Trumpeting the talent of mining towns

Brass bands are synonymous with mining communities and Worksop and its surrounding area is no exception.

Our picture this week shows the up-and-coming junior players of the Worksop Miners Welfare Band in March 1999.

They won the Brass Ensemble Class for under 16s at the town’s Music and Drama Festival.

Despite high quality opposition, they took home the Bill Hawkins Memorial Shield.

This area has a proud history of music-making going back to the early 20th century when the National Brass Band Festival at Crystal Palace saw high achievers from both Worksop and Dinnington taking part.

Dinnington Brass Band took a deep breath and came second in the prestitgious contest in 1908, and in 1923 Worksop Town Band came third.

Langold success story, cornet player Gracie Cole, wrote to the Guardian in 1948 from Germany where she was then touring.

Gracie, who had moved from Langold to London, began her musical career with Firbeck Colliery Band.

She wrote: “From that band and the village of Langold, I had my first chance of climbing the ladder of success.”

Creswell Colliery Welfare bandsmen played at the Royal Albert Hall in 1954 in the Daily Herald National Brass Band Championship Festival Concert.

And in 1979, the band blew their own trumpet on Radio Sheffield on 1st July as part of the station’s Bold as Brass competition.

Our mines may have disappeared, but our bands still played on.

The 1996 film Brassed Off captured the indomitable spirit of the musicians with its tale of the ficitional Grimley band, based on Grimethorpe.