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Haslingden and Helmshore Band
The Haslingden & Helmshore Bands have been in existence since approximately 1870. They were known as the Haslingden Boro Temperance Band and the Helmshore Public Prize Band and the two bands were rivals for 100 years. However in 1972 the two bands decided to merge to form the modern Haslingden & Helmshore Band.
In 1990 David Holland was appointed as Musical Director. David began his playing career on cornet with the Tintwistle Public Band in 1960. In 1964 he joined the Lancashire Constabulary and at the same time joined the Constabulary Band. He continues to play to this day with the Lancashire Constabulary 10 piece ensemble, "Brass in Blue".
In recent years the Haslingden and Helmshore Band has achieved considerable success in the contest field, being Manchester District 4th Section Champions in 1996 and 1997, North West Area 4th Section Champion Band for 1997/1998, runners up at the National Final Championship in Harrogate in 1998 and finally achieving promotion to the 3rd Section in the North West Area.
The band has always been interested in encouraging new young musicians and as a result a training band was started in 1992.The training band has been successful in feeding a number of these young players into the senior band.
In 1997 the band applied to the Arts Council of England in the hope of obtaining a grant from National Lottery funds. In November 1998 we were advised we had been successful and given an award of £33,000.The award has provided a new set of instruments for the senior band, thus releasing the old instruments for use by the training band and being the icing on the cake to the successes of 1998.
In 1999, due to our successes at the Area finals in Blackpool in the previous three years, the band achieved promotion to the third section in the national gradings. We competed in that section for the first time in March 2000 and achieved a very creditable 3rd place, missing out on the chance to represent the North West at the Albert Hall by one point.