Archived Histories of Brass Bands 
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This page is part of an archive of historical details from existing or defunct brass band websites. This is being maintained to provide a record of this information in the event of a band folding, its website disappearing or other loss of the historical record. Where possible, and appropriate, the information cached will be updated from time to time - and any corrections or updates are welcome.

Banovallum Brass

Banovallum Brass is the fantastic result of a merger in the 1980s of two Horncastle Town Bands; the Silver Band and the Jubilee Concert Band. Some of the players in the Banovallum Brass were founder members of the Jubliee Concert Band, which had established a bandroom on the premises of JT Friskney. In recent years the band has gone from strength to strength with a lottery grant enabling the purchase of an entire set of new instruments and the building of a Music School.

Although the Jubilee Concert Band was a relatively new musical ensemble, the Horncastle Silver Band has a long history in the town. It would appear that the original roots of the band are to be found in the Horncastle Volunteer Rifle Corps founded in the late 1800s. There is evidence to suggest that a band from Horncastle was contesting around 1860 and won a prize drum in Boston, supposedly worth 20 guineas. The band didn't consider the drum to be worth the full 20 guineas and successfully sued the promoters of the contest in the County Court! The following year the Horncastle Band were again placed first in the same competition and received another drum, which allegedly may still survive and the plaque attached to the side lists the names of the 11 members of the band who won it. There was another brass plaque attached when the drum was lovingly restored by George Jobson and Frank Bell, relatives of two of the original bandsmen. Legend has it that Shaw, the drummer in the conquering band of 1861 was so elated that he strapped himself to his own drum and banged it throughout the town without waiting for the rest of the band to accompany him!

The Parish Clark of 1865 was also drummer in the band for a short time, but was seemingly deposed of this high ranking position by a rigged voting system whereby the lucky winner of the position of drummer actually had the casting vote. I couldn't say for sure, but one might suggest that the subsequent "washing" of the drum in "Sot's Hole" may well have been revenge under the cover of sabotage! Certainly the drum became strangely heavy and on April 17th 1867, Mr John Coates Osborne, the Parish Clark, wrote the resignation letter of the Drum!

The band appears to have led the celebrations for the end of the Boer War in 1902, but this seems to have been the turning point for the collaboration of the bandsmen and the military. In 1903 the band was disbanded due to the lack of a bandmaster. A band re-emerged in 1905 (probably largely constituting the members of the old "G" Company) under the Baton of Mr F Blyth, called the Town and Volunteer Band. Although it was stipulated at this time that the band should play for the company when required, there is no easily obtainable documentary evidence that they ever did so!

By 1911 the band was playing in the Coronation Parade Service in Woodhall Spa under the name of Horncastle Town Band.