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.

Cawston Band

Cawston & District Silver Prize Band, to give them their original title, were formed in 1886. For those of you who don't know where Cawston is, it's a village 11 miles north of Norwich. The band is currently graded as a 2nd Section Band nationally.

Early history of the band is very difficult to find. We do know that the bands first rehearsal room was a room above the Bell Inn in Cawston. This remained the bands home till 1960s, when they moved to Cawston Primary School and then in the 1970s to the Mission Room in Horsham St Faiths, finally relocating in 1998 to their present home the St Faiths Centre.

During the early days of the band they appear to have been a very successful contesting band with several appearances at Crystal Palace, but never managing to capture a prize. Despite disappointments at Crystal Palace, the band managed to win 176 prizes in 11 years, at one point they secured 14 prizes in 4 days!

For the period between the 1930s and 1970s we have little or no archive material. If anybody reading this has any information, pictures or press cuttings we would be delighted to hear from you.

In 1983 Cawston Band became one of the first Norfolk bands to appear in the Royal Albert Hall. The occasion was the 4th Section National Finals, and still 5 members of the band that played on the day still play with the band to this day. During the 90s the band also played in the National Finals on 3 other occasions, playing twice at Wembley and once at Cardiff International Arena. At Cardiff although not winning a prize, the band were congratulated in the banding press for their Mexican Wave whilst waiting for the results!

Despite the band enjoying participating in contests the lifeblood of the band is concert work. Over recent years Cawston have played at many and varied events throughout Norfolk. Recent years have seen Cawston appear on 4 occasions at the Norwich Playhouse Theatre. To check where the band are playing next check the engagement list.

In 1996 Cawston gained a ?16,000 grant from the National Lottery, which was used to replace instruments.

In 2000 the band were delighted to have the opportunity to perform with 2 of the USAs finest bands, namely Lexington Brass Band and Illinois Brass Band.

Also in 2000 the band were delighted to be named Brass Band in Residence of the University of East Anglia.