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.
Laganvale Band was formed as a Flute Band in 1908 to provide a recreational activity with a 'temperance' outlook for the local youth from the Laganvale area (beside the River Lagan). The headquarters of the band was a converted dwelling in Laganvale Street and thus the band was known as the Laganvale Temperance Flute Band.
Over the following years the band flourished with its most successful period being around 1920 - 1921 when, as an Intermediate Grade competitor, the band won the Irish Championships under the leadership of Mr. James Paxton, an ex-army Bandsman.
After the death of Mr. Paxton in 1936, Mr. Robert Adair was appointed the new conductor. As an indirect result of his appointment the band decided to change to brass instrumentation. A very important factor in this decision was the fact that a complete set of reconditioned brass band instruments was available for £250 whereas a set of good quality flutes cost £1200. Thus in November 1938, the band changed its title to the Laganvale Silver Band.
The band successfully held together during the years of the Second World War although membership declined dramatically as members left to join the forces or were working long hours as part of the war effort. In early 1942, it became known that a local Squadron of the Air Training Corps was considering the formation of a Bugle Band. A deputation from the Laganvale Band approached the Officers of the A.T.C. The band was in need of members and the A.T.C., which could provide Cadets as players, was in need of a band. Thus the Band of 1136 Squadron, A.T.C. came into existence. The band performed extensively throughout the Province and increasingly came into public service on ceremonial occasions. In token of its merit, the band was upgraded to the status of 'Wing Band of the Training Corps, Northern Ireland'.
In 1944, it became apparent that the War was ending and that life was beginning to return to normal. The band decided to enter into this normality and therefore the decision was taken to sever the association with the Air Training Corps. It is an indication of the comradeship engendered during the foregoing years that the A.T.C. members transferred 'en bloc' to the Laganvale Silver Band.
Over the years, the band has competed in both local contests, graduating from the Junior section to the Senior section, and in English contests with the "big guns". Notable highlights include winning First Prize and the Championship of Ireland in 1949 and being the first local band to win lst prize in the Belle Vue, Manchester contest in 1954 (the Mecca of Brass Bands contests at the time). The band has been consistent in contest results, usually achieving a top 3 position and winning the Irish Championships in 1968, 1972 and 1995. As a result of the 1995 win, the band represented Ireland in the European Brass Band Championships which were held in Bergen, Norway in May 1996. More recently, the band won the Championship Section of the High Peak Brass Band Festival at Buxton in 1999.
The band also has a full concert schedule throughout the year, especially during the summer period performing at parks and venues around the Belfast area. Membership of the band is maintained by providing and supporting a Learners Class and Junior Band.