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Glossop Old Band
Glossop is the town where the modern brass instrument valve system was invented, and the band is thought to have been formed sometime around 1830 when Glossop Original and the Whitfield Rifle Volunteers merged. Early contest success came under the baton of Alex Owen funded by a local businessman who in 1884 provided the bandroom, now a rehearsal room and thriving concert venue.
Subsequent sponsorship has been much harder to come by, though success has stayed with the band most of the time. During a highly rewarding period of 20 years under Barry Hinde in the 1960's 70's and early 80's, the band won many competitions and gained a still well deserved reputation for quality concert work. The band also played in the last Belle Vue Grand Shield. Further afield, the band has established an ongoing relationship with its own twin band in Bad Vilbel, Germany. Barry retired in 1986 due to poor health, but his good work was reflected when the band made its first visit to London in the second section finals in 1987
Financial problems within the management of the bandroom club, which was run as a separate organisation from the band, almost caused both of them to collapse in 1990 and unfortunately resulted in the departure of the conductor and many of the players. This situation continued for almost three years with playing members dropping to around eight by early 1993. Thanks mainly to the efforts of Ken Cant, a former player who has moved on to play with many top bands in both the UK and New Zealand, a full team was established in mid 1993. In November 1993, Jim Cant (Ken's older brother) was appointed as musical director and contesting re-started in early 1994 resulting in a two year period where the band was unbeated in the fourteen Regional and Championship contests they entered.
Having been promoted to the championship section in the North West Association in 1997, success continued to follow Glossop, and in that year saw a victory in the inaugural Tameside Open Contest and runners up spots in several others, including the GMR Brass contest held in the BBC's Oxford Road Studio 7. The band qualified for the national finals in the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham, playing first of twelve bands and gaining a very creditable fourth place. Following that, tha band retained the Tameside Open title and won the second GMR Brass Championship held in Wigan, with tenor horn player Stuart Wilkinson also picking up the best soloist prize for a superb rendition of "Over the Rainbow." Prizes continue to come Glossop's way with the current tally standing at 33 prizes from 33 competitions since 1993, including 21 firsts, 8 seconds, 2 thirds and 2 fourths.
Following a successful application for Lottery funding through the Arts council, the band was awarded a grant which enabled them to purchase a full set of instruments for the junior training band.
The band has been through difficult times of late but in 2009 and 2010 competed in the Championship section where they were awarded 5th and 6th placing. The band is actively involved in the local community and is often used by local charities to play at fund raising events and, over the years, has helped to raise many thousands of pounds for worthy causes.