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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.

Greggs Bakery Band

The history of the band goes back to 1913 and was formed by a local group of musicians as the Newbiggin Collliery Band funded by a weekly subscription of a penny a week from the workmens pay. The band was made up of miners who worked at the colliery and in many cases employment was found to attract players. The band has a proud tradition of contesting and has represented the area at many national competitions. It has also been a breeding ground for players who have reached national acclaim with some of the finest bands in the country. The most famous namely Jim Shepherd who does not need any introduction to the brass band world, Jim in his youth began his banding career at Newbiggin and went on to a successful life of playing in Yorkshire with the famous Black Dyke Mills band. Others such as John Carr and his son Dennis made a name for themselves as top class conductors.

During the 1940's a large number of Newbiggin Miners were transferred to the nearby Lynemouth Colliery. For a period of time the band was known as the Newbiggin and Lynemouth Colliery Band, however in 1968 Newbiggin Colliery closed where the name was dropped from it's title renamed Lynemouth Colliery Band. Since this period the band had a variety of rehearsal premises in Newbiggin including the CO-OP Hall, Central Club and the 'HUT' in the 'Bull Field'. In 1985 Lynemouth Colliery closed and again the band changed it's name to the Newbiggin Welfare Band. The band moved from the 'HUT' to the Newbiggin Welfare grounds, with support from Wansbeck District Council the band was able to purchase a new rehearsal room equipped with toilets, kitchen and heating and became self financing.

In 1994 Greggs of Gosforth now Greggs North East agreed to sponsor the band, this heralded another new name the 'Greggs Bakery Band'. During the 90's the band went from strength to strength rising through the ranks of the brass band world when in the year 2000 gained Championship Section status playing the test piece 'Variations on an Enigma', Greggs were only awarded 8th place out of 10 but this was considered a great achievement first time around. The band has performed at many prestigious venues such as the Princess Ballroom at the Winter Gardens Blackpool, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Festival Hall Harrogate and the Albert Hall in London. It has also appeared on TV and took part in the Lord Mayor of London's parade. The band folded in 2009