The St John of God Hospital at Scorton, near Richmond, North Yorkshire, closed in 2002. It had been founded in 1880, by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God, to care for the “unwanted”, known then as cripples and incurables, later being designated for the old and infirm. It looked after a large number of wounded soldiers returned from WW1. A brass band was established there, consisting of staff members and patients, and was active during the 1920’s.
This is just one of around 100 such hospital and asylum bands in the UK, which were set up to provide education, recreation and distraction sometimes, for the patients and inmates. In earlier days some were also used to raise funds for the institution – particularly when youngsters were involved. Orphanage and industrial home bands were similar kinds of musical groups.
Some time in the future (he says, avoiding being distracted by it at present!) I will get around to looking in more depth at them.