Archived Histories of Brass Bands 
    
 
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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.



Holymoorside Band

The band was formed with the coming of the mills to the village around the 1860s. The exact date is not recorded, but it is known that the band was in operation in 1872, as the photograph below shows James Wilcockson (landlord of the Old Star pub, Holymoorside) playing the drum with the band.

It is highly likely that the band used the clubroom at the Old Star as a band room.

From the bands earliest days, it has gone through many difficult periods. It has also joined forces with other bands most notably it joined forces with the Brampton Band, and for a while was known as the Brampton and Holymoorside Band. Then in the 1950's and the 1960's the Holymoorside Band was closely connected with the Whittington Band.

Even through it's history of difficult circumstances the band has always managed to play for the Remembrance Day Service, and even managed to play for VE day in 1945, no mean feat for a village band with most of it's player's away on active service.

The conductor of the band around 1920 was Paddy Tomlinson, who was succeeded by Tom Waring and George Whitelaw. Then following them and officiating until the 1960's was Bill Fountain, shown below leading the band on the Queen's Coronation parade in 1953.

Fountain was a euphonium player with the Sherwood Foresters Band from 1912 till it was disbanded around 1943. He was a first class musician and could play most of the band's instruments. He taught many of the children of Holymoorside to play, and led the band until age and deafness intervened. Two of his sons also played in the band.

During the 1950's and 60's, the band passed through its most difficult period and was kept alive by a few members practising at the late Tom Proctors house on Harewood Road. In the early 70's the bands fortunes changed with the four remaining players, under the conductorship of Geoffrey Proctor, began to encourage new players and beginners to join the band. Once again the band thrived and was soon playing to audiences outside the village.

After Geoffrey Proctor the band has been led by Tom Ward (ex landlord of the Lamb Inn, Holymoorside), Ivan Straker, Stan Lee, Paul Harding, Humphrey Carrington, John Walker, Andrew White, Paul Sewell, Stewart Brett, Steve Berrill, Ken Ineson and most recently John Slater.

The longest serving member of the band was Tom Wibberly, who played in the band for over sixty years, and was subsequently made a life member of the Chesterfield Band (with whom he also played) in recognition of his service to the Brass Band Movement.

The band has long been the stepping stone for some of it's members to make careers out of music, with members playing with the Military Bands, becoming music teachers while others progressing to play with champion and first section bands.

In the year 2000 the band restarted a learning class for those wanting to learn to play, from this some are now playing within the main band.