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Grange Moor Brass Band
"It gets in your blood".
Founded in 1854, the band has a proud heritage.
Great indepence and non-reliance on charity or grants were a feature of the band's early days. The idea of a Coal Industries Social Welfare Organisation grant was met with scorn.
The band room in Liley Lane was built in 1937 at a cost of 400 pounds. Added to this were a set of new uniforms at a cost of 100 pounds. Even so the debt took (only) three years to clear!
The heating for the band room came from a 'nice brisk march'. Each year during WWII the band played carols at the home of Mr Stanley Elliott, Lepton. At Christmas 1944 Mr Elliott said 'play me a nice brisk march and I will pay you 200 pounds'. The band, eager to please, bought a piece of music for 2s 3d and, true to his word, Mr Elliott gave the band 200 pounds.
Families have always featured strongly in the line-up and for many years the band was dominated by just two: the Johnsons and the Westerbys.
John Henry Johnson was a member for 48 years and conductor for 36. His brothers Arthur (euphonium) and Charles (baritone) also played in the band.
Their father George had played in the band before them and was also conductor for many years. To complete the Johnson family line-up were two nephews: Brian (euphonium) and Trevor (cornet).
The Westerby brothers were also a band in themselves. Joseph conducted the band before John Henry. Arthur and Charles played trombone, Alfred (euphonium) and Herman (flugel). There were also Edwin, Ernest and Willie (who eventually played for Brighouse and Rastrick).
Grange Moor also prided itself on not poaching fully trained players from other bands, but training youngsters themselves. This is still the practice today with some very promising young talent amongst our members.