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Historical Brass Band Events

If you have any details of past brass band events to add to this archive, please email me the information - gavin@ibew.co.uk

Since these pages were created, the Brass Band Results site has been established and has rapidly become the definitive resource for information about the contest results for brass bands since the earliest days. This is to be highly recommended.

1853


5 September 1853
  • Band Contest - Belle Vue, Manchester
    MUSICAL GATHERING AT BELLE-VUE MANCHESTER. The proprietor of these gardens, in reference to a paragraph in last week's Mercury, writes " In your account of the brass band contest which took place at the above gardens, on the 5th inst., you state that a correspondent, who was present, writes that 'one of the judges is a musical instrument dealer in Manchester. This is an error, as the three gentlemen who kindly consented to act in that capacity, were the only parties present when the decision was given, as well as during the whole time the contest was progressing. The person to whom your correspondent alludes was not amongst the judges, but on the large gallery in the gardens. I have no doubt your correspondent was misinformed about his presence there, but he should he cautious in making assertions which can be so easily refuted.
    With respect to the other gentleman having taught the band who obtained the first prize, although I am unable to contradict the statement, I am very doubtful of its truth, for parties of such standing in the musical world as the three - Mr Oakden, band master of the 1st Royal Dragoons, now in Manchester - Mr, Ellwood, band master to the Earl of Ellesmere - and Mr. Dowling, late band master of the 81st Regiment, would not, I think, sacrifice their present good name by giving an unfair decision in a matter like this; but even should they have felt disposed to do wrong, the bands played by numbers, and the judges did not know who were playing, but the prizes were awarded according to their opinion thus No. 8 band, first prize; 1, second; 7, third; 2, fourth."
  • 1855


    30 May 1855
  • Gala + Band Contest - Headingley Gardens, Leeds
    THE GALAS AT THE HEADINGLEY GARDENS went somewhat somewhat beyond the ordinary Whitsuntide festivals - .the proprietor of the gardens having superadded to the usual attractions a brass band contest. Prizes were offered to the amount of. £100, including forty silver medals, from. the establishment of Messrs. Hirst, Briggate. There were also a large illuminated tent for dancing, displays of fireworks, the firing of cannon, the band of the 7th Hussars, Milburn's band, fife and drum bands, &c. The attendance on the two days (Monday and Tuesday) was between 20,000 and 25,000 persons. Notwithstanding that many bands which had special engagements elsewhere were prevented from attending the gardens, a large number entered the lists. Previous to the contest on Monday the members of the various bands agreed, instead of contesting for the prizes, to divide the money, so that every man should have an equal portion, and to contest only for the medals, The amount distributed was about £50, in addition to the silver medals, which are of very elegant manufacture, valued at £10. The judges were Mr Willis, band master of the 7th Hussars, and Mr. Range, late of the 2nd Life Guards, now band master of the 2nd Stafford Militia. The following is the order in which the bands stood at the close of the contest, with the names of the different leaders, the figures indicating the number of performers;

    Dewsbury (16), John Peel
    Keighley (Mr W. L. Marriner's) (16), John Turner
    Brighouse (17), Philip Robinson
    Halifax (20), Isaac Dewhirst
    Whitworth, near Rochdale (14), Joseph Law
    Yeadon (15), William Hudson
    Pondan, near Keighley (12), William Heaton.
    Heaton, near Bradford (15), J. L. Lister.

    The medals were accordingly given to the Dewsbury band, as the first players. Milburn's band, Leeds, conducted by Mr. Herbert Milburn, and the band of the 7th Hussars, from York, also played in the gardens, but did not compete for the prizes, as the contest was restricted to amateur bands and musicians. On Tuesday, at the unanimous request of the bands, Mr. Martin Cawood assisted the gentlemen who officiated as judges. Before the contest commenced, the amount of money to be distributed in prizes was divided so as to enable every man to obtain a prize. At the close the bands stood in the following order, the sums prefixed being the amounts which they received:

    Name of band - Number of Performers - Leader

    £5 Keighley 10 John Turner.
    £9 Dewsbury 16 John Peel
    £8 Horsforth 18 Jos. Wilkinson
    £5 Brighouse (Pratt's) 17 P Robinson
    £4 Cross Hills 12 Joseph Crossley
    £3 Whitworth 14 Joseph Law
    £2 Ripponden 14 John Shaw
    £1 Batley 18 John Farrer
    £1 Pondan 12 Wm. Heaton
    £1 Gildersome 12 John Hudson
    £1 Barnsley 15 John Wilkinson

    The Keighley band, which obtained the first prize, also received medals to the value of £10. On Monday we also noticed a drum and fife band from Idle, the members of which were dressed in uniform, which played some excellent music. The total number of performers in the gardens was upwards of 180 each day. The plan adopted by the judges was to refrain expressing their individual opinion upon the respective merits of the bands until the close of the contest when, on comparing notes, what is a somewhat remarkable circumstance, they were all perfectly agreed as to the merits of the bands. At the close of the contests each day, the National Anthem was played, and it produced a most thrilling effect amongst the immense crowds who had assembled.
  • 1856


    16 June 1856
  • Band Contest - The Gardens, Sheffield
    At a band contest at Sheffield gardens, on Monday last, the Dewsbury players carried off the first prize (£16); the Meltham Mills band the second (£10); the Morley band the third (£5); and Ossett Victoria band the fourth. Sixteen hands entered the contest. Almondsbury, Kirkburton, Holmfirth, and Kirkburton Temperance bands were amongst the unsuccessful competitors.


  • 28 June 1856
  • Band Contest - Halifax



  • 30 June 1856
  • Band Contest - Zoological Gardens, Hull
    A band contest took place at the Zoological Gardens, Hull, on Monday last. Smith's Leeds Band carried off the first prize; Black Dike Mill Band, the second prize; and the Batley Band, the third prize.


  • 15 July 1856
  • -
    TO THE EDITORS OF THE LEEDS MERCURY

    GENTLEMEN,-Will you kindly lend me your aid in endeavouring to put a stop to the present system of Band Contests? They are now becoming very common, but the public are not aware, nor are the musicians themselves aware of the unjust manner in which many of these are conducted towards the players themselves. Their enthusiasm in a soul-inspiring and elevating science is, I confess, extremely liable to hide these acts of injustice - of which I am about to complain. The recent contest at Hull will probably explain more fully. It appears that a contest took place there last week; the wins offered :were £10, £5, and £3; and in addition the railway fares of the several bands were paid. Now twenty-one bands entered, each paying an entrance fee of 10s. - this realised ten guineas. The players themselves, therefore, actually contributed ten guineas towards prizes of eighteen guineas; they left their day's work, which would be sacrificed to themselves and their families; they had to pay their own personal expenses in Hull, and to play the whole day in the gardens there; thus absolutely rendering services for which, had they been engaged, each band would receive £4 or £5. The receipts at the gardens amounted to £300; yet out of this large sum all that came out of the proprietor's pocket towards prizes was £8. Thus those hard-working men leave home at a positive loss of from 5s. to 10s. each to put £300 into the pockets of some speculators at Hull. Take another case. There were peace rejoicings Skipton, on the 29th of May last, and the committee there were wishful to have plenty of music at little cost. They accordingly advertised a contest, giving £15 in prizes. The bands were to pay an entrance fee of 10s. and to bind themselves to be at the service of the committee from early in the morning until late at night, defray their own railway and personal expenses, and give the Skipton folks music ad libitum, for nothing. I could point out many
    instances of a similar character, but these are sufficient to show that a change is required in the management of these musical fetes. It is well-known how enthusiastic the brass band musicians are, and this enthusiasm, combined with a like want of forethought and reflection, has been imposed upon. The remedy lies in their own hands. The absence of the best bands from these contests would very soon regulate the whole system, and compel these speculators to exercise more consideration and greater liberality toward the competitors.
    Let me in conclusion offer a few suggestions: 1st. No band should engage in a contest where the prizes are not remunerative. 2nd. The unsuccessful bands ought to have their expenses paid. 3rd. If 14,000 persons can be got together to hear the sweet strains of music, why should not the bands themselves either play for a sweepstakes, or get up a contest among themselves and divide the receipts?
    I am, Gentlemen, yours respectfully
    A BAND MASTER


  • 18 September 1856
  • Floral and Horticultural Show + Band Contest - Morley



  • xx September 1856
  • Band Contest - Belle Vue, Manchester
    MUSICAL CHALLENGE FOR £100 - MANCHESTER BRASS BAND CONTEST

    The decision at the recent contest at Manchester, certainly struck every one who heard the bands play on that occasion as the most barefaced and ridiculous ever sent out to the public; and that gentlemen possessing the situations and standing the judges are supposed to have, could be hoodwinked to give it, excited the disgust of the public, amateurs, and musicians asembled on the occasion, who received it with mingled hisses, cheers, and groans. The Accrington Band, in Lancashire, has sent us the appended note which shows their opinion of the decision and to support our sentiments of the same, WE HEREBY CHALLENGE THE RAILWAY FOUNDRY BAND, who received the Prize Instrument, to play for a purse of equal stakes of £50, £100 or any higher sum, either band to and as they now stand, the leaders singly, or instrument against instrument singly, in one week from this date, the money to be staked in the hands of some disinterested and respectable party; and thus expose one of the worst pieces of jugglery and imposition ever practised on the public at a pretended brass band contest; the greatest part of the persons assembled declaring that they (Railway Foundry Band) played the worst but one on the occasion. We have received offers from other bands, and from private individuals, to back up to any amount and expressive of their disapprobation, and believe that it was all agreed before the contest took place in consideration of CERTAIN WEIGHTY MATTERS, which no doubt will be brought to light afterwards.

    An immediate reply, addressed to Smith's Leeds Brass Band, 65, Stamford Street, Leeds, will have prompt attention.

    From the Members of SMITH'S LEEDS BRASS BAND.

    COPY OF A LETTER FROM ACCRINGTON BAND. September 9th, 1856.

    As it is the intention of the Two Bands here to write to the public papers expressing our dissatisfaction at the decision given on Monday, we wish your co-operation, and if you are of the same opinion, will you allow us to use the name of your band? As early an answer as possible will oblige, yours truly,

    R. BARNES, Leader of the Brass Band, Accrington.
  • 1857


    29 June 1857
  • Band Contest - Zoological Gardens, Hull
    THE BRASS BAND CONTEST AT HULL - On Monday morning, about half past ten o'clock, several of the West Riding bands arrived. The following fifteen bands entered the contest, namely:- Hull Brunswick, Pudsey, Kingston Cotton Mill, Batley, Hunslet Leather Works, Woodhouse Victoria, Blundell, Spence, and Co.'s, Low Moor Ironworks, Almondbury, Hull Druids, Huddersfield, Rothwell, Morley, Gawthorp , and the Flax and Cotton Mill. The judges were Mr. Deval, R.A.M.; Mr. Hunt, of York; Mr. J. Deacon, band master of the 2nd West York; and Mr. J. Wilson, band master of Astley's Hippodrome.

    The bands were required to play the "Londesborough Galop", and any selected piece they pleased. Instead of twenty-nine bands, which were down in the list, only fifteen entered the arena, the "Black-dyke band", which it was expected would have carried off the first prize, being barred. This band won the prize at Halifax on Saturday, and in consequence was objected to by the "Batley band", which took the second prize. The judges awarded the first prize, (£12 with a cornet value 7 guineas) to the Morley band, who played a selection from "Lucia di Lammermoor", and was conducted by Mr. J. Peel. The Batley band obtained the 2nd prize (£6); they gave a selection from "Il Trovatore"; leader, Mr. J. Farrar, conductor, Mr. R. Smith. The 3rd prize (£3) was awarded to the Huddersfield band; leader, Mr. F. Drake; an "Operatic selection" was given by this band. A bombardon, value (£12), was given by the managing secretaries to the Kingston Cotton Mill Band, it being the best belonging to Hull.


  • 27 July 1857
  • First Class Band Contest - Zoological Gardens, Hull
    The First Class Brass Band Contest took place on Monday afternoon, in the Hull Zoological Gardens, which were only thinly attended, compared with the former contest. Only seven bands competed, namely, the Fourth West York Rifles, Leeds Railway Foundry, Royal Wear Yacht Club (from Sunderland), Brighouse, Meltham Mills, Hunslet Spanish Leather Works, and Castleford Sax-horn. In addition to the music which each band had selected for itself, they were all required to play Flotow's grand overture to the opera of " Stradella." At the conclusion of the contest, Mr. Jackson announced that the judges bad awarded the 1st prize to the band of the Fourth West York Rifies; the 2nd to the Leeds Foundry band; the 3rd to the Sunderland band; and the 4th to the Brighouse band, with the remark that the judges spoke favourably of the other bands, which, with more practice, would soon equal their more fortunate competitors.


  • 10 August 1857
  • Band Contest - Scarborough
    Castle Yard Scarborough - this novel treat at Scarbro' is to take place on the 10th of August next, and it is designed to be of the highest order, the committee having scoured gentlemen of the highest professional skill, from the London and provincial circles, as judges. There will be two classes of competitors. The first class prizes to be £20, £8, and a splendid new cornet, with German silver valves, value £5 5s, presented by Mr Townsend, of Bradford, musical instrument maker. The second class to consist of three prizes, viz, £7, £5, and £3. The bands will play two pieces each, one of their own selection, and one composed for the occasion by Mr A. J. Peckett. One of the pieces will be a set of waltzes, entitled the "Beauties of Scarbro' " by Mr Peckett.


  • 18 August 1857
  • Gala + Band Contest - Bowling
    BRASS BAND CONTEST AT BOWLING - A gala, in connection with Bowling feast, took place on the grounds of W. Walker, Esq., at Bowling, on Monday and Tuesday. The entertainments included a brass band contest, conducted by Mr. Rawcliffe, in which the under-mentioned prizes were awarded: First prize, £10; second prize, £5; third prize, a silver-mounted trombone, value £5, presented by Messrs. Townend and Son, musical instrument makers, Bradford; fourth prize, £2. The following brass bands contested for these prizes: Gomersal, leader, Mr. W. Brooke; Pudsey, leader, Mr. T. Lawson; Bradford Railway Foundry, leader, Mr. G. Sutcliffe; Brighouse, leader, Mr. W. Whitaker; Heaton, leader, Mr. J. Broadley, Saltaire, leader, Mr. J. Rhodes; and Gawthorp, leader, Mr. J. Briggs. The contest opened by all the bands playing "Rule Britannia," after which each band played two tunes of its own selection, and closed with the united bands performing the National Anthem. Saltaire band won the first prize; Heaton, the second; Pudsey, the third; and Gomersal, the fourth. A display of fireworks, by Scott, concluded the gala on Tuesday night,


  • 19 August 1857
  • Flower Show + Band Contest - Bridlington



  • 7 September 1857
  • Band Contest - Belle Vue, Manchester
    The annual contest between the amateur brass bands of the surrounding neighbourhood took place at Belle Vue Gardens on Monday afternoon, in the presence of a vast assemblage of people, estimated at between 12,000 and 15,000. Special trains, all very heavy, arrived from Leeds, Wakefield, Chester, Derby, Preston, Worksop, and intermediate stations. The prizes, given by Mr. Jennison, the proprietor of the gardens, were: First, £25, with an electro-plated cornet of the value of ten guineas; second, £10; third, £7; and fourth, £4. The judges were, Mr. Wilson, bandmaster of the 51st Regiment, Royal Barracks, Dublin; Mr. Smyth, bandmaster of the Royal Artillery, Woolwich; and Mr. Burns, bandmaster of the 2nd Staffordshire Militia. Five bands competed for the prizes, and played in the following order:
    Leader
    1, Smith's, Leeds Mr. Richard Smith
    2. Worksop, Nottinghamshire
    3.Todmorden, Yorkshire Mr. W. Brook
    4. Dewsbury Mr. John Peel
    5. Milburn's, Leeds Mr. H. Milburn

    In the first round, No. 1 band played a selection from Il Trovatore; No. 2, Rossini's Cujus animam; No. 3, a duet; and Nos. 4 and 5, selections from La Traviata. In the second round all the bands played the same piece, which was a selection from Il Trovatore. After the completion of the second round, Nos. 3 and 4 were requested to play a third piece each, the reason being, as we afterwards learned, that the judges had some difficulty in deciding which of the two ought to be placed second to the No. 1 band, whose playing they held to be the best. No. 3, accordingly, played the finale to Lucia di Lammermoor; and No. 4 a recitative from The Creation. The judges characterised the playing of this last piece by No. 4 as admirable, and were so pleased with the performance that they requested No. 1 to play a third piece also, in order to ascertain whether it, or No. 4, was entitled to the first prize, the playing of No. 1 (Smith's, Leeds) was again very excellent, and the judges felt bound to award it the first prize. The second prize was awarded to No. 4 (Dewsbury, Yorkshire); the third to No. 3 (Todmorden, Yorkshire); and the fourth to No. 2 (Worksop, Nottingham). After the contest, the bands united and played the National Anthem ; and upon the announcement, of the prizes being made, the band which won the first went into the orchestra, and played See the Conquering Hero Comes. The contest terminated soon after five o'clock; and the judges, before leaving the gardens, expressed themselves really surprised at the excellence of the performance of all the bands. One of the judges stated that he believed there was a marked improvement upon the playing on a previous occasion, when he also acted as one of the umpires.
  • 1858


    28 June 1858
  • Gala + Band Contest - Zoological Gardens, Hull
    On Monday afternoon a brass band contest took place in the Hull Zoological Gardens. Twelve bands were present, and the playing, with the exception of that of one or two bands, was very effective. The judge awarded the prizes as follows, viz., 1st prize (£20) to the Morley band; 2nd (£1O) Dewsbury; 3rd (£5) Ossett Victoria; 4th (£3) Nottingham; 5th (£2) Brighouse; and 6th (entrance free) Huddersfield.


  • 26 July 1858
  • Horticultural Show and Band Contest - "Southend", Darlington
    DARLINGTON HORTICULTURAL SHOW AND GRAND BRASS BAND CONTEST

    The Horticultural Society's Summer Exhibition was held on Monday last under circumstances of unusnal interest, a brass band contest being connected with it. The show was held in the beautiful grounds of Southend, the residence of Joseph Peacjuseph Pease, Esq., and the band contest took place in the grounds of Polam, the residence of the Misses Procter and Messrs. R. and W. Thompson.

    The number of bands that entered for the contest was thirteen; owing to Smith's Hull Druidical Operatic Band and the Morley band not having arrived, eleven competed. The first band commenced at two p.m., and after each band had played one of the two pieces, they gave "Rule Britannia," and "God save the Queen," and then proceeded to play the remaining piece, and concluded as before mentioned. Smith's Leeds Model band and the Bramley bands, at the request of the judges, played one more piece of music each, after which was announced the decision of the judges, viz,:

    1st prize, £20, with a silver cup to the leader, valued £5, to Smith's Leeds Model band, Leader, Mr. R. Smith.
    2nd prize, £15, to the Bramley Temperance band - Leader, Mr. J. Jackson.
    3rd prize, £10, to the Wear Royal Yacht Band - Leader, Mr. R. de Lacy.
    4th prize, £6, to the Darlington Band - Leader, Mr. H. Hoggett.
    5th prize, £4, to the Clechheaton Band - Leader, Mr. B. Robinson.

    The names of the bands that contested unsuccessfully were: Staindrop, New Sheldon, Leeds Joppa Operatic, Heaton, Ossett Temperance, and Tees Ironworks. Some surprise was expressed at the Leeds Joppa Band not being placed, their playing having many admirers. The result of the distribution of the prizes was received with much cheering, particularly so, when Smith's Leeds Model Band was proclaimed winner of the first prize. With the exception of not having provided more than one entrance, which, caused a great crush, the arrangements of the committee were satisfactory.

    The names of the judges in the band contest were Mr. S. Tuckwell, band master, 5th Dragoon Guards (from Manchester); Mr. R. Wallace, band master 18th Hussars (from York) ; Mr. J. Deacon, band master West York Rifles (front Aldershott camp). Cheap trips were run from the towns, &c., on the North-Eastern and Stockton and Darlington railways, and the number estimated to come by road and rail was close upon 20,000, or more than two-thirds of the present population.


  • 26 July 1858
  • Band Contest - Bank Topfield, Dewsbury
    On Monday last, a very successful band contest, arranged by the members of the Dewsbury Brass Band; took place in the Bank Topfield, Dewsbury, and drew together a large concourse of people. The judges were Mr. C. Wright, bandmaster, Knutsford, and Messrs. G. W. Phillip and H. Jukes, professors of music, Liverpool. £20 was given in prizes. The following are the successful bands: Black Dyke, near Bradford, first prize, £10; Ossett Victoria, second prize, £6; Kirkburton, third prize, £3; Gomersal, fourth prize, £1. The decision of the judges gave general satisfaction to all parties, and the management throughout reflects great credit upon the Dewsbury band, which, at times, played during the afternoon, but did not contest for a prize.


  • 23 August 1858
  • Band Contest - Cheltenham Grounds, Harrogate
    At Harrogate, on Monday, there was a grand contest by Yorkshire brass bands, for prizes amounting in the aggregate to £30. Many thousand
    Persons were present, a large proportion of whom had come by trains from Leeds, Hull, Newcastle, York, &c. Six bands contested, the competition taking place In the Cheltenham Grounds. The prizes were awarded as follows: 1st (£15), Tidswell's Railway Foundry Band; 2nd (£7), to the Ossett Victoria Band; 3rd (£5), to the Dewsbury Band; and 4th (£5), to the Bramley Temperance Band.


  • 27 August 1858
  • Band Contest - Cleckheaton
    On Thursday last, the annual feast commenced at Cleckheaton, and a cricket match was played on the Albion cricket ground, between eleven of that club and eleven gentlemen, the former being victorious. On Friday, a brass band contest took place, when six bands competed for the prizes, amounting to £20, in addition to a silver cup. The first prize of £10 was awarded to the Dewsbury band, and the silver cup to Mr. John Peel, the leader; the second prize, £6, to the Black Dyke band; the third, £3, to Tidswell's band, Leeds; and the fourth, £1, to the Kirkstall Sax-Horn band. The playing of the various bands was excellent, and the award of the judges gave entire satisfaction to all parties.


  • 28 August 1858
  • Band Contest - Peel Park, Bradford
    On Saturday, there was a grand brass band contest in Peel-park, Bradford, and the event created no small amount of interest. The contest took place under the auspices of the Peel Park Committee, who offered £40 in prizes.

    The following bands were entered to compete:

    No. of Performers Leaders
    Saltaire Band 20 Mr. Jos. Rhodes
    Baildon 17 Mr. Bentley
    Morley 18 Mr. John Peel
    Cleckheaton Victoria 18 Mr. B Robinson
    Bramley 18 Mr. Jos. Jackson
    Slaithwaite Union 16 Mr. E. T. Dardsley
    Bradford Railway Foundry 15 Mr. E. Woolar
    Black Dyke Mills 16 Mr. F. Galloway
    Ossett Victoria 16 Mr. W. Lofthouse
    Dewsbury 18 Mr. Blackburn
    Heaton 18 Mr. B. Bennett
    Almondbury 12 Mr. J. Vickerman
    Leeds Milburn's 15 Mr. H. Milburn.

    In order to test the abilities of the bands, the committee had engaged Mr. W. Jackson, of Bradford, to compose a piece of music expressly for the occasion; and the umpires were empowered to award a prize of £10 to the band which should perform the new composition best, a second prize of
    £5 to the next best performance, a third prize of £3, and a fourth prize of £2. It was also a regulation that after this contest had been decided each band should play a piece or selection of their own choosing, for which a similar series of prizes was offered. The umpires appointed were Mr. Tuckwell, of the band of the 5th Dragoon Guards, and Mr. Phillips, of Liverpool, with Mr. Jackson as referee. The performances took place in the large orchestra in the park. The playing altogether was very good, and the contests severe in several points, although the judges were quite unanimous in their decisions. For the performance of Mr. Jackson's new composition the first prize (£10) was awarded to the Bramley band; the second (£5) to the Baildon band; the third (£3) to the Black Dyke Mills band; and the fourth (£2) to the Cleckheaton Victoria band. In the second round of performances, in which each band played music of their own choosing, the prizes were awarded as follow ;-First (£10) to the Black Dyke Mills band; second (£5), Baildon; third (£3), Saltaire; and fourth (£2), Clockheaton Victoria. The introduction into the Saltaire band of three superior players who did not belong to that band, caused considerable commotion and disputation, the other bands objecting to the proceeding as being irregular, and contrary to the understood regulations. Ultimately, the members of the Saltaire band agreed to withdraw the three performers objected to. Then it appeared that the Saltaire band had with them a player who, though a native of that place or its vicinity, had been travelling for nearly twelve months as a professional player in connection with a public exhibition. He also was objected to by the other competing bands who, when it came to the turn of the Saltaire band to play, made all sorts of discordant noises, and refused the band a hearing. In the end the travelling performer was also withdrawn. Two or three other bands agreed to withdraw extra men they had obtained, and all the bands performed without any additions to their usual number. The excitement produced by the dispute which arose was calculated to impair the condition of the Saltaire band for competing, apart from the reduction in the number of men with whom they entered the field. A brilliant display of fireworks, by Professor Scott, succeeded the music. Upwards of 13,000 persons visited the park in the course of the afternoon and evening, and the receipts for admission amounted to £154 17s. It is estimated that the expenses win be about £80, so that a balance of something like £75 will remain for the benefit of the Peel park fund. Four of the bands entered did not engage in the contest, viz, the Ossett, Dewsbury, Morley, and Almondbury bands.


  • 30 August 1858
  • Band Contest - Castle Grounds, Barnard Castle
    A brass band contest; organised by gentlemen of Barnard Castle, took Place in the Castle grounds, and six bands (out of ten invited) entered for competition, the prizes being awarded as follows: Darlington Sax Horn Band, leader Mr. Hoggett, ten guineas; New Shildon Sax Horn Band, leader Mr. R. De Lacey, five guineas; Barnard Castle Band, leader Mr. Brandon, three guineas; Middlesbro' Tees Iron Works, leader Mr. O. H. Fidler, two guineas. The New Shildon Philharmonic Band, led by Mr. R. O. Bowron, and the Staindrop Band, led by Mr. T. Woods, were the unsuccessful competitors, although their performance was excellent, and met with hearty applause. Each band selected its own pieces. The judges engaged for the occasion were Mr. R. Stoeckel, band master of the 16th Queen's Lancers (from Edinburgh); Mr. W. M. Foster, band master of the 9th Infantry (from Sunderland), whose decision, we believe, will be generally coincided in even by the members of the bands themselves.


  • 7 September 1858
  • Band Contest - Belle Vue, Manchester
    On Tuesday afternoon, the annual brass band contest took place at Belle Vue Gardens, for five prizes given by Mr. Jennison, the propritetor of the gardens, the first being £25, the second £10, the third £6, the fourth £4, and the fifth £3. A large concourse of people, estimated at 10,000, being composed chiefly of excursionists, assembled. The following eight bands competed for the prizes:

    Leader
    Gomersal, near Leeds, 21 performers John Brook,
    Dewsbury, Yorlishire, 18 performers John Peel (conductor S. Greenwood)
    Holmfirth Temperance W. Mosley
    Meltham Mills, 18 performers Alfred Jackson
    Accrington Ratcliff Barnes
    Mossley Temperance, 13 performers William Taylor
    Ossett Temperance Model, near Wakefield John Farrar (conductor R. Smith)
    Monk Bridge, Leeds J. F. Drake

    The playing commenced shortly after one o'clock, and two rounds were played, in the latter the same piece being played by all the bands. The judges were Mr. Stanton Jones, band manager of London; Mr Samuel Hughes, band-master, Belle Vue; and Mr Uriah Richardson, of Bristol, These gentlemen having some difficulty in deciding between the merits of the Accrington the Dewsbury bands, which they considered had beaten the other competitors, desired these two to play again; and this having been done, the judges soon after gave their decision as follows: First prize, Accrington; second, Dewsbury; third, Mossley Temperance; fourth, Holmfirth Temperance; and fifth, Meltham Mills, The playing of all the bands was highly creditable.
  • 1859


    7 May 1859
  • Band Contest - St George's Hall, Bradford
    The brass bands of Dewsbury and Baildon competed for a prize of £50 on Saturday evening, in St. George's hall, Bradford. Each band performed six pieces, part of the music composed for the occasion, and the rest of the bands' own choosing. The judges awarded the prize to the Baildon band. The decision was announced from the orchestra by Mr. Olliver, secretary to the St. George's hall Company, and was received with loud cheers by the friends and partisans of the winning musicians. The number of persons who paid for admission to the hall on the occasion was 2,117, and the affair caused almost as much popular excitement as a contested Parliamentary election,


  • 23 May 1859
  • Band Contest - Zoological Gardens, Hull



  • 6 June 1859
  • Gala + Band Contest - Temple Grounds, Lincoln
    At, the band contest held at Lincoln on Monday last, the Holmfirth Temperance Band obtained the fourth prize.


  • 15 June 1859
  • Floral Fete + Band Contest - Asylum Grounds, Bootham, York
    THE GRAND YORKSHIRE GALA - This magnificent fete commenced on Tuesday last, and was well attended. The gala was held in the large field in front of the County Asylum, in Bootham, and the arrangements for its celebration were completed and well carried out by an efficient committee. There were 4,000 persons present. On Wednesday last, the company was far more numerous than on the first day. There was a brass band contest, the bands that competed for the prizes being the Black Dyke Mills, the Meltham Mills, the Compstall, near Stockport, Smith's Model Band from Leeds, the Baildon, the Bramley Temperance, the Dewsbury, and the York Operatic bands. The weather was fine, and the crowds of visitors enjoyed the pleasures of the scene with evident satisfaction.

    THE YORKSHIRE GALA AT YORK - The grand gala at York was of the most successful description on Tuesday and Wednesday last. It was held in the large field belonging to the County Asylum in Bootham. On the first day 4,000 persons were present, and on the last day nearly 17,000, The brass band contest took place on Wednesday, when six bands competed for the prizes, namely, the Black Dyke Mills, which obtained the first, of £30; the Bramley, which was awarded the second, of £15 ; the Dewsbury, which received the third, of £10; Compstall, which took the fourth, of £5; the York Amateur, and the Baildon - the two latter bands being unsuccessful, had each awarded a gratuity of £2 for their musical services. The magnificent display of plants in five tents was again open, and at half-past six o'clock in the evening there was a balloon ascent by Mr. Coxwell, the aeronaut. The gala concluded at half-past nine, with dancing on the green sward, The weather on both days was delightful.


  • 27 June 1859
  • Gala + Band Contest - Newhall Gardens, Sheffield
    BRASS BAND CONTEST AT SHEFFIELD - About ten thousand persons assembled at the Newhall gardens on Monday to witness a series of interesting entertainments which had been provided by Mr. Warhurst, the proprietor. The most important attraction was a brass baud contest for prizes amounting in the aggregate to £32. The judges were Mr. Robert Wallace, band master of the 18th Hussars; and Mr. C. Pappe, band master of the 22nd Infantry. On former occasions the competing bands have played a piece selected by those who got up the contest, but as this caused the performance to be somewhat monotonous, each band was allowed to make its own selections. Nineteen bands were announced as having entered for competition, but of these the following twelve, for some reasons, were not present: Ossett, Staunton, Allendale Town, Methley, Whitworth, Meltham Mills, Black Dyke Mills, Horncastle, Wearmouth, Cleadon, and Kingston. The seven remaining bands, who competed for the prizes, were: Bramley, Chesterfield, Dewsbury, Dronfield, Eccleshall, Kirkburton, and Lincoln City. They performed selections from "La Traviata", "Il Trovatore", "Martha", "Lucia di Lammermoor" and other operas, in a very creditable style, especially Dewsbury and Bramley, and were warmly applauded. At the conclusion of the contest the prizes were awarded as follows:-1st (£15), to Bramlev; 2nd (£8) Dewsbury; 3rd (£5), Chesterfield; 4th (£3), Kirkburton; and 5th (£l), to the Lincoln City band.


  • 11 July 1859
  • Gala + Band Contest - Recreation Ground, Chesterfield



  • 18 July 1859
  • Gala + Band Contest - Aston Park, Birmingham
    THE BRASS BAND CONTEST AT ASTON

    A fete of a character hitherto peculiar to Yorkshire and the northern counties was given in Aston Park yesterday afternoon. Many of the towns in that district possess excellent instrumental bands, mostly recruited from, and indeed connected with, the great woollen, cotton, and iron-making manufactories; and for the last two or three years a couple of speculative gentlemen, Mr. Alderson, of Hull, and Mr, Warhurst, of Sheffield, have got up competitive trials of skill amongst the various northern bands. Coming further south, they organised a contest at Wolverhampton a few months ago, but with indifferent success, the modern Orpheus, whoever he may be, having no influence over the weather.

    Yesterday, Aston Park was the scone of one of these musical festivals., The afternoon was as gloriously sunshiny a one as could be desired for the purpose, and was all the more enjoyable from the gathering not being such a monster as at the great fete a few weeks back. Though Messrs. Alderson and Warhurst had provided a balloon ascent, fireworks, and other attractions to supplement the great novelty of the day, not more than eleven or twelve thousand persons were present, and many of these being admitted at a low charge, the speculation has probably not been a very remunerative one. However this affect the entrepreneurs in chief, the Aston Hall Company will reap a little profit by the transaction. The prizes offered were twelve in number; first, £12, and a silver medal to each member of the band; Second, £10; third, £7; fourth, £4; and fifth, £2. Each band had to pay half-a-guinea entrance money, and competitors were conveyed free to and from Birmingham, Twenty-two bands had entered the lists, but from various causes the number appearing was only eleven, These were:

    Millward's (Sheffield) band, leader Mr. Millward
    Wellington Newtown band, leader Mr. Ingleden
    Attercliffe band, leader Mr. 'Turner
    Bramley band, leader Mr. Jackson
    Holmfirth band, leader Mr. Moseley
    Ecclesfield band, leader Mr. Canwood
    ThurIston band, leader Mr. Hinchcliffe
    Goldshill band, leader Mr. Smith
    Oldbury Euphonic band, leader Mr. Wills
    Wednesbury band, leader Mr. Stevenson
    and another whose name we did not obtain.

    It will be seen that with the exception of three, Wednesbury, Goldshill (West Bromwich), and Oldbury, all the competing bands were from Yorkshire and the North. Each had to play two pieces of its own selection, and the ballot settled the order in which they proceeded. The judges, Mr Tuckwell, bandmaster of the 5th Dragoon Guards, and Mr, Pappe, bandmaster of the 22nd Infantry, were in a tent close to the orchestra and knowing nothing of the order in which the particular bands played, had simply to distinguish them by number. The result of the competition, which seemed to be fairly conducted, was that the first prize was given to the Holmfirth band, the second to that from Wellington (which is connected with Sir Peter Fairburn's Works), the third to Bramley, the fourth to Goldshill, and the fifth to Millwards's. The Holmfirth instrumentalists played with all the delicacy and correctness of a well trained military band, the bass being especially fine; but others, Wednestrury for instance, fell far short of excellence, some of-;the players not knowing the scales of their instruments, In the course of the afternoon all the bands combined to play "Rule Britannia" and "God Save the Queen" and the effect was good, though not particularly striking. There was dancing on the platform during the evening, and Captain Hall's balloon accent was a very beautiful one. He went in the direction of Tamworth, We did not stay to see the fireworks.


  • 15 August 1859
  • Fete + Band Contest - Cricket Ground, Leicester



  • 18 August 1859
  • Floral Fete + Band Contest - Howden
    The annual exhibition of the Howdenshire Floral and Horticultural Society was held on Thursday, and was the most successful show the society has ever had. The number of persons attending it was immense, and the town was thronged with visitors during the whole of the day. In connection with the floral exhibition there was a brass band contest, which was a source of great attraction, being the first ever held in Howden.

    The brass hand contest commenced at half past one, the judges being Mr. Hinchcliffe, of Leeds, and Mr H Deval, of Hull. Seven hands were entered:

    Hessle, Saltaire, Kirkstall, Hemingbrough, Driffield, Castleford, and Wellington Foundry, Leeds. The Hemingbrough band did not compete. After hearing the six bands play, the judges awarded the prizes as follows:

    First prize, £10, Saltaire, near Bradford; second, £5, Leeds Wellington Foundry (Sir P. Fairbairn's); third, £3, Kirkstall; fourth, £1, Hessle. At the conclusion of the contest the National Anthem was played by the whole of the bands together. The grounds were crowded until dusk by a very large number of persons, and various games engaged in with energy and spirit. The receipts at the gates were £20 increase on any previous show, and the whole fete was a brilliant and complete success. At least 2,000 persons were present.


  • 22 August 1859
  • Feast + Band Contest - Barnsley
    Barnsley annual feast was held on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and the weather being favourable, the town was visited by thousands of pleasure seekers. The attractions were more than usually numerous. In addition to the races, which have been revived, and which were highly successful, there was also a brass band contest on May-day-green, at which place it had been announced a balloon ascent was to be effected and a number of old English sports to take place. There were also cricket matches between the Barnsley Clarence and the Barnsley Red Rose and other clubs for which bands had been engaged, and as soon as the stumps were drawn, galas took place in the grounds. The shows were also unusually numerous, and such a feast bas not taken place for many years past. The races came off in the High Stile Field. The horses were few in number, but on the whole the sport was very good. The brass band contest came off on Monday evening, in the presence of a large concourse of persons. The bands competing were the Dodsworth, Thorncliffe, and Hemswortb, the Dodsworth receiving the first prize, £3, the Thorncliffe second, and the Hemsworth the third prize; the performances of each giving the greatest satisfaction.


  • 24 August 1859
  • Gala + Band Contest - Abbey Grounds, Whitby



  • 29 August 1859
  • South Yorkshire Band Contest - Doncaster
    SOUTH YORKSHIRE BAND CONTEST - On Monday last our town presented a very gay aspect, all the thoroughfares being crowded with the elite of the surrounding district. The great attraction which caused this fashionable display was the above Band Contest, under the auspices of Messrs. Hopwood and Jackson, of Hull, and excellently well these gentlemen carried out their arduous undertaking. The prizes consisted of "The Doncaster Cup", value £10, and money prizes to the amount of £25. Thirteen bands entered, but only ten came up. The first prize, consisting of the silver cup and £12, was carried off by the Cleckheaton Band; the second, £7, by the Meltham Mills Band; the third, £4, by the Doncaster Railway Foundry Band; the fourth, £2, by the Osset Temperance Band. The judges were H. Farmer, Esq., of Nottingham, the eminent composer;
    H. Newham, Band Master of the Nottingham Cavalry, and Mr T. Dodgson, Band-Master of the First West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry, and we believe the judges' decision gave great satisfaction to all parties. In the evening, Mr Seaman, of Hull, gave a brilliant display of fireworks, and altogether the day's amusements were highly successful. The refreshment department was under the able management of Mr Bramwith, of the Rein Deer Hotel. Mr Bramwith had the whole of his new and spacious marquees for the reception of his patrons, Messrs. Hopwood and Jackson have a similar contest at Bristol on Monday next.


  • 5 September 1859
  • Band Contest - Zoological Gardens, Bristol
    ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS - At these gardens on Monday there was a brass band contest, under the conductorship of that well-known caterer, Mr Enderby Jackson, It was attended by an audience of some 8,000 or 9,000 persons. Seven bands competed for the prizes, which were adjudged by Mr Devine, band master of the 5th Dragoons; Mr Brooke, conductor of the Clifton Amateur Band; and Mr H. Richardson, master of the Great Western Band. They were awarded as follows: 1st prize, £15, the Gloucester Band; 2nd prize, £8, Eushallow Band; 3rd and 4th prizes, Batchelors' Brothers Saxe-Horn Band; 5th prize, £2, Merthyr Tydvil Band; 6th prize, £1, Bilston Band.


  • 17 September 1859
  • Horticultural Show and Band Contest - Barnard Castle
    BARNARD CASTLE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY AND BAND CONTEST - The annual exhibition of this society took place on Saturday last, when the untiring efforts of the managers wore abundantly rewarded by a most successful meeting. The almost incessant rain for several preceding days had caused quite a gloomy sensation amongst the promoters, but about midnight of Friday the wind veered to the north-west and ushered in as bright a morning as could well be desired. The influx of visitors by rail and from Upper Teesdale, in which district every available conveyance had been called into requisition, was very large, nearly four thousand persons having attended the joint entertainment. The band contest, the chief source of attraction, passed off enthusiastically. Eight bands entered and engaged in competition, the prizes being awarded as follows: Stanhope Band, conducted by Mr. R. De Lacy, first prize, £10; Malton and Norton Band, led by Mr. Welford Gibson, second prize, £5; Messrs. Bolckow and Vaughan's Band, Middlesbro', third prize, £3; Stockton Corporation Band, led by Mr. H. Brown, fourth prize, £2. The three last-named are each under the instruction of Mr. Milburn, of Middlesbro'. The Middleton-in-Teesdale Band stood next, and so near was their merit to the fourth prize band that by the recommendation of the judges a fifth prize of £2 was awarded. The two Shildon Bands and the Tees-side Iron Works Band, Middlesboro' were the unsuccessful competitors. The gentlemen who officiated as judges were T. Fender, Esq., ot the 2nd Light Infantry, York, and E. Hanson, Esq., of the 3rd Light Infantry, Newcastle. The exhibition and performance took place within the ruins of Barnard's ancient castle, which were generously opened for the society's use by Dr. Cust and Miss Harrison.