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Dinnington Colliery Band
In 1904, miners from County Durham were drafted into Dinnington to help with the sinking of the new colliery shaft. Amongst their numbers were a few bandsmen who, armed with a £50 grant from the local squire, Squire Middleton and promise of rehearsal facilities in the barn above his stables; soon formed the Dinnington (Middleton) Silver Brass Band.
Over the first few years the band grew both in numbers and reputation, becoming well known throughout the area. This reputation continued to grow, both as a concert and contesting band, with the band gaining considerable success in the latter; appearing at such prestigious venues as the Crystal Palace and Royal Albert Hall. At about this time, the name of the band was changed to the Dinnington Colliery Band. In the early fifties, the band quite literally built their own bandroom on half a council allotment site and this building is still our "home" today - although a bit dilapidated and in drastic need of extensive refurbishment.
Stoic efforts have been made in the last few years, particularly by a nucleus of members, viz: Nigel Butler (2nd horn); Joanne Brookes-Wright (Chair Person/ Solo horn) and Don Corbey (committee member/parent); to raise new rehearsal facilities and the band are quietly confident that they will have these new, purpose built premises in the not too distant future.
Over the years, learners of any age have been taught to play, free of charge, on instruments provided by the band and this policy still applies today.
Two years ago, with a successful bid to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the band were able to purchase a complete set of new instruments and uniform, thus enabling the 'old' instruments to be handed down to the learners. This, in turn, meant more youngsters could receive tuition. With a new set of instruments and a new, young Musical Director, who was trying his hand at conducting for the very first time; the band has moved 'onward and upward'.
The band also has one of the largest music libraries of any band in the country from which to select their music, much of which is now unobtainable. We are self-supporting and proud to be 'still blowing' despite a number of traumatic occurrences in our more recent past, not the least of which was the closing of the colliery. The band is now the only body still bearing the name of Dinnington Colliery and we do so with pride, both happy and determined to keep the name, memory and tradition associated with the mine and its' music alive!
All things taken into consideration and with an ever increasing summer diary of engagements and a number of contests in the pipeline, the band is quietly confident of a bright and rosy future, comparable to its' past!