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Hoover Bolton Band
Hoover Bolton Band, formerly known as the Bolton Borough Band, has one of the longest histories in the World of brass banding. Extensive research has been carried out and documents confirm that the band led a procession of Bolton schools to celebrate the coronation of Queen Victoria on June 29th 1838. Furthermore, in Arthur Taylor's book Brass Bands, references are made to the Bolton Borough Band which is said to have stemmed originally from the foundation of a volunteer corps formed as early as 1794. The band was said to be a combination of 24 brass and woodwind instrumentalists by 1828 and it is thought that at some point prior to 1881 it converted solely to brass instrumentation when local records detail that the Bolton Borough Band led a procession marking the laying of the cornerstone at Chew Moor Cottage School on September 10th 1881.
Periodically, throughout its long and proud history, the band has incorporated one or two alterations to its name. In the late nineteenth century the band was known as the Bolton Subscription Band, subsequently amended to the Bolton Subscription Prize Band, and then settled under its most established name, that of Bolton Borough Band, in approximately 1920 after the conclusion of the First World War. For more than sixty years the band retained this name until 1985, when Bolton-based bakers Warburtons were unveiled as the first real sponsors of the band, resulting in an appropriate change of name to Warburtons (Bolton) Band for some six years. Since the end of that initial sponsorship the band has received financial support from The Hoover Foundation since 1992 and, as a result, therefore changed its name to the present day Bolton (Hoover) Band. Still the main band affiliated to the town, The Bolton (Hoover) Band continues to enjoy an appropriately high profile, representing the town at important civic functions throughout the calendar. In 1997 the band was successful in submitting a modest application for funding to the National Lottery. Having received a grant for new instruments by 1998 the band in turn donated all its old instruments to local Bolton secondary schools and also delivered a number of workshops for local primary school children.
Away from name changes and funding, the band has also experienced a number of different 'homes' in and around Bolton throughout its two hundred year history. Around 1912 it is known that rehearsals took place in a joiner's shop in Prince Street before moving to the Peel Hotel and, for many years subsequently, to the United Services Veterans' Club in Davenport Street. In recent years rehearsals have taken place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Somerset Road Church in Bolton. We now hold our Tuesday and Thursday rehearsals in the Ukrainian Social Club on Castle Street.
The band enjoys a long history of contesting and, as with most bands, for many years with mixed results and varying degrees of success. Back in 1911 the band was actually placed first at Crystal Palace in London and in May 1937 won Section A at Belle Vue in Manchester. Until recently however, the band has competed regularly in lower sections but continued to enjoy both victories and high placings.
The year 1979 saw one of many landmarks in the band's history when Ernie Appleyard was appointed Musical Director. It was under his guidance that the band became particularly settled and began the return to enjoying the fruits of contesting. The band had been languishing in the depths of the Fourth Section with little money and struggling for players but within a year that had all changed and Ernie had guided the band to its first contest win for some time. Having been British Junior Cornet Champion at the age of eleven, Ernie came to the band with over sixty years of playing, conducting and tutoring experience and stayed with the band for nine years until his retirement in 1988.
From 1988 to 2002 a number of conductors were appointed to the position of Musical Director but by the Summer of 2002 the band once again found itself in the position of being short of players and in desperate need of fresh direction and injections of quality and enthusiasm. The band turned its attention to Chris Wormald, successfully approaching him and securing his services as Musical Director from July of 2002.
Chris left in 2005 and the band welcomed Robbie Cargill as M.D. Robbie had played Tenor Horn with the Fairey Band and recently with the Wingates Band. However due to emigration he had to resign from the band after the Area Contest in March 2007.
In August 2007, we had great pleasure in welcoming David W Ashworth as our Musical Director. David had over 48 years experience in the Brass Band Movement. Having played and conducted at the highest level and also having the experience of serving on the National Exec Committee of the National Association of Brass Band Conductors. Davids drive and determination is welknown throughout the movement and we all looked forward to working with him. Unfortunately due to ill health, David had to resign.
In August 2009 we were fortunate to obtain the services of Trevor Halliwell as our M.D.
Although contests will always remain of great importance and significance, Hoover Band is firmly committed to providing the highest quality, most entertaining concerts and performances for the general public. Charity concerts feature very highly on list of priorities and in recent years a number of local and national charities have enjoyed the support of the band. Current sponsors of the band, the Hoover Foundation, fully appreciate and recognise the commitment the band maintains to causes and concerns within the local c ommunity and further a-field.
Hoover Bolton Band exists under the guidance of a committee and officers who are democratically elected at the Annual General Meeting of the band members. It is the direct responsibility of those elected to ensure the band's continued existence, growth and adherence to the band's constitution and smooth running. The band retains a very strong core membership which fully appreciates the history and past achievements of the band and which is totally committed to passing on this knowledge and tradition to the new players who will take the band forward to future success and longevity.