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Marshside Brass Band
Marshside Brass Band based at the north end of Southport in the old fishing community of the same name, owes its existence to the 19th century influences of the Temperance movement and the community spirit of the shrimping and fishing folk who originally, and for many years afterwards, made up the bulk of its numbers. In Brass banding terms, Southport's most famous citizen is undoubtedly William Rimmer, composer, conductor and arranger of many pieces still played regularly today. Rimmer conducted the band and taught some of our original members.
The exact date of the band's foundation remains unclear. One of the earliest references is in the Southport Visiter of 1892 when the band led one of the processions of local traders to the opening of Southport's northern Marine Lake. However the band may in fact be older than it thinks, possibly even dating back to 1864, the time of the opening of the local Temperance Hall (the band's home). Over the years the Marshside Band has had several other names included in its title, 'Teetotal', 'Total Abstinence', but mainly 'Temperance' through the years.
Continuing the tradition of the village brass band
Several current band members are descended from "originals" and, although the village of Marshside has been swallowed up by the outward sprawl of Southport and the fields where the shrimpers grazed their horses and tendered their allotments have been replaced by houses, the band maintains the traditions of a village band and still practices in the Temperance Hall on Shellfield Road.
Sadly the shrimping industry in Marshside has nearly disappeared but the band started by the shrimpers continues to play on for marches, concerts, church services, fetes and parades, in the local community, Southport and beyond.
It had strong connections with Temperance movement for many years playing for annual Rechabite processions and picnics. Although its main connections were with Marshside Methodist Church, it played at the laying of the foundation stone for Emmanuel parish Church in 1895 and again at the closing concert for the church's centenary celebrations in 1998
The band has enjoyed a quiet history, being somewhat reluctant to "blow its own trumpet", apart from "The shrimp strike in 1913 when a procession of shrimpers, protesting at the sale of imported Dutch shrimps being sold as "Southport Superior Potted Shrimps", were led into Southport town centre by Marshside Brass Band.
In June 2008 the Band played at the 140 year anniversary of the openning of Hesketh Park. It is reported that the band played at the opening ceremony in 1868. We are currently trying to verify this from local historic records.