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.

Johnstone Silver Band

Johnstone Silver Band was formed in 1834 by workers in the local textile mills. At that time Johnstone and Paisley were second only to the North of England in the manufacture and processing of cotton. At this time the workers were keen to take up music as a new leisure pursuit.

By the 1850's the Johnstone Brass Band as they were known,were only one of about nine bands that existed within a six mile radius. They are of course all gone now  some alongwith the mills and engineering works that died away at the turn of the century and some as a result of the ravages of two world wars. Johnstone were the only band to survive.

Interestingly, at the turn of the 20th century the band appointed their first conductor. Up until that point they had been led by one of their own number who "played an instrument and beat time". This fairly haphazard approach to music-making hindered the Band's musical progress for about the first hundred years of its existence. Although popular locally the band made little impact on the contesting scene and tended to lose most of its best players to bigger, often professional outfits, such as the Carnegie Brass Band.

The "Silver" part of the Band's name was adopted to encourage  the public to donate silver, rather than copper coins when public collections were taken in the late 1900s

In 1919 a Mr James Marshall from Broxburn was appointed the band conductor with the hope that he could lead the band to success. Nobody could have foreseen that he would conduct the band for 30 years, retiring in 1949 after having led the band to hitherto the most successful period in its history in terms of contest success winning the second section on several occasions. Indeed a Marshall family member was involved in the band up until the late 1970s.

After the second world war the Band suffered badly with falling membership and almost folded on several occasions. For several years there was a Band in name only until the arrival of Mr Brain Duguid in 1979 followed by Raymond Tennant in 1983 regalvanised the band. In recent years Raymond has led the band to a level of success unprecedented in its history.