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Spennymoor Town Band
The history of the Town Band can be traced to the early part of the 19th century qualifying the band as one of the oldest in the country. It was formed under the title The Whitworth Band. When the town of Spennymoor was created much later, Whitworth became part of Spennymoor. During the Boer War the band became a volunteer band adopting the military dress of the period, the band remained civilians however, not taking part in the action.
In 1913 the band borrowed what was then a large sum of money from a local brewery to purchase a complete set of new instruments and changed its name to the Spennymoor Silver Model Band. In 1926 monies were still owed to the brewery and some members “deserted the sinking ship”. The band was down to only eleven players and decided to allow woodwind players to join, creating The Whitworth and Spennymoor Military Band. The band took on engagements and organised the first gala in the town to raise funds. It did not take long for the debt to the brewery to be paid off and as more brass players joined, the woodwind players left to persue dance and orchestral work.
As a brass band again, the name changed to Whitworth and Spennymoor Brass Band. After “doing their bit” in the Second World War the band re-assembled and started contesting and the band became known as The Whitworth and Spennymoor Silver Prize Band.
In 1975 the band received its first and only sponsorship. The band became Camerton's Silver Prize Band. After three years the sponsors were taken over by a larger concern and fincncial assistance was dropped. 1978 was a black period in the band's history as, due to circumstances, the band resigned from the Durham Brass Band League and ceased to function as a band. Towards the end of 1982 however, two trustees and two former members set about re-establishing the band. Due to their efforts and the support of Spennymoor Town Council, Spennymoor Town Band was reborn together with a Junior Band. In 1990 a Youth Band was also created. The band has won numerous competitions since its reformation and has represented the North East at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain on two occassions.
The band have had the privilege to perform with some of the leading brass band soloists; namely Jimmy Shepherd, Gordon Higginbottom, Alan Morrison, Roger Webster, Steven Sykes, Steven Mead, Sheona White and Brett Baker.
In 1995 the band was successful in a bid to the National Lottery which enabled them to purchase a complete set of new instruments.