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BMP [Europe] Goodshaw Band
In a small village known as Goodshawfold situated in Rossendale, the villagers would gather on the bridge which spans the river Limey. Here on fine summer evenings they would play draughts, sitting astride the bridge sides having cut the squares into the top stones some of which are visible today. In July of 1867, their interest had been roused by the visit of the Padiham Original band. Several of the Padiham band had stayed
overnight in Goodshawfold and the following morning met in the centre of the village to play marches and hymn tunes. The villagers having been inspired to form their own band, borrowed money to purchase instruments. The band was finally founded in September 1867 under their first bandmaster Mr David Heap.
In 1869 they entered their first contest in Colne and were awarded fourth prize. The band has since been a successful contesting band and probably their most outstanding achievement is in winning outright the Workington Cup in three successive years 1906-07-08. They were able to retain the trophy through this hat trick and this very large superb solid silver trophy can still be viewed at the Whittaker Park Museum in Rossendale.
Around the turn of the century Mr William Pollard was probably the most respected player in the band, having been the principal cornet for many years. As a soloist he won specially engraved cornets, medals and trophy's including one from a solo championship at the Crystal Palace, London. He was very much in demand as a soloist, and also played with Besses o'th Barn, Irwell Springs and Wingates Temperance. Today the band thrives in a very competitive field, still competing in the third section of the Northwest Area.
The band is lucky to have its own private rehearsal room and is very fortunate and appreciative of the sponsorship from BMP Europe Ltd, which has helped to finance instruments, uniforms and the bands first CD in 2007.
The following historic account of the early years of the band, is supplied by Mr. John Spencer.
John, of Rawtenstall, played with the band for 67 years, since he was 10 and his grandfather Thomas Ashworth Spencer, was instrumental in helping found it, back in 1867.
After raising the necessary funds for instruments and its distinctive blue and gold uniforms, band members used to practice on Hambledon Hill which soon became known as Goodshaw Street, to the local residents. The first band master and conductor was David Heap and it was not long before the band was winning prizes and trophies in competitions around the country. One of them was the Worthington Cup, which stands around three feet tall and is now housed in Rawtenstall Museum. Won outright from 1906 to 1908, it was worth 100 guineas back in the 1900s.
John recalls his first instrument was the coronet and it was Arthur Ellis who gave him his first lesson in 1942 - he changed to the tuba in the early sixties. Of course, that was during the war, when many members were called on to fight. Happily they all came home again.
Said John: "The churches' walking days were prominent then and we had bookings from the first Sunday in May through to July, leading processions throughout Rossendale. The rest of the year, we would play in marching and brass band competitions, arts festivals, recitals, and concerts all over the country."
Goodshaw Band played at Rawtenstall picture house and gave recitals on the radio and competed in local, area and national brass band competitions. Whit Friday was the day for a big field day in Rawtenstall in the late 1940s and the band used to entertain the crowds who came to watch the sports.
Said John: "They also used to pack the church hall, when we went for lunch too, as we always used to sing grace."
At Christmas, the band went busking round the streets, playing carols and was always on hand at the carnival on Molly Ring, where Goodshaw Baptist School is now. Bert Heap was the first bandmaster and others you might recall are Ernest Kershaw, who held the baton from 1946 to 1959, when the band won more than 50 prizes, Bert Haworth, Fred Garth and Norman Riley. Alf Crabtree, whose association with the band covered more than 75 years, was known both as its father and as Mr Goodshaw Band. Alf played the big drum and was also treasurer for 27 years.
In more recent times, the band achieved great success by becoming French Open Champions 2008 [3rd Section] in the contest in Amboise in the Loire valley.