Music was my first love, and it will be my last........ Do you remember that piece? Click over this link if you want to listen and watch it on "You Tube" (John Miles "Music")
Well Haslingden had and probably still has its fair share of musicians over the years, from School Bands and Orchestras, Town Brass Bands, Town Orchestras, Accordian Bands, Banjo Bands, Concertina Bands, Dance Bands, Rock Bands, Folk Groups, Jazz Bands, Blues Bands etc etc and lots of individuals who have all helped to make the town a much more richer and happier place to live over the years.
I can just about manage the mouth organ if I try very hard! but once of a day did try and get the hang of playing the cornet under the instruction of Mr. Jones at the Modern School, and I did try and get the hang of the violin from Misses Wilson, but no! young as I was I somehow did not have the patience and could not keep up with the commitment required and have regretted it ever since! Although at one time I do remember playing the Cornet in the Salvation Army Band at Accrington and we would march down Cannon Street every Sunday at 6pm and would play hymns beneath the clock on the front of Accrington Town Hall, before we marched back up to the Citadel on James Street, to yet play again to accompany the service hymns. But I think the last time I picked up a cornet was probably around the 80s, I just about remember playing the "Coronation Street opening theme".
So lets see if we can list some of those great musicians here:
Music by Instrument
HYMNS, CAROLS, MARCHES and POPULAR MUSIC by Brass Bands
Haslingden Borough Band and Helmshore Prize Band
(Since 1972 both bands amalgamated and are now called "Haslingden and Helmshore Band" (To check their own website and check out their history etc "Click Here".
|Borough Band Practice Room|
I remember the Borough Band room, It was in Wells Street and you would regularly hear the band practising, it may even be still there today. The Band would come round at Christmas and play carols close to your house whilst someone went around with a collection box. I also remember seeing the band on many a "walking day" parade back in the 50s,60s,70s and 80s. I also remember the band playing in Worsley Park or under the Bandstand at Victoria Park. Yes the Borough Band and the Helmshore Prize Band have played such a important part and still do within our local heritage. There are a couple of the lads whom I remember who have been with the band I'll bet for over 40 years.
|Haslingden Borough Band - Cup Winners - Belle Vue, Manchester May 1952|
(Click over photo to enlarge)
Some of the Haslingden Borough Band members Click over to enlarge.
|Haslingden Borough Band|
Below is a photo of the Helmshore Prize Band which has members who I remember from the School Band.
|Helmshore Prize Band c1958 - 1959 (Photo: sent in by David Greenwood) Click over photo to enlarge|
Helmshore Prize Band c1921 (Click over photo to enlarge) Tor House I bet!
|Helmshore Prize Band c1920 conductor: Richard Aspin (Click over photo to enlarge)|
|Helmshore Prize Band c1920 On their way to Irlam to enter their competition - Click over photo to enlarge|
|Helmshore Prize Band c1906|
|Programme Opening of Band Stand at Victoria Park (taken with permission from Chris Aspin's book entitled "Haslingden")|
(Click over photo to enlarge)
Haslingden Temperance Band
|Haslingden Temperance Band - probably the forerunners to our "Borough Band" (Click over photo to enlarge)|
|Showing a photo of the "bandsman's" stall to try and help raise funds for the Temperance Band Bazaar c1912.|
(Click over to enlarge)
Haslingden Modern School Brass Band (below)
|Haslingden Secondary Modern School Band (it says c1950)|
MARCH, REVEILLE, LAST POST and POPULAR MUSIC - REGIMENTAL (Full Military Band)
Army Band - Band photo taken from outside of the Territorial Army Barracks which are situated to the South side of Woodcocks solicitors at the Junction with Hope Street. I don't know whether this was a visiting band or a band made up of Haslingden Musicians.
MARCH, REVEILLE, LAST POST - REGIMENTAL (Bugle and Drum - performed by Brigade)
St. James Church Lads Brigade (Also you might want to check out the St. James Church Lads Brigade Blog which you can access by CLICKING HERE)
|1920/1930s Church Lads Brigade marching past Lych Gate on Blackburn Road (photo: kindly sent in by Fizle|
St. Mary's Catholic Boys Brigade and the
St. Thomas, Musbury Boy's Brigade
CLASSICAL and POPULAR MUSIC by Orchestra
Haslingden Modern School Orchestra (below) (21 piece)
|Haslingden Modern School Orchestra (no date but presumed prior 1960)|
Click over photo to enlarge
Haslingden Orchestral Society (below) (36 piece)
|Haslingden Orchestral Society and Choir on their last concert Conductor: Mr. Arthur Nuttall (Click over photo to enlarge)|
Conductor Mr. C.H. Heathcote (1902 to 1914)
|Mr. C. H. Heathcote - conductor 1902 to 1914|
|This is a photo of the Haslingden Orchestral Society when they played at Stoneyhurst College 1894|
(Click over to enlarge)
|Sandham and Hough Classical Sextet|
Classical Music by Individual
Alan Rawsthorne (2nd May 1905 - 24th July 1971 - (Musician, Composer and Recording Artist)
|Alan Rawsthorne's home at Syke Side|
(click over to enlarge)
In 1925, Rawsthorne was finally able to enrol at the Royal Manchester College of Music, where his teachers included Frank Merrick for the piano and Carl Fuchs for the cello. After graduating from the Royal Manchester College of Music around 1930, Rawsthorne spent the next couple of years pursuing his piano training with Egon Petri at Zakopane in Poland, and then briefly also in Berlin.
On his return to England in 1932, Rawsthorne took up a post as pianist and teacher at Dartington Hall in Devon, where he became composer-in-residence for the School of Dance and Mime. In 1934, Rawsthorne left for London to try his fortune as a freelance composer. His first real public success arrived four years later with a performance of his "Theme and Variations for Two Violins" at the 1938 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) Festival in London. The next year, his large scale "Symphonic Studies" for orchestral was performed in Warsaw, again at the ISCM Festival. The first in a line of completely assured orchestral scores, the "Symphonic Studies" which can be heard as a Concerto for Orchestra in all but name, rapidly helped Rawsthorne establish himself as a composer possessing a highly distinctive musical voice.
|Just one of the many records he made|
Rawsthorne was a great grandson of Dr. Jonathan Bayley, the educationalist, Latin scholar and Swedenborgian minister distinguished by his philantropic work in Accrington and London.
He was married to Isabel Rawsthorne (nee Isabel Nicholas), an artist and model well known in the Parish and Soho art scenes. Her contemporaries included Andre Derain, Alberto Glacometti, Pablo Piccaso and Francis Bacon. Isabel Rawsthorne was the widow of composer Constant Lambert and stepmother to Kit Lambert, manager of the rock group The Who, who died in 1981. Isabel died in 1992. Alan Rawsthorne was her third husband; Sefton Delmer (the journalist and member of the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War) was her first husband. Isabel was Alan Rawsthorne's second wife, his first wife being Jessie hinchcliffe, a violinist in the Philharmonia Orchestra. Jessie did not remarry.
(Thanks to Wikipedia (Creative Commons Attributions-share a like License) for the above information on Alan Rawsthorne)
|Alan Rawsthorne in April 1949 (Photo: BBC)|
POLKA'S, WALTZES AND QUICKSTEPS (Big Band, Dance Bands, Quartets and Trios)
Every Saturday night there were dances in the Church schoolrooms. One week it would be the Wesley on the corner of Hud Hey, another week it would be at the New Jerusalem on Union Street. The dances were held on a rota with the different Churches. Most of the time the local dance bands which were comprised usually of a trio or quartet, smartly dressed in their white shirts and dickie bow ties, black trousers and shoes and would play popular dance music which would include, Waltzes, Quicksteps and Polka's with favourite dances like the "Barn Dance" "Military Two Step" "Gay Gordons" etc., and besides dancing with your own partners, occasionally the dances would become progressive and your partner would move on and on and on whilst you received a new partner. Also they would have spot prizes etc.
We were only kids when all this was going on but it was great fun at the time. When I think back it could have been a little embarassing really, although at the time you never gave it much thought you just got on with it, let me try and explain. Being small in size and stature at the age of 10 or 12, when the progressive dances came along, you would get a new partner each time and now and again you would get a mature in age and sometimes of hefty build lady and occasionally they could be well endowed and you would have a struggle to fit your arms around them which sometimes left your head in a most "precarious" position while they flung you about on the twirls!
Jack Taylor Band (3 or 4 piece), (Members included: Jack Taylor (piano) Arthur Frost (drums?), Roy Mason (Accordian)
Embassy Dance Band
Estelle Dance Band (3 piece) (Members included: Clifford Nicholas (drums), Arthur Frost (double bass), Jackie (Hayton?) on Accordian.
Regency Dance Band (3 piece)
The Metronomes Dance Band included Frank Jackson (drums), George Gillam on Piano.
|The Metronomes Dance Band (Click Over to enlarge)|
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Neil Jackson and John Bedford
|Blue Echo Dance Band (Click over to enlarge)|
Photo: Kindly shared by Neil Jackson and John Bedford
The Rhythmatics (11 piece) (Members included Roy Mason, Harry Haworth, Harry T, Jack Taylor, Eva Kendal
Harry Burgess Band (7 piece) (photo below) (Members included Harry Burgess on Trombone, Sam Stott on Trumpet (the short blonde in dark jumper) and John Ashman (ex bookie) on Tenor Sax
Bob Whatmough Band (large Band) from Accrington, but played regular at the Public Hall on the Annual Balls.
The following bands also played in Haslingden, but dont know whether or not they originated from Haslingden or just visiting musicians:
Smiths Full Orchestra (1926),
R,. Wright's Syncopated Band (1920s?)
|Harry Burgess Band|
(BY added:) Harry went on from this (having his own band) to joining the BBC Northern Dance Orchestra. I used to do business years ago with Harry when he was with the BBC Northern Dance Orchestra and he would do the odd gig for me now and again with a 36 piece which sometimes would include the famous Brian Fitzgerald on piano plus lots of other top lads in the line up. Although when I booked them out for the Parent/Teachers Association Dances or the Royal Ordnance Factories Christmas parties we had to call them either the New Dance Orchestra or the Northern Dance Orchestra. NO BBC had to be mentioned - tha nus! (Mums the Word and all that!) "Moonlighting" a No No! them days......
|The Rhythmics Dance Band|
The Alfrescos (Nov 1925)
|The Alfresco's (Photo kindly sent in by Peter Fisher)|
JAZZ, BLUES AND FOLK MUSIC (Bands, Groups or Individuals)
|Hazeldene Prize Jazzband (or Haslingden Prize Jazz Band)|
(Contributors to Haslingden's Folk, Blues and Jazz included):
Victor Brox Blues Band Victor along with other well known session musicians forming his groups have performed in Haslingden on numerous occasions. Michael Cain used to book Victor for the old Wine Bar on Lower Deardengate, also they have appeared at the Trades Club on several Occasions. I would regularly book Victor back in the sixties at various Blues Clubs and University gigs. Victor was a special friend to the late Alexis Korner, and was the vocal and prominent member for years of the famous "Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation" amongst hundreds of guest appearances with the best in the genre. His band made regular appearances at the "Band On The Wall" in Manchester. Victor was described by the late Jimi Hendrix and also by Tina Turner, to be their best white British Blues Singer. These days I believe he lives in France, but still comes over on a regular basis to do local gigs.
If you fancy listening to a bit of Victor Brox why not check out his You Tube Page and select a track or two
Folk Music was played At one time on a weekly basis at the Farmers Glory Pub.
Oldham Tinkers I do remember booking them in the Haslingden Cricket Club during the 1970s.
Houghton Weavers I am told play at the I.D.L. Club on George Street.
Harry Boardman R.I.P - Folk singer from Middleton was a firm favourite throughout the North West folk scene and would do lots of locals gigs in and around our area. But perhaps of special interest would be that he chose the song "Billy Suets Song" which was written many years earlier by Haslingden's Major David Halstead, to be his track on the "Owdham Edge" folk compilation. The song has references to the Cribden and Top O'th Slate areas.
POPULAR MUSIC of the Day (Accordian Bands, Banjo Band, Concertina Bands of the early 1900s)
|The Accordian Serenaders (Click over to enlarge)|
Kindly Shared with us by Stephen Nuttall on 14th March 2017
Arthur Watson on Violin
|The Clarke Band (photo: sent in by Marie Ives and includes her relatives)|
Banjo Band from Haslingden Photo will be added from mid September (Thanks to Maria Ives)
RELIGIOUS AND POPULAR MUSIC BANDS
Haslingden Banjo Band
|A Haslngden "Banjo" Band - Name unknown (Click over photo to enlarge)|
Photo: Courtesy of Marie Ives
The Black Pudding Band (Haslingden Grane)
“This band of local musicians, consisting of members of the choir from both the Primitive Methodists and the United Methodists (Salem) was formed in 1848 or 1850, the leader being Robert Brierley who played a clarinet. This instrument is defined in Collins’ Dictionary as a musical wind instrument of the reed kind; the leading instrument in a military band.
There were at least four more clarinet players – William Henry Rishton, John Rishton, Richard Barnes (Dicky Brush) and Ainsworth Elton. Two brothers Richard and Thomas Barnes, sons of a Hutch Bank farmer and known as Dicky o’ Dick’s and Thomas o’ Dicky’s played the curious instrument known as serpents or ‘black puddings’ because of their extraordinary shape and jet-black colour. Billy o’ Tets, whose real name I do not know, also played one of these instruments and the fourth was in the hands of a resident of Haslingden Grane, but I do not know his name.
Richard Hoyle, father of John Hoyle, played a French trumpet, a brass instrument with three flat keys about the size of a half-crown, whilst Robert Heap (Bob o’ Sol’s) played an ophicleide, a many-keyed instrument. John Rhebanks Green (father of John Singleton Green, late borough surveyor) played a bassoon, a reed instrument of wood, something like a chair leg (and this is what it is called).
These men were all enthusiastic musicians and we always thought it a great treat to listen to the band when playing for the Sunday school procession, or when they accompanied the congregation to the open-air camp meetings, which were so popular during the 60’s of the last century. I have listened to them at Christmas, when they are playing Christmas carols, when there was something most peculiarly sweet in these most curios instruments. They appeared to something indescribable but most pleasing in their wonderful music, which added a delicious charm which no brass band as ever yet approached. Perhaps it was only childish fancy, but I would like to obtain the opinion of others who remember them.
At the annual sermons and on other occasions at both chapels, the orchestra was augmented by at least three double bass instruments, in the capable hands of John Hoyle, John Collinge and Caleb Greenwood and a single bass fiddle was in the hands of James Warburton. Other instrumentalists I think took part in those most interesting musical treats. Even after the organ was put in the chapel, the band took part in the musical part of the service.
POPULAR MUSIC (Skiffle Groups, Rock Bands, Beat Groups
Where did it all happen? The 60's was a very special period when we were just leaving the 50's Rock and Roll era and entering the pop/rock era. Rock Groups (has they were called those days (not rock bands as they are called today) were springing up all over the place and we had our fair share in Haslingden. The local groups would play the local Church Youth Clubs scattered about, and one night a month at the Haslingden Youth Club held in the Modern School Hall, the local Workingmen's Clubs, The Co-op Hall off Higher Deardengate, the local pubs and even in Coffee Bars like the "Dearden Cave" (old Yorkshire Penny Bank) next to the library on Higher Deardengate, and there was also another coffee bar were I remember groups in Ratcliffe Street. Then there were the more dedicated venues for regular rock/pop groups at The Old Ambulance Hall on Lyndale Avenue on Thursdays nights, The Buccaneers (occasional) down the steep steps to the cellars of the Old Liberal Club at the bottom of Park Street, and probably the most well known would be The Public Hall on Regent Street who regularly featured our local town groups who would support well known chart groups including: Hermans Hermits, Manfred Mann, Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders, The Undertakers and lots lots more..
Who were the groups? Well below I have racked my brains and come up with some I can remember and I am hoping that others may remember a group or two and let me know. So for now we have the:-
The Dynamites (late 1950s to 1980s), (Other previous or follow up names included: The Vidors, Jay Turner and the Dynamites, James Turner and the Dynamites, Jay Turner Four, Second Time Around -
In their early days I remember the band included Ralph Clark on Tea Box bass and Washboard, Also included Billy Kerr on vocals, also John Turner on drums together with "old players" Ronnie Green on Rhythm and Jack Tillotson on bass and Gerard Navan on lead guitar, later being joined by the late Noel Smith (Noel Trent) on drums. I can't remember the actual year when James joined the band but he was with them for quite a lengthy period.
This band included Michael Hogan (bass and vocals), John Entwistle (Lead, rhythm guitar and vocals), the late Harry Eastham (drums), later Harry left, and new members were brought into the band including Dave Clarke on vocals and Terry Bannister on drums. The band practised at various times in the St. Mary's School, Unity Club, Bridge End etc. (If you want to check out their own blog then click here)
|The Swinging Hangmen featuring L to R: John Entwistle, Michael Hogan and Harry Eastham (photo: John Entwistle)|
The Vampires (1960s)
|The Vampires from back in 1963|
(Newspaper cutting kindly contributed by Jackie Ramsbottom)
The Phantoms (1960s) (Other names later: Maureen and the Phantoms)
I can remember Mick Smith from Carrs on the drums, and later his sister Jean Smith joined the group and the name was changed to Maureen and the Phantoms. I can't recall the other members of the band at the moment. I did catch up with Mick and Jean who by the 70s had moved to Accrington and were part of the group called Maureen and the Finders - I did look after their diary during this period of which most of the work was in local workingmen's clubs. A very popular band.
The Medics (1960's) from Rising Bridge and included Melvin Yates, Jeff Kenyon, Brian Webster, Barry Moran. See photo of the group below
|The Medics (photo: Brian Webster)|
The Ospreys (1960s) from Rising Bridge and included Billy Lang and Barry Moran.
Stephen Kay's Group from the 60s there was Stephen Kay's (K Steels) group with Master Stevenson etc etc (Cant think of their name to hand)
Five Of Clubs - Jack Hayton's Group. Also at one time there was the group "Solid Gold" which also featured Noel Smith and James Turner who regularly appeared at Haslingden Conservative Club and also at the Cricket Club.
The Grout (1980s) - Punk Band Recording artist - Private Label called "Urinating Vicar" - 100 original records made which cost to the band was £160. They made their own labels and covers. The record has be re-issued by Detour Records a few years ago. The 7" EP was called "Do It Yourself" and the tracks were: Cremation at Belson, Stiff Thing, Nothing to Do and Fast Cars.
If you want to hear any of The Grout's tracks you can go to the "Killed by Death Site" and you will see on the left hand side the tracks MP3, just click over the track you want to hear.
Members included Ian Beharrel
Sick Youth (1980s) etc - Punk Band featured Steve Coyle, Steve "Duke" Lord, Steve Simpson plus another?
The Knights of Agincourt included Pete Elmer, Paul Gregory and Roy Gregory
The Valiants (1980s) Mod Band.
|The Valiants - Helmshore Mod Band from the 1980s|
Click here to view their "On The Shore" You Tube recordings.
Click here to view their "Sweet Desire" You Tube recordings (also a great photo of the band here)
Winker's Group? (Can't think of their name to hand)
Church Lads Brigade Skiffle Group (Photo below)
|Church Lads Brigade Skiffle Group featuring from L to R - Jack Pilling, Peter White, Brian Till (back), Roy Frohnapfel and David White. (Photo kindly sent in by: Myra Frohnapfel|
Music and Song by Voice:
Hymns, Songs, (performed by Choir)
Haslingden Schools Festival Choir (below)
|Haslingden Schools Festival Choir - June 1959) Click over photo to enlarge (photo kindly sent in by Jim Nuttall)|
|Haslingden Choir performing at St. Mary's, Rawtenstall. (Click over photo to enlarge)|
|The Original Haslingden Choir|
Music and Song by individuals
Maggie Stott (The Singing Mill Girl)
|Sam Stott with his Mother's Maggie Stott's record on REX records (see label below)|
|Maggie Stott (The Singing Mill Girl) - Record on the REX record label|
The above is a photo of Sam proudly holding up his mums record which she made on the REX label, called "My Hero". Maggie Stott was also known as "The Singing Mill Girl".
|Advertisement for Maggie Stott|
Lived on Dean Road at Flaxmoss and regularly did Summer Seasons at the Tivoli Pavillion theatre at Lytham St. Annes he was well known for his Yodelling and entertainer.
Also Jim had previously been a sewing machine mechanic and also had a number of minor roles in the likes of "Boys from the Black Stuff", when he played Ronny Renaldo but under his stage name of Hans Lindhuber. He also did walk on roles in Coronation Street and Emmerdale soaps.
Sadly Jim met with a tragic death after a fatal fall on March 15th 2012
Does anyone have a photo of James Ramsbottom or Hans Lindhubar please?
The late David Carey RIP (Church Organist and Club Organist)
The late John Cryer RIP (Church Organist and Club Organist)
Alan ? (Club Organist)
Jack Hayton (Organist in his own Groups)
David Greenwood (Aka Dave Ross) played with Helmshore Prize Band and later a Club Organist at one time providing accompaniment for "Roy Orbison" on a private party.
Well known Haslingden Pianist
Jimmy Hill - Haslingden WMC (1950/60s)
Other individuals awaiting information
Atarah Ben Tovim - Principle Flautist Liverpool Philharmonic. - Music School on Regent St. (Now living in France)
Ken Shaw - Progressive Rock Bands
Popular music played by Local Disc Jockeys (Disco's)
David Bates, Bill Wiltshire, Paul Hatton (Rovin' D.J. Disco & Three Bare Feet Disco)
|"Roving D.J. Disco Card|
Was resident D.J. at the Roebuck Hotel when the late Pat and David Dewhurst RIP had it
Was resident D.J. at the Commercial Hotel when John Merchant had it
who for many years was second in command of the Church Lad's Brigade had a disco and was well known in the town playing at small functions.
Arthur and Vera Foster
Also did "Hospital Radio" and patient request for many years.
Keith Gunton (K.T. Disco)
|(Click over photo to enlarge)|
"I remember ordering records in 'The Disc' Higher Deardengate in Haslingden and collecting them a couple of weeks after ordering them.Amazingly over 45 years have passed by and now I find myself still playing 'soul music' all around the country for 'Warner Leisure Hotels'
When 'The Disc ' was open I ordered Chuck Wood-Seven Days Too Long on Big-T Records and a UK re-issue of Doris Troy's -I'll Do Anything on the Toast label ...."
"I used to DJ in the Commercial Hotel when John Merchant had it and I also remember having a few pints in there before I caught the Fred Kirkhams coach across the road to go to the "Blackpool Mecca".
|Keith with George McCrae "Rock You Baby" (absolute classic on Jay Boy!)|
Played at the Victoria Pub (Station Steps) and also at the Holden Arms
|Card for the "Left Hand Rule" Disco|
Andrew Riding (Soul City Road Show)
Andrew Riding took over the Disc record shop on Higher Deardengate and the name was changed to Soul City Records. He also had his own disco which was called "Soul City Road Show".
Keith Wilkinson Disco
Peter Haworth's - (Disco parties) The late Peter Haworth RIP and his wife Margaret would have the infamous cellar parties at their home on Grane Road and would put on some great disco music.
Here is a photo showing Peter on the left and Keith Gunton (with the wig) on the right.
14th September 2015 Information kindly sent in by David Middlehurst (Chorley) who is currently compiling a book on old Lancashire Bands. Here are one or two snippets on Haslingden and Rossendale Bands:
ALSO DAVID HAS ADDED ON 15TH SEPTEMBER 2015:
My thanks to: Chris Aspin, Keith Gunton, Peter Fisher, Fizle, Myra Frohnapfel, David Greenwood, Marie Ives, Dave Middlehurst (Chorley), Jacqueline Ramsbottom, Peter Shuttleworth, John Simpson, Sam Stott, Wikipedia (Common Attributions), Gareth Wolstenholme for help on this blog.
YOU MAY WANT TO CHECK OUT MY "60s WAS SOMETHING ELSE BLOG" which gives more information about the venues in and around HASLINGDEN with special emphasis on the Old ASTORIA down in Rawtenstall. To check out the blog CLICK HERE.