The Durham Miners’ Association Brass Band was formed in September 2009 by the amalgamation of Broughtons Brass Band & Hetton Silver Band.
The name reflects the longstanding association that Broughtons Brass Band has with the Durham Miners’ Association & previously the Durham Area National Union of Mineworkers.
The band performs annually on behalf of the Durham Miners’ Association at the Durham Miners’ Gala & the Thomas Hepburn Memorial Service.
Broughtons Brass Band originated as the Blackhall Youth Band, which was formed by Albert Haswell in 1971 to teach young people to play brass and percussion instruments. The band was hugely successful, producing many musicians and winning competitions in the UK and internationally, including two major youth awards at the International Music Festival held in Rastede, Germany. The band graduated to the senior sections of the Durham Brass Band movement and gradually brought in more senior players to enable younger players to benefit from their experience and expertise.
In 1982 sponsorship was obtained from the American Oil Company A.M.O.C.O. During the five years of their sponsorship, the Band performed at many prestigious events including The Royal Show, the Paraplegic Games at Stoke Mandeville, Royal Ascot and Burleigh Horse Trials.
Following on from this successful period, the Band received sponsorship from Broughtons Ltd, the Rolls Royce and Bentley distributors based in Cheltenham.
The Band relocated in 1987 to South Hetton Community Centre, a building converted from the offices of the recently closed South Hetton Colliery.
Over recent years the North East Area of the National Mineworkers Union has given support and help. As this organisation no longer functions in the same way as in the past, we are now pleased to receive help and support from the Durham Miners Association
Hetton Silver Band
The Hetton Silver Band was founded on April 1st 1887 by three members of a public house band. They invited local musicians to a meeting in Hetton Union Street Methodist Church School. The very first conductor was Mr W Straughan – a violinist and trombone player.
Between then and 1907 the band won numerous local contests but their real success began in 1908 when they won both the Durham and Northumberland Brass Band championship and the English and Scottish International Contest.
More successes came in 1912 with the winning of the Grand Shield at Crystal Palace. On this occasion the band had the services of the famous cornet and trumpet player, Jack Mackintosh, who later became the principal cornet player with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. It is reported that his engagement with Hetton Silver Band was his first impact on the brass band world. He was in fact deputising for the bands principal cornet player and played in the contest after only one rehearsal!
It is believed that during 1912 the Band Hall was built. This still stands today and was in regular use by the band until 2009. The land on which the Band Hall was built was purchased from Hetton Coal Company for £25.00. This was not the first place the band used for their practices: a tin hut was built on the same site a few years before and in 1912 the present building was erected around it. Then the tin hut was dismantled and brought out through the doors of the new building!
The band had strong links with the Mining Industry and played for the Eppleton Miners Lodge in the Durham Miners Gala.
In 1914 the band were winners of the 2nd section at Belle Vue in Manchester and from then up to the outbreak of the Second World War enjoyed some successes including making a radio broadcast in 1926 from Newcastle Radio Station.
During the Second World War the band continued to practice, albeit with much depleted numbers, and play for war charities and parades.
After the war there was a repeat of the success of 1914 when the band again won the 2nd Section at Belle Vue in 1947. Two members of the band, Mr E Patterson and Mr J Bennett had played in both contests and Mr Patterson continued his membership of the band until his death in 1961. For 33 of those years he was the secretary of the band.
During the years after this the band experienced a series of lows and highs but in the seventies and eighties gradually moved up from the 4th section to play in the Championship section.
In 1994 and unfortunately back in section 3 Ken Wheatley was asked at 10 days notice to conduct the band at the CISWO Finals in Blackpool. Against all the odds the band won and when the result was announced a huge roar rang round the Empress Ballroom. Just seven days later another 1st place was forthcoming at the Camerons Brewery Contest in Hartlepool.
In 2002 Ken Wheatley almost repeated the feat of 1994 only this time coming second.
The band continued to compete under the baton of Ken Wheatley who retired from conducting in 2007 and sadly died in 2010.
In 2009 the remaining members of the band had to face up to the fact that it was impossible to continue as they were and merged with another local band to become Durham Miners Association Brass Band. The Band Hall, now redundant, was offered to Beamish Museum who removed the hall brick by brick in January 2011 and is planning to rebuild and restore it to its former glory at Beamish Museum.
Location: Durham City, United Kingdom
Member: Conductor: Stuart Gray
Soprano: Gillian McCain
Cornets: Gill Enzor, Stephen McDonald, Billy Bradshaw, Phillippa Smith
Diane Rabot, Alan Lackenby, Glenis Smith, Sophie Reed, Amy Long
Rachel Hogan, Ian Hall,
Flugel HornTom Hall
Tenor HornsJulie Carmichael, Keith Todd, Heather Ward, Nikki Snaith
Baritones: Kathleen Price, Bill McDonald
Euphoniums: Brad Long. Owen Morris
Trombones: Jean Davidson, Rebecca McDonald, Laura Dunphy
E-Flat BassAlan TaylorAlan Mowle
B-Flat BassIan Lowes, Derek Milburn, Ron Snaith
Percussion Duncan Wakeling, Bethany Robson
Durham Miners Association Brass Band