THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF NOTTINGHAMSHIRE’S MINERS
ACTS OF GENEROSITY AND COMMUNITY SPIRIT – PART 4 –
AND THEN THERE WAS THE MUSIC!
This Is what the Daily Herald, said about Brass Bands, back in 1948.
“The brass band movement, which springs from the very soul of ordinary British folk, is a tremendous, spontaneous movement of musicians who devote their leisure to practice and rehearsal, and the giving of pleasure to others.”
Brass Bands and coalmining have gone hand in hand since the very beginning of the brass band movement. ‘Coal News’ said in April 1948 –
“Four years after the Battle of Trafalgar, a Mr Tuiton and some employees of the Burradon and Coxlodge Coal Company of Newcastle-on-Tyne, got together and formed an amateur brass band. That was in 1809, and so far as can be ascertained that was the beginning of the brass band movement in this country, a movement to which about 6,000 bands now belong and which occupies most of the spare time of 150,000 amateur bandsmen.”
From the very beginning these bands have enriched the cultural life of their local communities; bringing music into the lives of ordinary people; playing at local carnivals and civic events, at concerts in church halls and community centres, playing carols in freezing town squares at Christmas, whilst in the summer, they played in local parks on the “bandstand”.
These bands created a talented pool of local musicians who nurtured the next generation. Through these bands, young people were introduced to brass band instruments and a musical repertoire outside their day-to-day experience.
In Nottinghamshire, in 1981, 33 brass bands and 15 junior brass bands, from every mining community in Nottinghamshire, played at the Berry Hill Gala.
Once again, it was the generosity and community spirit of Nottinghamshire’s miners, that enabled these bands to renew their uniforms, replace their instruments and pay the rent on their rehearsal rooms.
Following the coal industry’s nationalisation in 1947, this funding came from CISWO the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation, which replaced the Miners Welfare Fund created by the Mining Industry Act of 1920.
In 1952 Coal News reported that the CISWO provided the Clipstone Colliery Welfare Band with a new set of instruments.
This photo of Clipstone Colliery Welfare Band is from January 1956 Coal News:
Blidworth Colliery Welfare Band received the funding for a full complement of uniforms and instruments from CISWO in 1955. They reported in Coal News that year, that they frequently played in the parks in Nottingham, Mansfield, Woodhouse, Alfreton and Ilkeston. This picture of some band members is from a 1957 Coal News:
In 1957, Coal News reported that CISWO was giving the Thoresby Colliery Band a new set of instruments at a cost of £2,500.
We don’t have a photograph of Thoresby Colliery Band from that time, this photograph is from 1988 and was taken in Thoresby Miners Welfare. This is a Mansfield Chad photograph. Newspaper image © The British Library Board. All rights reserved.