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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.

Daw Mill Colliery Band

The Daw Mill Colliery band was formed originally as the "Arley Welfare Band" on the 13th July 1947. The band's first conductor was George Potter and its first appearance was playing at the armistice parade on the 9th November 1947.

The above information was taken from a handwritten journal created by the band's formerchairman, Ray Hobbs, now sadly deceased. The journal records details of engagements, contests, changes of conductor and other notable events from 1947 right through to the year 2000. The introduction and complete entries for 1947 and 1948 have been transcribed below.

Other notable events in the band's history are as follows:

1957 - the band featured in a film called "Blow Your Own Trumpet" which stared Michael Crawford and was recorded at Merton park Studios in London. The band went on to play a concert before the film's premiere in 1958.
1970 - the band played at a fete at Corley Residential School opened by Sir Harry Secombe.
1972 - the band took part in recordings made at both Radio Leicester and Radio Birmingham. During the same year they received a new set of instruments from CISWO.
1974 - the band played in a joint concert at Alderman Smith School with the Desford Colliery Band.
June 29th 1978 - the band changed its name to Daw Mill / Arley Welfare Band.
August 1982 - the band changed its name to the Daw Mill Colliery Band, a name retained to this day although there are no remaining links with the colliery.

The History of Arley Welfare Band - Daw Mill Colliery Band

The inaugural meeting took place in the Fir tree Inn, on Sunday July 13th 1947 at 12 noon. Those present were Messrs: J Robinson (Senior) J Robinson (Junior) S Bradbury P Rogers W Humphries J McGuinness T Whistell T Hayes W Knifton George Maycock E Flynn J Easton

When the band was formed it was known as Arley Welfare Band June 29th 1978 it became Daw Mill / Arley Welfare Band Aug 1982 it became Daw Mill Colliery Ban

  • The band's first conductor was George Potter At the first rehearsal the band played hymn tunes
  • The first engagement was Armistice Memorial Service at St Wilfreds Church, Arley - Sun Nov 9th
  • Band bought a Flugel Horn for George Hindmarsh to join band - Mon Nov 17th
  • First Quartet Rehearsal - Thur Dec 11th
  • Played at St Wilfreds Church
  • Concert at the Fir Tree Inn for Old People's Fund - Mon Dev 15th
  • Carol playing around Gun Hill Village on Christmas Day - Thur Dec 25th

  • Secretary J Easton Ass Secretary S Bradbury Mr Wm. Locker was appointed official bandmaster on Thursday Jan 1st until the end of July 1949 Learners Class started by Bill Hughes on Tuesday Jan 13th. 3 learners attended - Ray Hobbs, Brian Harris and Trevor Moreton
  • Bulkington Quartet Contest - Sat Jan 10th
  • Church Service - Sun Jan 25th
  • Concert at the Fir Tree Inn - Mon Jan 26th
  • Band played at the funeral of Sam Hemsley (killed at pit on Jan 22nd) - Tues Jan 27th
  • Concert at Arley Welfare - Thur Feb 2nd
  • Band's first photograph in Arley Welfare Yard (before uniforms)
  • Trip to Nottingham Contest (band didn't play). Listened to 1st sect and 2nd sect (Bus Fare 7/- Dinner 5/- Contest 2/-) - Sat Mar 6th
  • Leicester 3rd Section "Homage to Pharoah" - 5th place - Band was recorded, price of record 23/6d. - Easter Mon Mar 29th
  • "Arley Band" beat "Pit Deputies" in a game of football. The cup was a big chamber pot.- Sat Apr 10th
  • Coventry Quartet Contest - 4th place - Sat May 1st
  • Concert at Old Arley Sports (afternoon) Measured for new Uniforms (evening) Concert at the Fir Tree Inn - Whit Mon May 17th
  • Concert at the Fir Tree Inn - Fri May 21st
  • Played at Coventry for Princess Elizabeth on rout to unveil the statue of Lady Godiva Sat - May 22nd
  • Concert at Riversley Park, Nuneaton - Sun Jun 20th
  • Hinckley Contest - Sat June 26th
  • Played at Tamworth Gala - Sat July10th
  • First copies of Band rules were handed out on- Sat July 17th
  • Concert on ring outside Fir Tree Inn - Sun July 25th
  • West Bromwich - 1st Section - 3rd place, 2nd Section - 4th place - 10 - Sat Sept 4th
  • Arley Carnival. Marched around both villages and played on field - Sat Sept 18th
  • Concert at St Michael's Church - Sun Sept 19th
  • 1st band wedding - George Hindmarsh and Joan Bamford - Sat Sept 25th
  • Received new uniforms had to give up clothing coupons - Thur Oct 7th
  • Concert at the Fir Tree Inn. First time in uniforms- Fri Nov 5th
  • Armistice Service and parade. St Wilfred's Church- Sun Nov 7th
  • Carol playing around both villages - Sat Dec 25th

The Original 'Brassed Off'

The Arley Welfare Band featured in a film called 'Blow Your Own Trumpet' in 1958. The film was about a boy (Jim Fenn) who learns to play the cornet and wins a place in the local band against opposition and starred Michael Crawford as Jim Fenn with Peter Butterworth as the conductor.

The solos played by child actors in the film were actually played by young members of the band. Michael Crawford's solo was played by 12 year old Stanley James, and other solos were performed by Brian Harris (18), Robert Blackburn (16), Laurie Blackburn (18), Terry Brotherhood (12) and Billy Chuter (17).

In fact, one of the reasons that the Arley band was chosen for the film was that they had a high proportion of young members. In 1958, eight boys from the band were selected for the National Youth Band.

Desperate Measures

Once, when entering a contest, the band found that they were one short of the minimum number of players required to take part. Not to be deterred, they dressed up their non-playing chairman Harry Kemp, gave him a cornet and sat him on the back row with the instructions to mime. Just to make sure that he didn't accidentally manage to get a note out of the instrument they took the precaution of twisting all of the valves around first so that no air got through.

Former Conductors

1947 - George Potter
1949 - Bill Brotherhood
1962 - Cyril Yorath
1966 - Bill Brotherhood
1973 - Ray White (Senior)
1974 - Des Waite
1977 - John Talbot
1978 - Rod Parker
1979 - Brian Harris
1983 - Colin Randall
1984 - Stan James
1992 - Lee Blankley
1993 - Dave Collier
1993 - Dave Beal
1995 - Ian Cartwright
1996 - Ray White
1998 - Keith Britcliffe
Present - Mick Kelly