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The History of

A Quick Look

revival of an old swaledale band

It is known that a band existed prior to 1905.  Detailed documentary evidence has recently come to light covering the period from that year.  It is clear that new instruments and equipment were purchased, to replace those existing at the time.  Old rules were also adopted, following meetings held in Reeth between 20th June and 31st December 1905.

Reeth Brass Band in the 19th century

In the mid 19th century, there were 1,000 lead miners living in Reeth.  Music was an important part of life as much then as it is today.  It is thought that there would be a brass band in Reeth right back to that time.  Evidence to support the fact has been discovered in a newspaper report from 1935, (kindly provided by Mrs. Jennifer Kendall, of Reeth).  The headline to the report shows "The ups and downs of Reeth Brass Band," this article indicates that the band was reformed, for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations on 22nd June 1897, "after a break of eight years".  The newspaper account also states that, "The date of origin must be far back in antiquity; certainly it was in being upwards of a hundred years ago".   This would indicate that the band existed at the height of lead mining activity in the area during the mid 1800s, which is supported by an article in the York Herald dated 28 June 1862 reporting that "Reeth Temperance Band enlivened proceedings with their harmony at the Temperance Festival at Bolton Castle". The photograph reproduced above has been extracted from the article and shows "a photograph of the band in its early days."

Reeth Brass Band in the 20th Century

There are no records of the band from the 1st world war through to the 2nd World War although the band kept going in a small way. Anyone with information about this time please get in touch.  During the 2nd World War, the Band was forced to close. The Band instruments were stored, at the time, by local butcher Jim Kendall. In the early 1950’s a small group of youngsters, inspired by Jim’s son James Kendall reformed the Band. Jim went on to conduct the reformed Band for a few years.

In 1968 the new Vicar appointed to St. Mary’s Church, Arkengarthdale, Rev E F Tindall wanted a band for Remembrance Sunday so he started Reeth Brass Band in its present form.

Under the Baton of Rev Tindall, the Band won the Wensleydale Tournament of Song in 1971, 1972, 1973 and then qualified for the 1973 4th section National Finals in London. He carried on leading the Band well into his retirement.

The Band then went through a period in the late 80’s early 90’s with low membership then Peter Cuff moved into the Area and took over as conductor and once again the membership rose playing many successful “Last Night at the Proms” concerts.

Reeth Brass Band in the 21st Century

The start of the century Peter Cuff resigned as conductor but carried on as a player with Mike Hardman taking over the baton for several years then he in turn resigned and became principal cornet until his retirement under Brian Hicks and Ian Cobb. Brian Hick was the composer of the Bands now signature tune “Tubby’s March” which he wrote in memory of David Allinson long serving Bb Bass player in the Band. In 2015 Richard Sands then took over as Conductor for three years before our present one Damian Dunphy.

History: About
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