This image of the “Rothwell Band” is undated and comes from a Christmas greetings card sent from Tom and Bet to “Aunt and Uncle”. The photograph itself only measures 1″ x 1½”, and had to be enlarged considerably, showing the band probably at a contest with their name board.
Rothwell Temperance Band were founded in 1881 when a number of members of the Rothwell Model Band (or Old Band) frin became abstainers from drink and eight of them broke away to form their own band. Once they had a good number of members (certainly by 1883) they managed to acquire a set of “lancers” uniforms which was the start of their uniform outfits thenceforth. As the Temperance Band’s first contest was in 1884, they would have been in their uniforms.
This picture could be of the Temperance band in 1881 or 1882, or it could be the Rothwell Model Band. There are no indications to date in the card nor in the photograph, but the type of card and clothing worn seems to indicate between the 1880’s and very early 1900’s. Given the likelihood of it being a contest location, and the lack of uniforms, it is probably the Rothwell Model Band (active from the 1850’s and known to have competed from as early as 1873, in addition to their appearance at Enderby Jackson’s 1857 Hull contest). There was also a Rothwell Haigh Brass Band active in the 1870’s and 1880’s.
However – there is another Rothwell with a banding tradition, that of Rothwell in Northamptonshire, near Kettering. There was the Rothwell Albion Band (Active in 1864, conductor J. Whiteman in 1879-1884 – still active until the late 1950’s); Rothwell Saxhorn Band (1860’s); Rothwell Chapel Brass Band (1860’s); Rothwell Congregational Mission Brass Band (1890’s); Rothwell Mission Brass Band (associated with the local Wesleyans, 1890’s); Rothwell Town Brass Band (founded in 1886 and still active in the early 1900’s); and Rothwell Volunteers Brass Band (associated with the 1st Northamptonshire Rifles N Company, based at Kettering – active in the early 1900’s).
So, the number of possible contenders are more than at first thought. Both Rothwell Albion and Rothwell Town competed during the 1880’s and 1890’s, so it could be either of those. I have not seen pictures of any of the Rothwell (Northants) bands, so cannot compare the people therein.
Which Rothwell Band is this? Well, at the moment we can’t identify it, but who knows in the future?