Band History

Historically, Golborne was a market town whose main industries where those of mining and cotton. The name ‘Golborne’ is thought to originate from ‘golde and burna’, which was mentioned as long ago as 969AD. ‘Golde’, being suggestive of the yellow flowers which grew along the village’s ‘burna’ or boundary.

The early history of Golborne Band

The Golborne Brass Band is one of the oldest ‘village’ Bands in the country, and was originally formed in 1847. We have a photograph taken in the 1880’s of the founder band.

In 1914 the Band ceased to exist because of the First World War and was not in a position to reform until 1922 at which time the name changed to ‘Golborne Public Subscription Band’.

The Band was again disbanded at the start of the Second World War and did not reform until 1950 under the baton of James Mort and the Band won its first prize at the Rhyl contest in 1955. Many prizes followed under the guidance of James, so the band changed its name in to Golborne Prize Band. Following James’ death in 1965, Joe Houlton took over the baton and success continued in the 3rd and 4th sections of the movement. During this time, as the Band did not have a permanent home of their own, at various times, most of the pubs in Golborne housed the band.

Recent history

In 1984, we bought our first Band room. The band then had a permanent home and this lead to even greater success. The band was promoted to the 2nd section in 1986 and won several contests in this division under the baton of Geoff Williams. In 1990 the band toured Holland and in 1994 toured France. Unfortunately, in 2002, the Band room was condemned and the band moved into the Church Lane Community Centre on Church Lane, Lowton. In 2015 we moved to the Golborne Pentecostal Church. Following a stint at Lowton Social Club we moved to our current home at Golborne Community Club.

In March 2011 the band made history as, under the baton of Jason M Smith, they qualified for the National Brass Band Finals of Great Britain, which were held at Cheltenham in September 2011. The band continued this success a year later when, under the baton of Paul Andrews, they gained 1st place at the 2012 Area Finals, and were crowned ‘Fourth Section North West Area Champions’. As a result of this success, the band was promoted to the Third Section.

Their last contest in the Fourth Section was a second trip to the National Brass Band Finals of Great Britain at Cheltenham. The band improved their score from the previous year and was awarded an excellent 4th place. The band then moved up to the Third Section where they would compete with a higher standard of bands. The first of these contests was in 2013 in the Area Finals at Blackpool, where, with their new MD Mathew Whitfield, the Band were awarded a very solid 10th place. This 10th place from a total of 17 Bands that had entered meant that the Band had quickly established themselves in this section as a Band that was going in the right direction.

The Band consolidated themselves in the Third Section during 2014 and 2015 and achieved a significant measure of success. At the Butlins National Mineworkers contest we were placed 2nd and also won the prize as the highest placed Band from a mining community, we followed that with a 6th place in the NW Area Contest. Later in 2014 we travelled to Derbyshire and won the Bolsover entertainment contest.

During 2015 we were placed 5th in the NW area contest at Blackpool and achieved a 1st place and two 2nd places in the Saddleworth Whit Friday March contest; later that year we went to Rochdale to contest in the third section and were again successful in being awarded the 2nd place.

The achievements of the Band during 2014-2016 resulted in promotion and the Band were classed as a Second Section band as of January 2016. Following the loss of some players due to other commitments we were re-classed as Third Section in 2018 and following another couple of unfortunate years we found ourselves in the Fourth Section.

In 2019, Joshua Hughes took over as conductor and began to rebuild the band’s confidence, as we worked on making our way out of the Fourth Section. During Hughes’s tenure as conductor the band discovered a love for entertainment contests and had success at both Bolsover Entertainment Contest and Butlins Contest. Due to conflicting work schedule, Joshua Hughes stepped down as conductor in March 2022.

The band welcomed Les Webb in May 2022, who has played for many of the top bands in the country, including the Principal Trombone position with Fairey Band and has played for other top bands including Foden’s band and Grimethorpe Band. Les’s energetic and fun rehearsals saw the band grow in confidence and come together as a team. This hard work was brought to fruition in February 2023 when the band won the North West Fourth Section Area contest, and secured promotion to the Third Section. From January 2024 Golborne Band are classified as a Third Section band.

See also...