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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.

Northop Band

In the spring of 1892 a group of young men met at Soughton village (Sychdyn) and committed themselves to play for a year with the newly formed band. Within two years the band had relocated to nearby village of Northop. A bass drum, which has pride of place in the present bandroom, has the inscription 'Northop 1894' as proof of this fact. Very little is known of those early years as there are no written records, but it is known that the bands' first contest success was in Flint in 1921. The band at that time rehearsed at the Boot Inn which the band still has a close association to this date.

From those early days, one name has stood out above all others, that is, the name Thelwell. Mr. Thomas Thelwell was bandmaster for over 50 years and many family members have played in the band.

During the 1990s Stewart Thelwell held the position of Band Manager making over 100 years of service for the family name. The minutes from committee meetings from the early 1890s testify to the fact that the band was kept busy, playing concerts and contests and gaining many successes. Current members include Simon Thelwell, who plays Cornet in the Senior Band, and his two sons who are members of the youth band along with his wife Sara who manages the band.

During the 1960s the band had gained many new players and was beginning to become more successful in the contesting arena. 1969 proved to be a memorable year for the band. Firstly, the junior band who was under the leadership of Mr Desmond Marsh played its first contest. At the same time, Mr. Graham Jones was appointed to Flintshire Schools as a teacher of brass. Graham who was a very accomplished brass player with many of the leading bands of the time was to became the bands conductor in the early 70s, a move which brought the band up to its present high standard. The band is proud of its heritage and continues to strive to provide a stable learning environment for future generations of brass players.

From 1993 to 1996 the band enjoyed a level of success that could be seen in British Banding as outstanding. Under the leadership of Thomas Wyss and James Scott, Northop won the first section National Title in the first section elevating the band into the Championship section of banding. In the first two area contests in the Championship section Northop gained two second positions beating Welsh banding legends Cory and Parc & Dare from South Wales resulting in Northop taking its position in the top twenty bands in the UK appearing at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The success of the leadership and dedication of the players and musical director saw Northop rise to being one of the UKs top ten brass bands. Such performance and quality resulted in the band recording for Radio 2 on the Listen to the Band series. Northop continue on this success by appearing frequently with BBC productions and that of S4C in cultural and arts programmes on television and radio. Northop remain active in the community raising money for many notable charities by performing at concerts for the purposes of bettering the lives of others emphasising the dynamic capability of Northop in providing music for all occassions.

During the 1990s the band had many high’s notably claiming the First Section National Title along with claiming numerous other Championship section accolades. This showcases Northop as an ensemble that can deliver performances that do and have challenged many of the top bands in Wales and indeed from around the country. The first half of the 2000s resulted in Northop undergoing numerous changes as a result of a change of personnel. The changes that occurred saw the resurrection of training bands to meet the need for young persons wanting to learn a brass instrument. Due to cut backs in the education system Northop has supported musical education and learning to a high degree where many of the young players of Northop have seen their lives change by becoming professional musicians with the Guards regiments and also through academia in leading musical conservatoires.

We continue to provide the facility to educate the public in the arts by providing a training band and a youth band in order for people to meet their desire of learning to play a musical instrument and support development of individuals and groups alike. Our concerts see us perform at a variety of locations throughout North Wales, Wirral, North West England and Shropshire demonstrating that wide and varied groups we perform with and indeed perform at.

It is our aim to continue to build on our successes and continue to perform in the Championship Section of Brass Banding. Although we are a self funding organisation we are always keen to hear from businesses and corporate organisations wishing to become involved in the arts within the community.