Saturday, 12 December 2015

The History of The Felling Band

Churchill was not describing The History of The Felling Band when he said it was "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma" but he could have been.
That's just me saying that the history of The Felling Band is confused. The current Felling Band appear to be happy that their history started in 1873.
Per the Evening Chronicle "Starting out in the late 1800s the band was known as the Heworth Colliery Band when the mine near Gateshead was still open.
After the pit’s closure, the group became the Washington Glebe Band until 1972 when it changed names to the Felling Town Silver Band and later just Felling Band."
Well, howsabout this, describing 12 years earlier than the start date of 1873. Per Gateshead Council "The new (Windy Nook Mechanics) institute building was opened on 21st December 1861. Over 500 people sat down to tea, on that day, to celebrate. The Felling Band entertained..."
Or this, in Clarence R. Walton's book "Gateshead Memories & Portraits" describing a "do" at the Three Tuns, Sheriff Hill on Monday July 30th, 1832
"A good feed, sing-song and dancing was the order of the day.  The Felling Band was there in 'full blast' ".
So that's 41 years earlier than claimed

1832 (over 180 years ago) puts The Felling Band right at the forefront of brass band history per Dennis Taylor in his book "The Heritage of the North East Brass Band Movement".

 In that book Taylor believes that The Felling Band started in 1873 so he doesn't highlight that The Felling Band was right at the cutting edge. I may drop him a line and put him right.
If loyal Fellingites knew that The Felling Band was a leader in the field they might give it more support and find a home for the band in Felling rather than the band over the years having to find support/venue in Washington and now Birtley

Here's a video of the band at Wardley but I urge you to view the band playing at the Durham Miners Gala by clicking this link to the video
Next Performance?

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