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Chapeltown Silver Band
The band was formed around the 1870's and has always had its roots planted firmly in the community whose name it carries. Originally a small village which has developed into a small commuter town, it is about 6 miles North of Sheffield, just off the M1 motorway junction 35, nestling at the foot of the Pennines, and a similar distance from Rotherham and Barnsley. It is the home of Newton Chambers and the Izal toilet roll. The heavy industries of iron and steel and coal have all but disappeared.
To the traveller who confines their journey to the main arterial roads comfortable inter-war semis, substantial Edwardian blocks and shiny bright nineteen eighties detached dreams, confront the visitor, creating a spectacle of relative affluence. However for those prepared, or forced to delve further it provides a very different picture of a deprived community, whose affluence in some areas masks the high unemployment and poverty in others.
Many of the players live locally, but some travel quite long distances in fair weather and foul to attend the rehearsals and engagements. Band personnel range in age from 11 years to 67 years. It is a family orientated band with a father and son team who have clocked up combined service of over 70 years.
The band won the Second Section National Championships in October 1994 and presently plays in the first section of the National Rankings. Well, we used to. From January 2004, the Band will be playing at the highest level possible in this country when it takes the stage in the Yorkshire Area Championship Section. This is the highest it has ever played in its entire history, and only one of a handful of bands to survive at this level without any form of commercial sponsorship. It survives by members' subscriptions, engagements and a Patronage Scheme. In recent months we have launched a commercial patronage scheme, but this is still in its infancy. It also runs a class for beginners and an advanced learners' class.