“That Minutes of Last Meeting Pass as Read”: Helmshore Prize Band’s Committee Meeting Minutes, A Case Study of ‘Life as Normal’ and ‘Moral Contracts’ in the First World War

“That Minutes of Last Meeting Pass as Read”: Helmshore Prize Band’s Committee Meeting Minutes, A Case Study of ‘Life as Normal’ and ‘Moral Contracts’ in the First World War

Dr Stephen Etheridge

helmshore-prize-band-1906
Helmshore Prize Band, with committee and supporters,  taken at Sunnybank,  Helmshore, c.1906. (Permission Gavin Holman, http://www.ibew.co.uk)

Helmshore Prize Brass Band were formed in the 1870s and were active in East Lancashire’s Rossendale Valley in the late nineteenth century and throughout the First World War and beyond. They could not be considered a ‘crack’ band, but they were ambitious, entering the majority of local contests and employing trainers and players that would help them win.[1] This was the experience of most bands from the 1860s onwards. Like other bands in the regions surrounding Manchester Helmshore were driven by the need to raise money for the purchase and upkeep of instruments, uniforms and music. In addition, they had to maintain and run a bandroom where they could not only rehearse but also hold social events. [2]

Continue reading ““That Minutes of Last Meeting Pass as Read”: Helmshore Prize Band’s Committee Meeting Minutes, A Case Study of ‘Life as Normal’ and ‘Moral Contracts’ in the First World War”

Brass Band Repertoire in Manchester’s Public Parks in World War One: Tradition and Patriotism

phot4876.jpg
Permission from Gavin Holman -www.ibew.co.uk

Brass Band Repertoire in Manchester’s Public Parks in World War One: Tradition and Patriotism, By  Dr Stephen Etheridge

 

1913 was a watershed year for the brass band movement. Labour and Love, Percy Fletcher’s tone poem, was performed at the Crystal Palace Contest.[1] The winning band was Irwell Springs who came from East Lancashire’s Rossendale Valley. Labour and Love was significant as it was composed music of some substance that was available to all bands.[2] It was the first test piece that was composed for the standardised brass band line-up and that the sources can account for fully. As Paul Hindmarsh wrote, ‘it was not part of a local ‘bespoke’ repertoire […].It stands like a solitary beacon in the writing for brass band in the early twentieth century[…].’[3]

Continue reading “Brass Band Repertoire in Manchester’s Public Parks in World War One: Tradition and Patriotism”