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.
The Wingates story has had its ups and downs. The band - one of the oldest and most famous brass bands in the band movement is based in the village of Westhoughton near Bolton, Lancashire.
Wingates Band was formed in 1873 by the members of the Bible Class of Wingates Independent Methodist Church in Westhoughton, in response to a challenge thrown down by the members of the Westhoughton Old Band, which had existed since 1858, to develop brass band music in the region.
In 1910 almost half the band's members and senior committee personnel were lost in the Pretoria pit disaster, one of the worst in British mining history which claimed the lives of 344 men and boys, numbering cornet players, trombone players and horn players from Wingates Band.
It was in 1891 that the band signed its first professional conductor, Mr William Rimmer from Southport. Mr Rimmer was one of the all-time 'giants' of the British band movement. By the turn of the century he had transformed Wingates into an outfit amongst the finest in the land. In 1906 the band achieved the 'double' of British Open and British national Champions. This was repeated again in 1907, a feat known as the 'double double' which has only once been emulated since then in the 1970s by the world famous Black Dyke Mills Band.
Since the 1900s Wingates has been regarded as one of the elite bands in Britain and by many as amongst the very best bands during the life of the band movement.