BRASS BANDS ON ALSTON MOOR
From Joseph Pearson's Diarv 1849 - 1870 (Postman in Alston)
24th August 1849 - Mr. Cooke's Procession Driving 16 Horses in 8 pairs attached to the carriage containing the Brass Band. (Seems to have been a pageant rather than a circus; it returned in 1857)
3rd June 1851 - Musical instruments for the new Band arrived at the Raise.
7th June 1851 - Distributed to the Members on Saturday.
11th July 1851 - The Friendly Society of Druids held their Annual Meeting and Dinner & the first Walk for 7 years, the officers 6 in number rode in a gig dressed in Gown, Cap & Turban & beards and preceded by a band of music from Weardale.
28th August 1851 - St. Augustine's Day (Alston Church dedicated to St. Augustine). The new Infant School opened by a procession of Color & Band, Clergy, Singers, Infants, Trades people. Excellent Tea for 1/-, concluding with brilliant Fire works.
2nd January 1852 - Musical Concert at the Crown Inn, the proceeds of which go to liquidate the expense of a teacher for the New Band.
5th January 1852 - (The opening of the railway to Alston included gifts for the poor) the 10 Carts of Coals were preceded by the Band to the Lockup, where the Band stood in front till the Coals were tip't or emptied then the carts returned for more.
14th June 1852 - Monday. Alston Band on a visit to Haltwhistle, Rose Hill (Greenhead), Brampton, etc., returned on Wednesday the 16th
30th July 1852 - (Election celebrations held on Cross Fell) . there were 4 or 5 Bands of Music and 4 or 5 thousand Persons of all trades and grades from M.P. 's to sweeps and Beggars. The Alston and Garrigill Bands both with flags Played the M.P.'s from the Gentlemens well to the summit, Playing alternately amid Thousands which made a most imposing effect.
1st January 1853 - New Year's Day. The Town and Neighbourhood paraded and visited by the New Band and the new flute band.
18th May 1853 - Oddfellows, Druids and Forresters walk & Dinner held at Penrith when the Alston Band for the Oddfellows bore away the Palm. The Garrigill Band next in praise. The Cavalry Band for the Forresters being the worst of the three.
26th August 1854 - Alston Band on a visit to Newcastle.
25th August 1855 - The Miners Cheap Trip to Newcastle leaving Alston l/2 past 7. Arrived Newcastle 1/4 before 10. The Alston Band accompanying the train which had on board about 400 persons.
18th June 1858 - The Band Contest - 7 Bands of Music met at Alston.
Alston Band at the Angel Inn
Allendale Town Band at the Golden Lion
Warwickbridge at the Blue Bell
Dufton at the Greyhound
Haydonbridge at the Sun
Nenthead at the Globe
Weardale at the Queen's Head
To play for £50. The judges from Leeds and Stockton. Allendale Town Band all Brass, and Alston Town Reeds, the judges being unable to determine the Superiority took the first prize £25 and the second £14 between them, in all £39. Weardale Band, £7. Nenthead Band 34.
From "The Carlisle Patriot"
9th June 1860 - From article on the formation of the Alston Mountain Rifles. The corps, after being put through several military evolutions by their respected drill instructor, Colour-Sergeant Carruthers, of the Cumberland and Westmorland Militia, formed "fours-right', and marched to the Town Hall, attended by the Garrigill band, where they were enrolled, the oaths being administered by their Captain and Hugh W. Friend, Esq., of Harbut Lodge.
From 'The Alston HIerald'
21st August 1875 - (The Alston Mountain Rifles) VOLUNTEER REVIEW AT CARLISLE - Alston comprised Captain, 2 lieutenants, 3 officers, 4 sergeants, 12 buglers and band, 38 rank and file, 57 in total. 2nd smallest, next to Keswick with 55.
25th August 1875 - Volunteer band played at wedding of Mr. J.P. Walton
Xmas 1909 - photo of High Market Place or Potato Market. Anonymous handwritten note to accompany photo. "The Town Band had a tradition of playing every Christmas morning. This one was particularly dull and wet."
The Band was formed in 1902 from the old Volunteers Band. It fulfilled a variety of engagements and operated during the 1939-45 was under the auspices of the Home Guard. The last public appearance of the band was in 1946 and it was finally wound up in 1960." ('Newspaper Article 1960' crossed out)