Formed in 1911 the Maltby Miners Welfare Band is still going strong after more than 100 years. The band is based in Maltby, a town six miles from Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
We are a very active concert and contest band and over the years have built up a good reputation within the local community. We are active as both a contesting band and a concert band, performing mainly in South Yorkshire and the surrounding counties at Galas and fetes, park bandstands, castles and stately homes, village halls and churches and regularly at the Rotherham Civic Theatre.
At present we are 4thsection Yorkshire Champions and will be representing Yorkshire at the national finals in September. This also means that we will be promoted back into the 3rdsection in 2020! We were last Yorkshire champions (4th) section 1999 and 2009.
Our long serving, now in his 35thyear with the band, Musical Director, Terry Clifford, is a skilled and experienced conductor. His patience and good humour ensure enjoyable rehearsals, whilst his encyclopaedic musical knowledge and skills as a compere mean audience can always expect a well presented and pleasurable concert.
In 1910 miners at Maltby Colliery reached the Barnsley seam causing an economic boom. The village population increased from 700 in 1901, to 1700 by 1911, topping 7500 by 1921.
In 1911 a new underground manager Thomas Davis, a keen musician, started Maltby Main Brass Band. The early 1920s proved to be a very active and successful time for the band which entered its first competition in 1920. The band travelled to London in 1921 to compete at the Crystal Palace.
In 1923 the Maltby Pit disaster occurred. An underground explosion killed 27 workers and the band carried out many tribute recitals raising money for bereaved relatives. In 1929 Maltby Main Brass Band amalgamated with the local St John’s Ambulance Brigade Corps Band.
In 1935 the Maltby Main St John Ambulance Band as it was now known, became one of 42 bands employed by the BBC and in October of that year broadcast live on BBC radio across the British Empire. Resultant publicity increased band activities including a further Radio broadcast in 1937. The band continued but on a reduced scale through the Second World War. Information and Band records are scarce until the 1960s, which probably reflects the level of activity over the period.
In the early 1960s the band became known as the Maltby Miners Welfare Band taking the name of the Social Club which had become the bands’ permanent home. However, the band experienced a steady decline through the 1960s until the appointment of John “Jonny” Jones as Musical Director, a musician with Championship experience as a player.
Third place in the qualifying round of the WD & HO Wills Brass Band Championships 1971 saw the band competing in London for the finals in April of that year. Jonny Jones continued to work tirelessly and on March 11th 1974 the band won its first contest in almost 30 years in the third section Clipstone Spring Contest. This was followed later in the year with victory in the Edwinstowe Contest.
In 1976 Jonny left, suggesting it might be re-invigorated by fresh blood and in May 1977 Julie Holling was appointed the band’s new conductor. She was reputed to be the country’s first female musical director of a brass band. This resulted in unprecedented and unexpected national publicity via radio, newspapers and TV. Two years of increasing contest success followed and a steady stream of young players were blooded through the efforts of long serving Band Master Jimmy Harris, helping to ensure high playing standards could be maintained.
In January 1979 disaster struck when the Miners Welfare was destroyed by fire along with uniforms, music and instruments.
Contest success continued but in 1982 Julie left and the band also lost the services of her talented musical family and in July 1983 Edgar Kennedy was appointed Musical Director but left after two years. The Maltby Miners Welfare Band were looking for its next Musical Director.
In 1984 following an extensive recruitment and audition process our present conductor Terry Clifford was appointed. Since then it is fair to say the band the band has gone from strength to strength with increasing appearances at local events and concerts.
The increased playing proficiency is evidenced by continuing contest successes.1989 a win at the Cleethorpes entertainment contest and the following year at the Rotherham entertainments competition are notable. The 90’s was scattered with some 2nd, 3rdand 4thpositions but in 1999 the band became Yorkshire area Champions 4thsection and were invited to the national finals. A 2ndplace in 2001 saw the band promoted to the 3rdsection. Contest successes were rare in the 2000’s but 2004 saw a 4thplace at the Area and 2008 a 3rdplace. 2009 saw the band become Yorkshire Champions (4thsection) again, this time playing off the dreaded number 1 spot and again we represented Yorkshire at the National finals.
The 2010’s saw more contest success winning, our section at the NEMBA contest 4 times between 2012 and 2018 and also considerable success at the Whiston entertainments contest which the band has supported since its inception. 2018 saw some success at the mineworkers’ contest at Skegness the band winning the highest placed mining band for the first time and Ernie Brown, our longest serving member, was awarded Band person of the year.
2019 saw the band gaining 2ndprize at the mineworkers’ contest as well as best mining band again and then later on that year, we bettered that by one place by becoming 4thsection Yorkshire champions for the 3rdtime and remarkably, from the number 1 spot again. The band also picked up prizes for the best soloist and best percussion section making this contest the most successful yet! The band is looking forward to representing Yorkshire at the National finals in September.
The band has also been busy in the concert field with a full calendar of varied events performed at each year.
2000 saw the award of a lottery grant for new instruments and uniforms which was celebrated with a concert at the Rotherham Civic and the commissioning of 2 new pieces of work, Hard hats and cornets by Terry Jones and Maltby Millennium by Christopher Wiltshire. One result of this is that Civic theatre concerts are now a bi annual event with our Christmas concerts proving to be hugely popular.
Concert venues have been varied with performances at such places as village halls, churches, Minsters and Cathedrals, stately homes, castles, hotels, football and rugby matches and even Aintree during the Grand National Weekend. We regularly perform at venues in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire while also supporting events in the local community.
2011 was our Centenary Year which the band marked with a special concert, a celebratory CD and a reunion social to which past or present members were invited. Other concerts of note were two concerts with a local actor in presentations of Dylan Thomas’s ‘A Childs Christmas in Wales’ and Dicken’s ‘A Christmas carol’ and several concerts with a female vocalist. 2018 saw the recording of our 4thC.D. Christmas Joy and August 2019 will see the band off to Belgium for a 4-day tour which includes playing at the Menin Gate.
Maltby Miners Welfare Band wants to help keep brass band music alive. We are proud to have a brass band aimed at learners of all ages and abilities, who’s rehearsals are held in our band rooms on a Saturday morning, led by our conductor Terry Clifford.
If you are interested, or would like more information, contact us today:
Rehearsals: Tuesdays & Thursdays / 20:00 – 21:30