Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bourton-on-the-Water Brass Band

Bourton-on-the-Water is a village in the Cotswolds, sitting just off the Fosse Way Roman road, south of Stow-in-the-Wold. Since the 1930’s it has become a popular tourist destination, with its model village, motor museum, Birdland, and, not least, the quaint … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cleora Miller – touring the American mid-west with her trombone and sousaphone for thirty years

Cleora Miller was a multi-instrumental musician, who toured with her parents in a musical trio, before becoming the figurehead of the show and a much loved and admired solo artist in addition to her ensemble work, eventually leading a multi-act … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Charles Godfrey Jnr. – the insult that lasted nine years

Charles Godfrey, bandmaster of the Royal Horse Guards, was a prolific arranger of music for brass and military bands, and also adjudicated many brass band contests. However, an unpleasant experience at the British Open contest, in September 1888, led him … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hazel Gwinnup and the Six Royal Hussars

Hazel was a trombonist and saxophonist who, after touring with Helen May Butler’s Ladies’ Brass Band, joined a vaudeville brass sextet on the theatre circuit for a further six years, until she married and left the stage behind her. For … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Castle Howard Reformatory School Band

The Castle Howard Reformatory School was one of the many institutions set up in the late 18th and 19th centuries to cater for sick, orphaned, destitute, and criminal children. This Reformatory was established in 1856 and the education and training … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nettie Goff – trombone soloist and minstrel actress

Nettie Goff was an African-American trombone soloist and actress who toured the eastern and southern USA with a number of different minstrel shows in the 1890’s and 1900’s. With her husband, Will Garland, she also undertook various European tours. Sadly, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ladies of Brass

To mark International Women’s Day, 2021, here are few papers of mine which look at the contribution women made to brass bands and their performances as brass soloists in the early days. From the solo performer to the female brass … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rothesay Brass Band – entertaining the excursionists fresh off the paddle-steamers on the Isle of Bute

Rothesay, the main town on the Isle of Bute, became a popular tourist destination in the Victorian era. Tourists wanted entertainment and the town council initially provided professional bands for the summer season from the mainland. A local brass band … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ups and Downs – the patterns of band engagements over the year

A bit of more recent history. Given the almost total lack of band engagements over the last 12 months, I thought I’d look back to when we all had full diaries and, apart from preparing for the upcoming area contests, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Four unknowns to puzzle over

Perhaps the bandsman’s version of Where’s Wally? Spot the bandsmen in the crowd. It reminds me of the crush, trying to play a static piece at the Durham Miners’ Gala, on the return journey particularly, when the crowds throng the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment