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.
Croy Silver Band
The Band was started in Smithstone, about ten years after the first families moved there in 1864. The families primarily came from the Airdrie, Rawyards and Chapelhall areas of Lanarkshire to work in the local coal mines being opened at the time by Wm. Baird & Co.
For the first few years the instrumentation of the band was far removed from the brass bands we know today. In fact, if you owned an instrument you were invited to play in the band. Gradually, over the years, it became all brass. Over the years the band gained in popularity and it was soon being called on to play at many of the local functions being held in the area.
In 1902 a new parish of Holy Cross was opened in Croy with Fr. Francis McCann as Parish Priest. Fr. McCann was quick to see the potential in the band and he approached the band to see if they would come under the banner of the new parish. Time went by and it wasn't until 1908, under the negotiation of Fr. John Charleson, that the band became known as Croy Parish Band. Shortly after the change over Fr. Charleson appointed the band's first professional conductor, a Belgian Army man called Mr. Henry Fortyn.
Under the new conductor the band improved rapidly and attended a few contests where they had reasonable success. With the start of the World War 1, Mr. Fortyn left to re-join the Belgian army, and as a result the band had to carry on without a professional conductor until October 1921. It was at this time that the band appointed Mr. Robert Thomson. Since then, the band has always had a full time professional conductor to guide them.
The band has always had a strong tradition of supporting many local charities in the pursuit of raising much-needed funds. Indeed, during the 1921 and 1926 national strikes, the band played a big part in raising funds so as to feed the strikers and their families via the soup kitchens set up in Auchinstarry, Croy and Smithstone.
Following the bands centenary celebrations in 1975, a decision was made by the band committee to form a Junior Band to feed new players into the Senior Band and to maintain the long term future of the band. The Junior Band, under the leadership of James Rafferty, proved to be a massive success from day one and the Junior Band was in demand to play at countless local events such as gala days, school concerts and other fund raising activities. To this day, the band actively looks to train new players and at present, under the guidance of Grant Golding, there are approximately 20 young players in the Youth Band.
Many successes have been achieved by the band over the years. To date we have represented Scotland on seven occasions at the National Finals. The band was the first civilian band to be asked to play at a Scotland versus England international football match at Hampden Park in February 1968. The band was invited to play at Bellahouston Park during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Scotland in 1982. Following on from this the band were then invited to participate in the St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin in 1983. In September 2010, along with players from Shotts St. Patricks Brass Band, the band played at Bellahouston Park during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI.