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George Frederick Birkinshaw

George Frederick Birkinshaw was born in Shambles Street, Barnsley, on October 24th, 1852. He commenced playing at the early age of six, and shortly after joined the Doncaster Rifle Band. When George was ten years old, the family removed to Leeds, where his father had taken the position of solo cornet at Thornton Varieties, which post, after his father's death, young George filled with credit for several years.

Later on, after filling a number of professional engagements, Mr. Birkinshaw returned to Barnsley and was appointed bandmaster of Buttershaw Mills, which position he held for two years. He next joined Black Dike as solo cornet, this being 1871, when he was 27 years of age. Twelve months later, Meltham Mills being in need of a solo cornet (Mr. Alex. Owen who had previously occupied this post having resigned) he received the appointment and remained with this illustrious band until they ceased contesting. In 1883 Mr. Birkinshaw was engaged by Besses o' th' Barn as their conductor, with whom he remained for one season. During his career Mr. Birkinshaw played with most of the leading bands and always occupied himself with credit. For many years he played solo cornet for Black Dike, notably in 1884, 1887, 1889, 1891, and a portion of 1892.

As a conductor, as well as an instrumentalist, Mr. Birkinshaw achieved very marked success. Among the many bands that were, during recent years, under his baton we may mention the following: Ashington Silver Model, Consett Ironworks, Rothwell Temperance, Rishworth, Butterknowle, North Ashton, Great Horton, and others.

He died, at his residence, the "Black Dog," Great Horton, near Bradford, on Sunday, June 7th, 1896.