this), so there is no mention a leader.
Herodsfoot Band (Caradon, Cornwall)
Another band where only one engagement has so far been found. In 1870 they played for their local Bible Christian Sunday school anniversary procession and tea treat. And that appears to be all.
Hicks Mill Band (Carrick. Cornwall)
Again a one engagement band, this time in 1880 playing in St Day for the Primitive Methodists Sunday school treat.
Illogan Bands (Kerrier, Cornwall)
There was an Illogan Brass Band in operation in 1863 and they took part in a contest held in the Redruth area under their conductor Mr U Bosanko. The next time I hear of a band in Illogen is when the Rev Harry Oxland was appointed to the village and promptly formed a band finding musicians from Bridge, Illogan Highway and the village itself. Despite calling the band the Illogan Reed and Brass Band, they were allowed, for a coujple of years, to take part in the local brass band contests, but their real local fame was enhanced in 1909 when they travelled to London for the Crystal Palace Military Bands contest and came seventh. They changed their title just after this to the Illogan Military Brass Band which strikes me as unexplainable as they had always, from day one, been a "miltary band", meaning a full complement of woodwind instruments (including a bassoon) and eventually french horns instead of tenor horns. The band was taken over in 1926 by Con Oxland, son of the founder, but they were forced to disband in 1939. From all the newspaper accounts of this band, they were well on a par with the Camborne Town Band, so therefore deserve a mention in these archives.
Illogan Broad Lane Band (Cornwall)
Active in 1889
Kernow Brass (Cornwall)
The word "Kernow" is a word in the Cornish language that means "Cornwall". A group of bandsmen decided to form a new Mid-Cornwall band in 1981. Instruments were purchased and rehearsals began under the baton of Stanley Penhaligon, he being taken over by Mike Faro. In 1983 a new conductor was appointed, Alan Slaughter, a Royal Marines musician. He stayed until 1994 when Mike Faro came back to fill in until a more permenant person could take on the job. That person was David Pope, who now conducts the Bugle Band. Kernow Brass contested almost from day one, with the last competative appearance being in 2000 at the Bugle Festival. They do appear to have had a successful 20 years so why did they disband? Probably because they never had a home of their own, and the way modern bands function, this need is extremely important.
Kilkhampton Brass Band (Cornwall)
Kilkhampton can be found about 5 miles north of Bude and from 1866 to 1890 their band was certainly carrying out engagements in the North Cornwall area. Whilst there are many references to their activities, not once is a conductor mentioned. They did no contesting.
Landrake Band (Cornwall)
To the West of Saltash, Landrake Band were busy from 1876. In 1907 they were led by Edgar Panter and in 1928 by Lewis Goard. It does appear that they were still active in 1939 as there is a report of them performing at a local sports day. During WW2 they got a band together in 1943 for a local carnival, then a few engagements in 1944 and by 1945 they do seem to be back in business under the direction of A Davey. Then they rapidly went through new titles (eg Landrake Band: Landrake Working Men's Band and Landrake Brass Band) and all in 1945!. Soon after this they disbanded. I can find no record of any Cornish contests attended. A sideline is that in 1952 their instruments were raided by a group of schoolboy "musicians" for a local event. One of these "players" commented that the only tune they knew was "Jingle Bells" so for the next two hours they pretended to play and hummed,loudly, this one song over and over again. For this they won the "Tableaux Hunorous" prize, so I suppose that it could be argued that the band did win a competition at least once. Their practice room was in the old Liberal Club.
Lelant Brass Band (Cornwall)
Hayle is the nearest larger town to Lelant, and in 1905 they decided to form a band under James Maddern. He stayed until 1911 when the leadership was handed over to John Tanner. EC Wills took over in 1914 and promtly left in 1915 to go to Redruth Band. The band closed down during WW1 but reorganised when that bit of unpleasantness was over. About 1931 F Gregory took over and stayed until 1942 when strange things began to happen. In 1942 they were reorganised under the new title Lelant United Services Band, still under F Gregory who, because of this second disagreement with Germany, was now in the National Fire Service (NFS). This lasted until 1943 when the Home Guard (Dad's Army) was formed and Lelant's instruments were loaned to the 14th Battalion Home Guard (St Ives) Band, now under the baton of Bandmaster Coombe. The Lelant Band - civilian - reapperas in 1945. Their contesting was confined to 1911 - 1914, their best result being achieved at a St Dennis contest in 1913 when they entered the second section playing "Village Bride" and winning £5 for their 2nd placing. After WW2, with the exception of victory parades, nothing more can be found.
Lelant Downs Brass Band (Cornwall)
In the St Ives/Hayle area, the Lelant Downs Brass Band sounds like one of these makeshift bands for a one-off gig. In 1888 they played for the Ludgvan Wesley Sunday School Festival and the press report leaves one in no doubt the there could not have been any learners performing.
Lerryn Band (Cornwall)
There is news of a Lerryn Band playing at the Peace Celebrations of 1919. This could be a band formed just for that event as I have no further information on them.
Linkinhorne Parish Band (Cornwall)
The village of Linkinhorne can be found between Callington and Launceston. They, the villagers, formed a band in 1887/88 and by 1890 they were fully kitted out with uniforms - all eleven (plus bass and side drums) of them. By 1910 their uniform had changed completely and very smart they look too. By now they had 15 players. In 1907 J Doney took over the leadership of the band and probably stayed with them until the end which appears to be about 1921.
Lizard Band (Cornwall)
"THE RIVAL BANDSMEN OF MENEAGE. Or He Who Collars a Man and Gets Knocked Down is Served Rightly." This was the heading in the "Cornishman" newspaper of 1888 when reporting an assault case heard at the West Kerrier petty sessions. Roughly what happened was that there was a festival held in St Keverne and the Porthalla Band were engaged to provide the music. St Keverne Band had usually played at this event, but not this time, although several of their members turned up for a day out.. The Lizard Band had had the nerve to bring their instruments but were not allowed to perform. During an interval, whilst Porthalla Band were having their tea, Richard Jose, John Tiddy and Mr Chiddock, all Lizard Band members, were laughing together and jeering at bandsmen of the other two bands. William Scobie, of St Keverne Band, remonstrated with them, upon which Jose grabbed Scobie by the collar. Scobie floored him with a punch to the side of the head rendering him unconcious for several minutes. End of fracas. The court dismissed the case and each party had to pay their own costs, estimated at being not less than £3. The Good Old Days!! Apart from that, Lizard band seems to have been active only in the early 1880's.
Long Downs Brass Band (Cornwall)
Long Downs is situated about 5 miles North West of Falmouth and in 1881 a band of that name played at a Weslyan Sunday school procession and tea treat in Porkellis. At present no more is known about this group either before or after this event.
Looe Town Bands (Cornwall)
Looe does have a history of "on/off" bands, starting with the Volunteer Artillery Band (1865-1907). Even this unit, on sxeveral occasions, had no band. Even so, from 1907 to 1912, there does appear to be two bands in town, the Artillery and a town band, probably because most players played in both bands. Certainly the town band, in 1907, were efficient enough to play such items as the overture "Tancredi". A photo of the band of this period shows 24 players, among whome were five clarinets and one flute/piccolo. An impressive size for a Cornish band of this period. The town band was led by AR Mitchell. After 1912 nothing can be found of an active band, though there are several attempts to reform between the wars - all to no avail.
Ludgvan Band (Cornwall)
Back in 1850 the local Wesleyan Sunday school procession was headed by "the well known Ludgvan Band of Musicians". At this very early date, especially for Cornwall, I would hazaard a guess that this was not a brass band but it very soon became one. It seems to have carried on until 1889, then twenty years later a Ludgvan Brass Band, under R T Williams re-energed, but for how long is not clear. Certainly in 1921 the band existed under the baton of Mr R Taylor, the band sporting 15 players. What happened after that is another Cornish mystery.
Mabe Brass Band (Cornwall)
(sometimes known as Mabe Burnt House Band) were a band typical of their time. Found three or four miles North West of Falmouth, we know they were formed just before 1882 by a Mr Rapson (jun), later disbanded then reformed in 1911 ready for the Coronation. Who conducted them at this stage is not known but after WW1, in 1919, J Thomas was appointed to conduct. In 1931-32 they had H Jenkins who handed over to W H A Starke, who was relieved in 1933 by C A Dawes who gave the job back to W H A Starke in 1934, who in turn handed it all back to C A Dawes in 1936. In 1938 he gave the baton to the bands' 1919 conductor Mr J Thomas. They carried out regular contesting in the 30's, the best result being taken at Falmouth in 1936, playing the 4th section test "The Spirit of Youth." A 1933 photo shows a band with a healthy 21 players.
Madron British Legion Band (Cornwall)
This band, a mile or two from Penzance, occupied the scene from about 1930 to 1939. Contesting seems to have happened only in 1933 under their then conductor, Mr A P Richards, during which, at Redruth Contest, they came first for Deportment.
Manaccan Band (Cornwall)
I have a record of a William Martin playing for Manaccan Band from 1873 - 1888. This is the only proof that I have that this outfit existed at that time. The other mention I have is in 1942, during WW2, when what was left of the band nipped across to help Gweek Band play at the Gweek Hospital Sunday. Manaccan has a most convuluted history starting off as Manaccan Band, then joining with St Martin Band in the 20's, then going it alone again for a while, then St Martin joining Manaccan sometime after 1926, remaining under the Manaccan title until their demise in 1946.
Marazion Town Band (Cornwall)
3 to 4 miles east of Penzance, Marazion overlooks St Michael's Mount. In 1867 they were active, playing at the opening of a public building in Penzance. Later, in 1875, travelling to Redruth, they took part in a Temperance Fete. Not much more is heard about them until the run-up to WW1 and most unusually, they were active all through WW1 and WW2. The cessation of hostilities in 1945 also seems to have heralded their own end. Who conducted them in those very early days is not known; however, all during WW1 Alfred Floyd conducted (he had conducted the Marazion Artillery Volunteers from about 1909). 1919 - 1928 was the era of R J Berryman, he being relieved by George W Cave, who stayed just for two years (Cave had started his conducting career in about 1922 and became a most respected Cornish conductor, even conducting Coventry City during WW2). Edwin J Williams came for a year (1930/31)and he was taken over by Welshman Beth David, who stayed with the band until their demise in 1945. During WW2 he was also conducted the St Keverne Home Guard Band. He died in 1946, aged 76. From 1928 to 1935 the band entered various Cornish contests. Section 4 netted five 1sts, 4 2nds. and 6 3rds. Section 3 brought in one 1st, four 2nds, and one 3rd. A brief sojourn into Section 2 saw them awarded one 3rd. Their best musical period was, without a doubt, the mid 1930's.
Mawgan Band (Cornwall)
Mawgan can be found near Helston, but very little can be found about the band. There is an 1857 report of them playing at the Porthleven Regatta, and later, in 1870, appearing at a Sunday school anniversary in the Lizard. Then nothing until, of all dates, 1943, when a Mawgan Band played at a garden fete under the direction of a Bandmaaster Williams. A late 19th century photo shows a band of seven players under Thomas Eplett. No contests were ever attended.
Mawnan Band (Cornwall)
South of Falmouth, Mawnan Band seems to have functioned from the 1880's through to 1935, with a note in a local newspaper of 1936 bemoaning the fact that there is no longer a Mawnan Band. There is a record of only one contest attended - that at Falmouth in 1884. This was a one section contest and Mawnan came in third. The only mention of a conductor is found in 1905 when the name John Opie is recorded.
Megavissey Town Band (Cornwall)
An attempt was made in 1867 to form a band when it was reported that "many young men enrolled", and attempts were made to raise cash for a band fund. No more is heard after this. A band was formed to assist in the celebrations of the coronation of George VI and forever after they were officially titled The Mevagissey Coronation Band. This band was formed because of the enthusiasm for bands of one man, Samuel Rowe, a local music teacher, who does seem to have conducted a band in Mevagissey during WW1. Samuel Rowe's name keeps popping up due to his many attempts to form bands in Mevagissey. He even stored all the old instruments in his house.
Merrymeet Band (Cornwall)
This outfit was also known as the Menheniot Band. One supposes that Merrymeet and Menheniot, villages to the east of Liskeard, both sent players to the band. There is no doubt that this band operated before WW1 with a compliment of about 17 men, a goodly number for those days. No contests were entered for, and names of conductors cannot be found.
Molinnis Band (Cornwall)
Only one engagement can be found for this band, playing for a Sunday school in Luxulyan in 1875. As it was for the local Sunday school it is likely that friends got together to help on the festivities, making it a one off appearance.
Moorswater Brass Band (Cornwall)
Moorswater, a few miles west of Liskeard had a band that received some publicity 1880/81. In that short period they carried out several engagement, but no Cornish contests. It is probable that their conductor was a man called Bray.
Morvah Band (Cornwall)
Morvah can be found about 4 miles north of St Just at Land's End. They were certainly carrying out engagements in 1856 but under the title "Morvah and St Just Band." As there was at that time a St Just Band, what can we make of this title? Possibly the neither band had enough players to be independently able to take on engagements, thereby joining up for while? Whatever, by 1863 Morvah had enough players to call themselves "Morvah Brass Band" and enter a contest in Redruth. This was the only contest they played at, the test music being "Denmark Quadrille" and "Lament for Wellington." For this event they were conducted by R Williams, but were unplaced.
Morwenstow Band (Cornwall)
Formed c1868 and conducted for the next 37 years (!!) by John Cholwill. There were at least three other Cholwills in the band - Archie, Harold, and Claude. The band, situated in the very far north of Cornwall, carried on up to WW2 carrying out the usual run of engagements of the time. After WW2 it does seem that an attempt was made to reform the band by accepting a Carnival engagement that was raising funds to welcome ex-servicemen coming home, but nothing is heard of them after that. Who conducted them from 1905 is nor recorded, but in 1937 W H Pitman was in the chair. No Cornish contests were ever attended.
Mullion Band (Cornwall)
C1870 to C1911, there is no recorded conductors or Cornish contests attended. The band could be found down in the Lizard Peninsular. A photo of 1897 shows a smart, well-balanced band of ten players, consisting of 4 cornets, tenor horn, baritone, valve trombone, euphonium, Eb bass and a bass drum.
Nancledra Band (Cornwall)
The players of Nancledra, just south of St Ives, had players from Towednack join them to play for a Home Guard church parade in 1941. This group was put together and led by F Pope. This would appear to be a one-off.
New Mill Band (Cornwall)
There are engagements for this band between 1856 and 1860, but no mention of a conductor. The village of New Mill will be found north of Penzance and they never travelled very far for their engagements, and not at all for contests.
Newbridge Brass Band (Cornwall)
Newspaper reports of this band are confined to 1888/89, but a photograph of the band shows twelve players wearing early 20th century civilian clothing. Who conducted them we do not know. No contests were attended, and their home of Newbridge can be found half-way between Penzance and St Just.
Newlyn Band (Cornwall)
There was a Newlyn Band that carried out an engagement in 1867 - end of that story! Then in 1900 a Newlyn Independant Band was formed and carried out a gig for the Drift Band of Hope. This band was formed and led by S Mear who, on an engagement, elicited this comment "The treble tonguing of the 'Gem Polka' by Mr Mear was rendered in a very efficient manner." The report went on to advertise that the band was ready to accept paying engagements - but no more is heard of them. Newlyn did, however, have a Salvation Army band for many years.
North Hill Brass Band (Cornwall)
This band operated from about 1874 to 1889. Their bandmaster was John Gumb. In 1878 the band did not turn up for a 'Forester's' procession. The promoters were somewhat miffed and stated in the local newspaper that if the band tendered for the same event on the following year, their envelope would be returned - unopened. However, the North Hill Band carried on with other engagements.
Padstow Town Band (Cornwall)
Formed after WW1 from members of the previous Artillery Volunteers Band, they carried on until 1939. Their first title was 'Padstow Comrades of the War Brass & Reed Band', changing in 1921 to 'Padstow British Legion Band.' In 1923 their conductor was S M Ravenhill, an organist, and in 1932 Edgar Tonkin was the bandmaster. He had conducted the old Volunteer band for a good period of time. They were formed in time for the 1919 Peace Celebrations, and for quite a while were raising funds to purchase new instruments and uniforms, an ambition that was finally realized in 1932 . The band re-emerged in the 1950's, but throughout their history they never attended a Cornish contest.
Paul Band (Cornwall)
This band lasted for about 65 years, acting from c1870 to the mid 1930's. They do appear to have been a popular band carrying out the usual village type engagements of the times. There is recorded a conductor named C Aitken in 1914 and later, in 1933, was S Carne. Another band that did not enter for contests.
Pengover Band (Cornwall)
These carried on for a short time, roughly 1864 to 1867, during which time some local engagements were fulfilled. No conductors or contests can be found.
Penponds Band (Cornwall)
First appeared in 1857 but cash was quickly found to enable them to re-emerge under the new title "Penponds Sax Tuba Band". One does wonder what happened because nothing more is heard of them after 1858. Not surprising that there is no information on a conductor.
Penryn Band (Cornwall)
First known as the Penryn Independent Band so that they would not be mistaken for the Penryn Volunteer Band in existence at the same time. How much of these two band were in fact one group of men under two titles is not know, but it is difficult to see how Penryn's population of those days would be able to support two bands. Penryn is located next door to Falmouth, and my first reference to the Penryn Independent band is in 1869 when they played at the Penryn Regatta. They seem to have disbanded soon after this. There is a further report in 1875 which refers to "the recently inaugurated Town Band." There follows a period when, as usual, newspaper reporters cannot decide on a title for this Band (perhaps they should have asked!!), and where coming up with Independent Band, Town Band, Brass Band, or even Penryn Band.There is evidence that the Town Band continued up to the mid 1930's. Newspapers seemed very reticent at naming a conductor (where the band that bad?) with the exception of a C Burton who was in charge from about 1911 to the band's demise. I have no record of Cornish contested attended.
Pensilva Brass Band (Cornwall)
Pensilva, a village just up from Liskeard, had their band in action from 1868 to 1872. Their first instructor was a Mr Satchwill, who was succeeded by Mr Viol. As seen, this band was not in operation very long but according to press reports of the time, they were not at all bad in both music chosen and their ability to play it. Later on, during the local 1919 Peace celebrations, a Pensilva SA Band was engaged.
Penwithick Band (Cornwall)
Penwithick Band was formed soon after World War 1 from some of the many bandsmen living in the St Austell area who had played in brass bands before the war, some of whom had been with the old Volunteer Bands that had disbanded on the outbreak of hostilities. And as not all civilian bands had reformed in 1918/1919, there was now a surplice of spare musicians who dearly wanted to make music again. Once started, they must have been a popular outfit as they were, almost from day one, a very busy band. A lot of these appearances were taken up with events like Sunday school processions and their tea treats; processions for the various Friendly Societies (Rechabites, Oddfellows, and the like); raising funds for the local hospitals; sports days (including their own!), and inevitably the Flora Dance - and there were lots of them. Again almost from day one they indulged in that favourite pastime of brass bands - the contest. This is where bands go to beat the living daylights out of other bands, by fair means (or foul). Of the 39 pieces of music that they performed at Cornish contests they were unplaced 19 times, 12 resulted in 3rd prizes, 2nd prizes totalled 4 and no doubt they took considerable pride in achieving 4 firsts. Considering that they were only a village band whose close neighbours were the St Dennis Band, who in those days happily poached all the best players from around the area, the Penwithick Band history of contest successes can sit comfortably with them. Most bands, like old soldiers, fade away rather than die suddenly. Penwithick was another of these. For the players in the last couple of years of its life, it must have been a sad period to go through despite those who stay to the bitter end in the hope that fortunes will improve. They finally closed shop in the mid 1950's. In their time they enriched this band world in Cornwall.
Perran Band (Cornwall)
Not much here, but from 1870 to 1872 they were busy with demonstrations and processions. There is a long silence until they reappear in 1901 for a kiddies tea treat. During the summer season of 1870 they played two evening a week in Perranporth, each concert lasting about two hours. They must have been 1) crazy to take on such a commitment, or 2) good enough to handle this amount of work, or 3) they really needed the extra few pennies they could get from collections. Whatever, I wonder how many village bands of today would dare accept such a commitment?