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Hade Edge Band
Hade Edge Band is the youngest of the five 'valley bands' Hepworth, Hinchcliffe Mill, Holme Silver, Meltham and Meltham Mills, and Hade Edge. It was formed in July 1908 by a Sunday School committee of brass band enthusiasts, who wished to revive the movement in the district after the demise of the Old Moss band a few years previously. Instruments were collected from ex-members of the Old Moss Band and rehearsals started under their first conductor, Allen Swallow.
The band's first conductor received the princely salary of £1.10s.0d. (£1.50) per annum. Ben Charlesworth was appointed secretary and his job was to raise funds to provide more instruments and new uniforms. About £5 was raised at a garden party when a goat kindly donated by Jonathon Hirst was roasted. It was this incident that prompted the design of the band's logo of a goat's head.
The band's first balance sheet in February 1909 showed a balance of £43 with cash in hand of £2. 6s.3d. The band's first public engagement was in 1909 when they met the victorious Underbank Rangers Football Club at Holmfirth Railway Station. They marched and played "See the Conquering Hero" non-stop up Dunford Road to the club's headquarters.
The first few years were difficult but by 1912 many new instruments had been purchased. At that time new Eb Bass cost just 15 guineas (£15.75), the same instrument today costs up to £4500!
The band's first prize came at a contest in 1914 at Stalybridge with conductor William Pollard from Derbyshire, who was by then the band's first professional conductor. At that contest a 12year old Albert Robinson was showing great promise in the cornet section. This first success spurred the band to make plans to enter the 1914 Crystal Palace contest. The test piece was "Poet and Peasant", but the outbreak of World War 1 cancelled the contest.
During the war and immediately afterwards the band fell on hard times, but things improved slowly and by 1924 the band were looking for a place of their own having all this time been using the Sunday School to rehearse.
A secondhand army drill hut was purchased from Leeds and erected in Greave Road (then School lane). Some bandsmen contributed £50 each towards the cost which was a truly considerable sum for a working man in those days. Other money raising plans were made culminating in a grand dance held at the new bandroom on Christmas day 1924.
Wilfred Greaves was appointed bandmaster in 1920 until 1927 when Albert Robinson, who was by then the band's principal cornet player, succeeded him. Day to day life during this time was hard but despite illnesses William Pollard took the band to the Pudsey Contest in 1928 and they won 1st prize from an entry of 14 bands. The following year came the crowning glory when the band won the 1929 Holmfirth Contest.
July 1932 saw the band's first appearance at the Belle Vue Contest. Although unsuccessful in their section the band took part in the march and deportment contest involving bands from all sections and took 1st prize playing the march "Harlequin".
The Second World War struck a great blow to the band, but the band managed to continue with engagements both concerts and contests with Albert Robinson as the resident conductor. The Holmfirth Contest was however abandoned for the duration of the war.
At the end of the war things improved quickly and the band had a new president in Mr. Leonard Baddeley who provided his company's coaches free for contests. William Pollard had been re-engaged as professional conductor until 1947 when George Hespe was appointed to take the band to The Daily Herald North Eastern Area Contest at Huddersfield Town Hall.
Rehearsals had just begun when the Great Snow came and cut off Hade Edge for several weeks. Leonard Baddeley came to the rescue allowing the band to rehearse in his coach garage in Holmfirth. This obviously paid dividends as along with Markham Main, Hade Edge qualified for the finals at Belle Vue in Manchester but sadly Hade Edge were unplaced at the finals. Leonard Baddeley's enthusiasm, kindness and generosity were brought to an abrupt end when he died suddenly in the autumn of 1947. Arnold Lancaster was appointed as his successor but within a year he had died and the band's long association with William Haigh began.
In June 1947 the band attended a contest in Harrogate where they won 1st prize. The following month's "Brass Band News" gave the band credit for winning, but commented on their "shabby" uniforms. This led to another money raising campaign to purchase a new set of uniforms at a cost of £511.3s 4d. The new uniforms were worn for the first time at the 1949 Holmfirth Contest which the band won.
The 1950's brought great success with Albert Robinson at the helm, perhaps his greatest success was winning 4th Prize at The Daily Herald All British Championship Second Section Contest at London's Kensington Town Hall on 25 October 1957.
In 1952 Sam B. Wood became an admirer of the band and he wrote a signature march for the band which incorporated the Holmfirth Anthem as well as the band's name in musical notation in the opening bars.
The Albert Robinson era came to an end in 1958 when he left to conduct The Lockwood Band. He was succeeded by three bandmasters in three years; Harold Swallow, Fred Beever and Frank Longley, the latter with Edmond Hoole as professional. During this time the band qualified for The London Finals in 1959, and in 1961 Kenneth Aitkin Jones became bandmaster remaining for three years with Cedric Battye succeeding William Haigh as president.
Frank Gledhill became bandmaster in 1964 but was unavailable to take the band to a contest in Chesterfield in 1969 when the committee approached Jack Fisher to take them just for that contest. Although they did not win they were impressed and asked him to become their permanent conductor.
The band improved immediately and won the Holmfirth Contest in 1970 and again in 1971 with the expectation of achieving the first ever hat trick in 1972 when unfortunately they came 3rd to Hepworth Band. However they returned the following year to win in 1973 and again in 1974.
During this remarkable period the band qualified for the London Finals in 1971, 1972 and 1974 gaining their best ever result when they were placed 3rd in 1971. The band, albeit for only a few years, had its first taste of life in the championship section.
Joseph Dickinson became president of the band in 1971 and was succeeded by his brother Edgar in 1981.
Jack Fisher continued with many contest successes including winning BBC Radio Sheffield's "Bold as Brass" competition in 1982 and '83 and runners up in 1984. Jack hosted a request programme on BBC Radio Sheffield, leaving the band after a few years and sadly lost the battle with leukemia in 1990.
1984 to1988 saw the band's fortunes fall as membership dwindled. During this period the first tentative moves to build a new bandroom at a projected cost of £100,000 were made. Efforts to apply for a lottery grant fell at the first hurdle! It took over two years to sort out ownership of the land and building as the deeds were in the names of the 12 founding members of the band and not in the band's name.
1988 brought the arrival of Barry Hudson as M.D. and the membership picked up again. The band led the bi-centennial Denby Dale Pie celebrations that year as they did again in 2000. Hade Edge made its first trip "overseas"- true it was only to the Isle of Man to an entertainment contest, but it helped to put the band back on the road to further improvement. A five year association with Eric Landon as M.D. began in 1992. A new influx of players began and another steady improvement with the band winning the area contest in 1985 and representing Yorkshire at The Wembley Conference Centre Finals. The following year the band became a registered charity.
The band fell on difficult times after Eric Landon left and in 1997 an emergency meeting was called to see if the band had a future. With the encouragement of Edgar the band decided to soldier on. Barry Hudson was re-engaged but the band had little success. Barry left at the beginning of 1999 and a new man was sought.
After helping the band out for a few weeks Simon Wood was appointed as M.D. and with the band back down in the second section the long road of rebuilding the band began again.
2000 was a year of recruitment and consolidation. The band remained in the Second section at the area contest when they achieved 11th place. The impetus of 2000 was carried through to the 2001 area when the band qualified for the finals, gaining second place at the regional contest. The band achieved a creditable 5th place at the finals in Preston.
Later that year the band played to packed houses in a production of "Brassed Off" at Huddersfield's Lawrence Batley Theatre.
The now stable band, with full attendances, approached the 2002 "areas" with an increased confidence which was fully justified when they took 1st prize. Even more intensive rehearsals followed before the band set out on the long trip to Torquay for the finals. All the band's hard work was rewarded when the band were crowned National Champions of Great Britain 2nd Section 2002. Now promoted to the 1st section, the 2003 "areas" represented a new and even bigger challenge. Again the band responded with a 2nd place and another trip, this time to Dundee for the finals. The band were placed a disappointing 12th position. The following year, 2004, the band was placed 5th at the "area" contest ensuring promotion to the Championship section.
The year 2007 found the band returning back into the 1st section and in the 2008 "area" contest the band were placed a disappointing 10th place- that's contesting for you!