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Kildwick and District Prize Brass Band
By the Farnhill Local History Group
Kildwick Band doesn't rank highly in the pantheon of British brass bands. It would be surprising if you heard it mentioned in the same breath as say Black Dyke Mills, Foden's Works, Besses 'o th' Barn, or any of the great colliery bands of South Yorkshire. Even so, for a short time at the beginning of the 20th century, Kildwick and District Prize Brass Band could reasonably claim to be one of the best little bands in the country.
This article is an attempt to gather together the very limited information that exists about the band: its early history; the glory years, during which it competed at the highest level nationally, and won; and its subsequent decline. Apart from very last period of its existence, there is very little documentary material available, mostly what we have are newspaper reports and a few old photographs
Despite the lack of good starting material what has come to light is an interesting story and one well worth re-telling: of a village trombone-player who received a spontaneous ovation from a crowd of critics; a band who lost a major prize because they had to play in near darkness; who were refused funding from their own committee but then received a large hand-out from a local benefactor; and how they used this money to travel to London, take on the best bands in the country, and win !
The early years (1866 – c.1900)
Brass bands started to appear in the UK in the early 1800s, developing out of earlier village or church bands. They provided a source of local entertainment and were also designed as a means of directing the energies of local men away from activities less acceptable to polite society. The Kildwick Brass Band appears to been formed some time in the 1860s.
The first reference to the Kildwick band is as a participant in a band contest which was part of the 1866 Keighley Agricultural Show. A report in the Bradford Observer shows that they came fourth and won a prize of £3 – equivalent to more than £200 at 2011 values, so not a bad achievement.
This appears to have set the pattern for the band's activities and aspirations up until the early years of the 20th century. They compete in various local contests, sometimes winning small prizes, other times failing to be placed at all. They also play at other local events: dances, fetes, etc. and, most notably, at the opening of the new Bradford Town Hall in September 1873.
The following table provides a summary of all the newspaper reports we've been able to trace that reference Kildwick Band in the period 1866 – 1888.
1st September 1866 - Keighley Agricultural Show – Brass Band Contest Kildwick Band, 4th place
24th August 1867 - Wakefield Agricultural Show - “ … and, to crown the whole, a brass band contest, for which there were 14 bands entered … [list includes Kildwick Band] … At the close of the contest the fourteen competing bands united and played the National Anthem in excellent style, on the Grand Stand. An encore was asked for and given, after which the judges gave their decision …” [Kildwick not placed.]
30th August 1867 - Craven Agricultural Society - “A brass band contest was a source of never-failing interest.” [Kildwick, 5th place.]
September 1873 - Opening of the new Bradford Town Hall - “The Amalgamated Engineers mustered very well … about 500 men in the procession … The Kildwick Brass Band came after this …”
July 1874 - Opening of the Friendly Society's Hall, Crosshills - "On Saturday afternoon a procession of the members was formed … as well as the neighbouring villages of Sutton, Glusburn and Eastburn … the procession being led by Kildwick Brass Band.”
1st June 1881 - Sutton National School - “Holiday – in honour of the marriage of Miss Ellen Bairstow … generous friend of the scholars … The Kildwick Prize Brass Band played several pieces of music in the playground”
August 1888 - Kildwick Flower Show - “ … in the evening a grand gala was held, the Kildwick band playing for dancing.”
The glory years (1903 – 1905)
In early 1899, the band played at a concert in Farnhill:
Craven Herald – 3rd February 1899 -KILDWICK - Brass Band Concert – A tea was provided in the Primitive Methodist schoolroom on Saturday last under the auspices of the Kildwick Brass Band. In the evening a concert was given in the same place. The artistes were Miss Green, Soprano; Mr. B. B. Snowden, Tenor; Mr. C. Walker, Baritone; solo trombone, Mr. Jeffries; and solo violin, Mr. E. Metcalfe A.C.V.; also the Kildwick Brass Band. There was a fair attendance and a very enjoyable concert.
It seems likely that the solo trombonist was Charles Jeffrey, a member of the famous Black Dyke Mills band. He was subsequently appointed as the band's professional conductor.
This appointment resulted in a vast improvement in the quality of the band, and in their aspirations. So much so that, in 1903 and 1905, they took part in the Crystal Palace Contest.
1903 – Kildwick 3rdrplace - Although this was yet the official “national championship” that it would later become, the Crystal Palace Contest was a major event in the brass band world. The 1903 event was actually five contests, for various prizes: 1000-guinea Champion Trophy, 50-guinea Daily Telegraph Challenge Cup, 50-guinea Daily Express Challenge Shield, 50-guinea Graphic and Daily Graphic Challenge Cup, and 10-guinea Champion Journal Challenge Cup. At this time there were no rules about which competition a band could enter, they simply went in whichever contest they thought they would do well in. Typically, of course, the larger bands competed for the bigger prizes.
The Kildwick band were never going to be able to take on the big boys, and so entered the 50-guinea Graphic and Daily Graphic Challenge Cup contest. Even so, for a small village band to contemplate taking part in such an event must have been a big leap of faith. As the newspaper reports indicate, even local people were not expecting much of the band's attempt: certainly not for them to do as well as they did.
The Keighley News provided an extensive report of the event, reproduced in full below, describing the band's exploits in detail.
Keighley News – October 3rd 1903 - KILDWICK PRIZE BAND AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE A NATIONAL HONOUR WON - Friday, September 25th, will mark an epoch in the history of Kildwick Band. On that date for the first time they dropped their parochial glamour and challenged fortune as contestants among the musical combinations of Great Britain for national honours. It was a bold venture for those village musicians to pitch themselves, as it were, into the vortex of melody at the Crystal Palace, and it may be confessed that one or two sound minded critics regarded the attempt as somewhat audacious. But, on the other hand, the great majority of the residents of the Kildwick district pinned their faith to the band, and the result is that the latter are now able to show that this confidence has not been misplaced. The final al fresco practice was held on Friday night last, after which Mr. Henry Robson, the worthy host of the Ship Hotel, entertained the band to supper, and sent them on their bold errand with the inner man replenished with all sorts of good things, for which he was heartily thanked in the name of the band by Mr. Walter Inskip. Though the hour for entraining, 11.45, was long past the regular bed-time for the good residents of these parts, they forsook the drowsy goddess in order to march with the band to the station, and nothing could have exceeded the enthusiasm and hearty goodwill which characterised the send-off. St. Pancras was reached at 6.30 am and after breakfast another good hour's practice was put in, so that the Kildwick lads could fill their lungs with London air. The Crystal Palace was reached at eleven a.m., and here the Kildwickians met their first set-back. There were twenty-three competing bands, and in the ballot for places Kildwick had what we in the North country call “hard luck”. They drew the fatal number 23, which meant that they would be the last occupiers of the band stand. This was particularly discouraging, because they could not leave the Palace grounds, the long wait was tiring, and calculated to damp the players' enthusiasm, and it might be that as the contest neared its conclusion the great body of spectators would disperse, and the players be deprived of that most estimable of all verdicts – public opinion. The competition began at twelve noon, and not until the hands of the clock pointed to 7.30 p.m. did the long-sought opportunity of Kildwick come. But the fact that the crowd of people increased rather than diminished as the Kildwick Band, with Mr. Charles Jeffrey as conductor, took their places on the stand, emphasised the belief that they regarded Kildwick as a sort of dark horse. Nor were they disappointed. The only spontaneous outburst of applause given during the competition was awarded to Mr. Harold Inskip at the conclusion of his trombone cadenza. It came from all over the place, and the general verdict was that this little village band possessed the finest trombone player in the Palace on Saturday last, and a similar tribute was generously conceded to the soloists. The test piece selected was “Gems of Welsh Melody,” and the Kildwick lads rendered it in splendid tone. They had, however, two formidable drawbacks. Being the last played band, they had to eliminate all the impressions formed in the mind of the judge (Mr. Walter Reynolds) regarding the performances of the other bands – and worst of all the lights were so high up and so dim that they cast nothing but blurred patches across the music rendering the latter practically useless. Some members had, in fact, to discard the score and trust entirely to memory, and it was just here that the cup slipped away from Kildwick. The general impression was that had Kildwick played in daylight and without the long tedious wait they would have been streets ahead of any other band in the competition. The final bars were played just before eight o'clock, and having deputed a representative to look after their interests, the members of the band left for London. The result was not made known until 10 p.m., when it was thrown upon the screen in the concert-hall, and a wire to London appraised the band that, despite all drawbacks, there were only two bands challenging for the Graphic Cup which were considered better than they. They had pulled off third prize in a great national contest, in which they had pitted against them the most experienced players in the kingdom. They were satisfied, and did not take umbrage at the Cockney urchins addressing them as “blokes”. They were Crystal Palace prize-winners, and when they got into the train at St. Pancras at 11.45 on Saturday night they felt justifiably proud of the honour they were bringing back with them. Although they arrived as early as 6.30 a.m., on Sunday morning, their Kildwick friends were [there ?], and gave them a welcome that will be long remembered by the members of the band. During the week there have been congratulations all round, and as the discipline and esprit de corps among the members of the band are of the most satisfactory nature there is no reason, having regard to their past feats, why they shouldn't in time achieve even more notable successes.
Our other local newspaper, the Craven Herald, managed to miss reporting the event altogether in their 2nd October issue. When they did get around to it, on 9th October, the report was simply an edited-down version of that already published by the Keighley News.
Other newspapers took a different view of the importance of the event and it was even reported in New Zealand – although it is only fair to note that the bulk of the report in the Lyttleton Star7 is about the 1000-guinea Championship Trophy, with just the results of the other contests listed.
1904 – Kildwick did not compete
For reasons that will become clear, the band did not participate in the 1904 Crystal Palace competition. However, 1904 is significant for our history insofar as that was the first year in which the band had an entry in the Craven Household Almanac, an annual digest of local groups and societies in and around Skipton. The band's 1904 entry, presumably written after the 1903 success, reads: Brass Band – Practices held in the Prospect Assembly room, Farnhill (the property of the band). President and treasurer T. O. Aked; secretary J. J. Nelson. Committee consists of 17 members. The actual membership of the band numbers 140, from which 28 playing members are selected. Bandmaster W. Inskip; conductor (prof.) C. Jeffrey.
Two things are of interest here: the band already owns its own band room; and the membership numbers 140 adult men (a remarkable number considering the size of the Farnhill / Kildwick catchment area). The precise location of the band room, known familiarly as the Band 'Ole, has recently been confirmed by a former resident of the village8. It was located in Arbour Top; the site is now a private house.
1905 – Kildwick winners
The build-up to the 1905 event wasn't exactly plain sailing. The band were having difficulty raising funds: Craven Herald – 22nd September 1905 - KILDWICK - Promenade Dance – The Kildwick Prize Band's effort in promulgating a public dance in the Society's Hall on Saturday last was not so well patronized. Two more open-air practices were given at Farnhill and Junction on Sunday afternoon and evening to augment the Crystal Palace Contest Fund.
But they did have some well-off friends in high places.
Keighley News – 23rd September 1905 [text not totally legible] - KILDWICK - The Brass Band and Mr. Brigg, M. P. – [In a special ?] meeting of the Kildwick and District Prize Brass Band the bandmaster (Mr. Walter Inskip) was instructed to supplement the secretary's acknowledgement of Mr. Brigg's handsome donation to the band's instrument fund by conveying to him the following resolution: - “We, the members of the Kildwick and District Prize Brass Band, having heard of the generous donation of £15 made to the instrument fund of the band by John Brigg, Esq., M.P., [… text illegible …] to convey directly to the hon. Member for the Keighley Division the sincere and hearty [thanks ?] of the band for this practical manifestation of his [abiding ?] interest in the affairs of the band past and present, and to assure the hon. Member of the [deep felt ?] desire of every member to make the band in every way worthy of the confidence and patronage so generously bestowed.
J. J. Brigg was the tenant of Kildwick Hall, the MP for Keighley, and by no means short of a bob or two. Nevertheless, £15 in 1905 represents well over £1000 at 2011 prices. A considerable donation.
The contest itself was again reported extravagantly by the Keighley News. This time the column was written by “A Bandsman” who explains not only how the band came to achieve their victory but also takes the opportunity to stick two fingers up at the members of the band's own committee who appear to have been rather less than supportive of the players' efforts.
Keighley News – 7th October 1905 - KILDWICK BAND'S SUCCESS FIRST PLACE IN THE CRYSTAL PALACE CONTEST: HOW KILDWICK WON THE SHIELD [SPECIALLY WRITTEN BY A BANDSMAN.] - It takes faith to move mountains, but faith can move them. Two years ago Kildwick Band secured third prize at the Crystal Palace contest. Then it had battered instruments which have since found their way to the melting pot. A year ago the new instrument fund began, but the outside committee of the band vetoed any attempt to participate in the great national tussle at Crystal Palace. They did the same thing this year. Every obstacle that could be put in the way of the band going to London was thrown across the path by the outside committee. The Band itself, however, had faith – faith in its ability, faith in its belief of success – and today they stand justified. But thanks are due to the good residents of Kildwick and district, without whose practical and timely aid the splendid result achieved on Saturday could never have been consummated. When the outside committee of the band tied up their purse-strings and refused a penny of financial assistance, then the band appealed to the public, and the wherewithal flowed in handsomely.
TRAINING FOR THE CONTEST - The financial difficulties in connection with the contest having been disposed of, the musical efficiency inseparable from success was diligently and devotedly pursued. Day and night, “al fresco” and under cover, the band pursued its practices, each one of which brought the band nearer to the possession of the shield they now hold. Mr. Charles Jeffrey (the professional conductor of the band), who won such distinction with the famous Black Dike Band, has deservedly trod the path of progress and fame with the fortunes of the Kildwick Band. In 1903 he conducted Kildwick when it was placed third at the Palace contest; in 1904 he took Bramley to the second place; and now he leads Kildwick into the flowery paths of first prize winners. A word also is due here to the persistency, assiduity and indomitable faith of the bandmaster, Mr. Walter Inskip. Upon him has largely fallen the brunt of the battle regarding ways and means, and to his inspiration in the darkest moments is due the happy result we now chronicle. On Friday night last the band mustered in good time and good form for the final home rehearsals. There was a glint in the eye of each player – one of those flashes of determination which explains the secret of the Yorkshireman's success in all walks of life. The innate confidence burning within the breast of each member of the band spread to the people and the good folk of Kildwick turned out to wish god-speed and success to “our band”. “Our Band !” The expression itself was an inspiration. Much was expected, and all that was expected was done. Prior to leaving the band was entertained to a sumptuous repast, provided gratuitously and splendidly served by Mr. and Mrs. Ben Mitchell at the Ship Hotel, Farnhill.
At the station the band played a choice selection to the great crowd assembled, and amid the hopeful cheers and “Gud luck owd lads”, the train moved off. “How shall we come back whoam if we dunno' win after all this to do”, croaked the only pessimist in the party. A hearty roar of laughter was the answer. “If we dunno' win we wain't come whoam, an I'm fayther of five bairns”, responded one of the many optimists. At Keighley the first stop was made, where we boarded the special Pullman saloon which the railway company thoughtfully provided – and charged for !
A PRELIMINARY TRIAL - The next stop was Leicester, and St. Pancras was reached at 6.10 a.m. London was fast asleep. The morning air was fresh and frosty and crisp. The atmosphere was magnetic; so much so that one of the members lit his cigarette with it. A smart tramp, and well-served breakfast in the aristocratic rendezvous of Regent Street and the removal of all the stains of nocturnal travel made very member fit for the task imposed upon him. The final hour's rehearsal was performed in a yard behind Regent Street, and here the first prizes were won in an amusing fashion. As the rehearsal proceeded windows were opened and somehow or other the impression got abroad that “blokes plying below b'long'd the Blue 'Ungarian Band”, as one of the Cockney admirers put it. Then began a regular shower of coins of the realm, which proved to be the harbingers of the success to come. At 11.15 a.m. we arrived at the Crystal Palace, learned that our band stand was situated in that portion known as the Maze, and our representative who had been deputed to draw for place having informed us that we were placed ninth on the list, we whiled away the time silently, hopefully, yet confidently, until 3.15 p.m., when our hopes, and boasts, and skill were to be tried in the fierce fire of test.
In our section nineteen bands drawn from England and Wales were entered, we had heard eight play before we got on the stand, and ten bands were to follow. Somehow the impression had possessed the musical world at the Palace that a great performance was expected of Kildwick Band. Conductors and great professional players flocked round to hear us, and never did men play with greater zest, care, or precision. It would be brutal almost to differentiate between the players where everyone did his best; and although the judge's remarks are not yet out one dares to prophesy that for harmony and skill there was no band of any class that excelled the boys from Kildwick in their performance of the test piece. Congratulations followed hearty applause, and it was clear that nothing but a miracle could rob us of the fruits of victory.
THE RETURN HOME - Let it be said here in fairness to our other competitors that Kildwick Band had no cheap thing on hand. The bands from Sheffield and Doncaster were among those whose performances were of a really high order of merit, and it was nothing but the superior merit due to careful organisation, persistent practice, and the most skilled tuition which put Kildwick at the head of all other competing bands. The judge's decision was received for a moment in silence; the tension on the minds of the members of our band stopped speech. But a moment more and a good sound-ringing Yorkshire cheer went up – one of those cheers which startle the Cockney with his fog and smoke and grime infected lungs – and a moment later even our opponents in the contest who hailed from the county of broad acres joined in our jubilation, and were proud of “Good Old Yorkshire”.
At 11.45 p.m. on Saturday night we entrained for home. We had gone away in fear and hope; we returned blessed by the goddesses of success and joy, and those, apparently, were on no friendly terms with the kindly Morpheus, who stood waiting to be called but was not. We arrived at Kildwick at 7.15 on Sunday morning, and were surprised by the crowds who greeted our arrival. Before leaving the Palace we inspected the very beautiful shield of which we ere the winners. It has not come our way yet. The usual routine is for the manager and director of the contest, Mr. Henry Isles, to present the shield to the winning band at a public function organised in the locality represented by the band. Already the manager of a Leeds theatre has offered to put his place at the disposal of the band for the presentation of the shield, but this offer has been declined, as it is felt by the band that as the good people of Kildwick and district have helped them so loyally and generously in the past, now, in the moment of victory, the patrons of the band shall share its honours. For this purpose a public function, the definite character of which has not been fixed upon, will be organised shortly, and full particulars will be given in the advertising column of the “Keighley News”.
It's not clear when, or even if, the public presentation of the award took place, but there is a nice photograph of the 1905 winning band with the shield. Despite the absence of a public event, the band's success was well received locally.
Craven Herald – 13th October 1905 - KILDWICK - The Band – In honour of the recent success obtained at Crystal Palace, the band paraded the neighbourhood on Saturday. Considerable interest was displayed by the public en route. As a mark of esteem and appreciation a subscription list has been opened for Mr. C. Jeffrey, under whose tuition the band has attained their achievement.
A couple of weeks after the contest, the band received details of the judge's comments. The performance hadn't been perfect, but the band had been clear and worthy winners.
Keighley News – 14th October 1905 - KILDWICK KILDWICK BAND'S CRYSTAL PALACE PERFORMANCE: JUDGE'S REMARKS - The remarks of the judge at the Crystal Palace Band Contest, in reference to the Kildwick band's performance, were as follows: - “Irish Melodies” – Opening move, best opening yet by trombone, and good to end. “Eileen Alannah”, nice start with everything going well and fair time, baritone very good indeed, also horn. Brass band has good tone and soprano a feature. Vivace well done by all; “Asthore” solo cornet, soprano and solo horn, all excellent and band backing them up. Andante – good playing, better than anything previous so far. Allegro Marcia – Well in tune and good playing, cornet cadenza excellent. “Alannah” – euphonium putting some soul into it, and accompaniments well done; everything capital, and quite enjoyed this; moderato well played; trombone cadenza capitally done considering the class of bands. “Green Isle of Erin” – trombone phrasing beautifully and agitato not overdone. L. baritone and euphonium enter really, and accompaniment rises and falls with melody, not a neat entry by any means to the jig; after, good to finish; as an all-round performance it pleases me the best so far – 1st prize.
Also, now that the band's dispute with its committee was out in the open, something had to be done to resolve the matter.
Keighley and Bingley Chronicle – 13th October 1905 - FARNHILL - … The clerk [of Farnhill Parish Council] was also invited to write Mr. Binns-Hartley, suggesting a joint meeting of the Council and the committee of the Kildwick Prize Brass Band at an early date, the meeting to be held in the Band Room.
It's not known what was discussed at this meeting but it was around this time that the band changed its name: to become the Kildwick and District Prize Band, and this is the name that is on the Prize Winner's Certificate. Sadly, although they weren't to know it, the 1905 Crystal Palace victory was the high-water mark for the band.
The decline (1906 – 1916)
Early in 1906 the band took delivery of new uniforms, that quite impressed the reporter from the Craven Herald.
Craven Herald – 1st June 1906 - KILDWICK - The Band – On Saturday afternoon the Kildwick and District Prize Band paraded through thee streets of Kildwick and Farnhill for the purpose of showing their new uniform and collecting money to help the band to pay for the same. The band looked very smart, and the makers of the uniform are to be complimented on their workmanship and style. The band had their photos taken on the lawn of Kildwick Hall, and the collection realised over £3.
Remarkably, the photograph survives.
In August, the band played at the Haworth Gala; an event over-shadowed by a tragic event that occurred a couple of days later.
… On Saturday 9 June 1906, music was provided by the Haworth and Kildwick Brass Bands, plus the Keighley Wiffum Waffum Wuffum and Haworth Bingem Bangem Comic Bands. Highlight was to be the balloon ascent and parachute descent by Miss Lily Cove. This spectacle was postponed for two days because of unsuitable weather. But disaster struck. When Miss Cove jumped from the balloon, she somehow became detached from her parachute. She plummeted to the ground near Ponden Reservoir.
At the end of September, the Keighley News reported the band's preparations for their defence of the shield. These appeared to follow what, by now, had become the usual pattern: a final outdoor practice, this time at Crosshills, was followed by a meal at the Ship Inn before the band caught the late train to London
But this time it was all to no avail. In the following issue, the paper provides a full report of the contest and a full list of all the prize-winners in all the categories. The Kildwick band is not mentioned. Their national successes were at an end, and this seems to have been the last time they took part in a major contest of any description.
Subsequent reports of the band's activities quickly become sparse.
On September 21st 1907 the band played a concert of sacred music in Ilkley. The collection, a total of £8, was divided between the band and the Ilkley Coronation Cottage Hospital.
After that the band seem to have restricted themselves to local events: giving concerts in the band room, and leading processions for the church and the Oddfellows. The last mention of Charles Jeffrey as conductor of the band appears on October 12th 1907, when he attends the funeral of a retired band member at Kildwick Church. The band began to shrink in size. Between 1910 and 1916, their entry in the Craven Household Almanac says the band has just 20 playing members, down from 28 in 1904, and probably too small an ensemble to participate in any major competitions. The last known mentions of the band as an active organisation reflect the impact of WW1 on village life.
Craven Herald – 22nd December 1916 - FARNHILL SOLDIER DIES IN HOSPITAL - We regret to report the death of Pte. Harry Walmsley, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Seth Walmsley, of Hanover Street, Farnhill … The bearers of the coffin, which was draped with the Union Jack, were members of the Kildwick Prize Brass Band, of which Pte. Walmsley was also a member …. In addition to the family, representatives were sent from the Farnhill and Kildwick Institute, Volunteers, Kildwick Prize Brass Band, Conservative Club, and Junction Mills (who also sent wreaths, of which there were a great many). Crowds of people came from all the surrounding villages, the church being packed to overflowing …
West Yorkshire Pioneer – 22nd December 1916 - FARNHILL - THE LATE PTE. HENRY WALMSLEY - The funeral of the late Private Henry Walmsley, of the 1st 5th Duke of Wellington's Regiment, took place on Sunday afternoon last at the Kildwick Church burial ground, amid many signs of deep sympathy and respect…… The deceased was very highly respected in the village of his birth. He was a very promising member of the Kildwick and District Prize Brass Band…… The bearers were Messrs. J. Hopkinson, J.W. Hartley, B. Whitaker, H. Wilcock, H. Heaton. A. Ogden, E. Gibson, and J. Whitaker, all fellow members of the band, in uniform…… The coffin was covered with the Union Jack, and bore the inscription, 'Henry Walmsley, died Dec. 14, aged 23 years.'
Coda (1917 – 1936)
The book “South Craven in Old Picture Postcards” by Peter Whitaker and Alec Wood reports that the band ceased to exist either during or immediately after WW1. In fact, research for this article has uncovered documents indicating the band's affairs were not finally wound-up until as late as 1936.
Quite what the band's activities amounted to after the war isn't known, so it may well be that Whitaker and Wood are correct at least in their suggestion that the dislocation of society during and after the war made it difficult for the band to continue in any meaningful way. Sadly, issues of the Craven Household Almanac for the years 1917 to 1927 have been lost, but from 1928 onwards there is no entry for the band, suggesting that its decline had continued to such an extent that it was no longer worth even advertising its existence.
When the end finally came, it was quick and decisive. At a committee meeting in April 1936 the decision was made to wind-up what, by then, was known simply as Kildwick Parish Band, with the sale of the band room. The building was sold to a Mr. Thomas Stirk for just £40 and, less than three months later, it was all over. The rest is silence.
The Farnhill Local History Group would like to thank Gavin Holman of The Internet Bandsman's Enquire Within (www.ibew.co.uk) who kindly provided the newspaper cuttings and other material relating to the band's early activities. and information on the organisation of the Crystal Palace competition in the early years of the 20th century. The location of the band room was identified by Mr. Keith Bunnett, former resident of Farnhill.