The South Street Mission was located in Macbeth Street, Hammersmith, Middlesex and was founded in 1901 by Sister Lizzie (d. 1949). The band was founded in May 1909, and was active through to the mid-1950s, competing in a few contests in its later years.
The band supported the work of the mission, as did many similar bands in London and across the country around that time – combining their music, marches and crowd-pulling assets to attract people to the services, various events and demonstrations, and to raise money. Many of these bands were attached to missions, or other religious groups that promoted their (usually) Christian messages and also did “good works” amongst the poor, destitute, orphaned, sick and otherwise needy masses. They were very successful as musical ambassadors and helped these organisations significantly to change the lives of many people over the years – including some of their players, who were “brought into the fold” at various times.
A collection of episodes from the history of the South Street Mission Brass Band, together with an explanation from its founder, Sister Lizzie, can be found in my latest paper – “South Street Mission Brass Band”
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