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Maguiresbridge Silver Band
In February 1948, following much discussion and research, a meeting was convened in Maguiresbridge to determine should a Brass band be formed to replace the Flute Band which had ceased to function for some years. At this meeting Victor Stronge presented information indicating the likely cost of instruments - Brass £200-£260 and Silver £400-£450. Members of the local Orange Lodge (1524) were asked for a donation of £3 each and as many as possible were also asked to lend £10 towards raising a fund to purchase instruments.
Following further discussions and advice from Mr. T. Watson of Pubble, Tempo - a brass musician of great renown who had advised the acquisition of Brass instruments - agreement was reached that contact should be made with Matchetts in Belfast for ordering of the required instruments.
At a later meeting on the 6th April 1948 those present were advised that the 'Band Fund' had reached £406.5s.10d while Victor Stronge reported that the instruments, all of which were second hand, were ready for collection. These instruments, all of which were in reasonable condition, included a Eb Besson Euphonium which had been manufactured in 1850.
The first band conductor was Mr. Tommy Watson who schooled the founder members in the art of brass musicianship in the kitchen of the local Orange Hall. Indeed, such was the dedication and commitment of all involved that the band made its first outing to the 12th of July annual demonstration in Lisnaskea that very year - the band walking to and from Lisnaskea to take part!
Prior to this inaugural performance, a meeting in June 1948 was informed that band funds had grown to £732.19.7d. and those present agreed that the purchase of uniforms should be a priority to enhance the appearance of the fledgling band. Mr. Tommie Armstrong was able to source a full set of second-hand uniforms from Lisburn Silver Band at a cost of some £20.
In the ensuing years many individuals and groups of people have given of their time, energies and dedication to ensure Maguirebridge Silver Band continues to exist and flourish, but it is principally as a consequence of a brave decision in 1948 that we have today a Silver band comprising some 38 members.