which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Crich Brass

With thanks to Derek Swindell, Tony Lester, Alan Perry and Clifford Raven for names, photographs and general information.

Photograph courtesy of Clifford Raven
Crich Brass 1900
Crich Brass Band taken early 1900s. Seated, first left is William Barnes (1878 – 1961) with his instrument, the Double b Bass, once known as a Bombardon. He married Annie Perry in 1899 at Crich This band came into being 1885 and was started with others by my grandfather George Hawksley. He and William (Bill) Barnes were great friends. George had moved to Nottinghamshire in 1901 and therefore does not appear in this photo. (Info - Cliff Raven)

Back Row L to R: ?,?, Alf Leafe, ?, Jimmy Holmes, Joe Perry, Jack Haslam,?, G.Lynam.
Seated: L to R Will Barnes, ?, ?, Mr Kneebone, Sam Hollinsworth, ?, ?.
Kneeling: ?, ? (Info - Alan Perry)

Photograph courtesy J. A. Lester
Sam Hollinsworth, Crich Band
Second left is Sam Hollinsworth who conducted Crich Brass 1952 – 53. He was a very good tenor horn player who also used to play for the famous “Besses o’ the Barn Band” from Lancashire when they were at their best. He went on tour to Australia and New Zealand with them and won many solo contests.

Crich United Silver Prize Brass Band

Crich Prize brass band

Taken in 1952 outside the Baptist Chapel.
Standing: G. Hickman, A. Leafe, C. Fantom, J. Holmes, J. Perry, A. Swindell, T. Lester, J. Hancock, D. Swindell, A.Morley (snr), Burnam, Jack Else
Seated: F. Wood, Mason, Walter Mellors (big drum), S Hollingsworth, F. Mellor, H. Harper
Front row: M. Lester, T. Beresford, P. Byard, B. Beresford

Photograph courtesy private album
Crich Band on Bownes Hill
Crich Brass leading a parade down Bownes Hill.

Photograph courtesy private album Crich Band on the Common
Crich Brass leading a parade along the Common past the Kings Arms on the right and Coop on the left.

Photograph courtesy private album Crich Band at Town End
Crich Brass leading a parade towards Town End.

Photograph courtesy private album Crich Band at Town End
Crich Brass leaving Town End (not in uniform) on a Derbyshire Infirmary March.

Photograph courtesy private album
Crich Band in 1931
Crich Brass on 25 May 1931 outside the church.
Diminutive conet player off-centre is Joe Perry.
Don Nadin is a baby in the pram (he went on to be influential in encouraging Crich football)

Photograph courtesy Beryl Calladine
Crich Band Whitsunday March
Crich Brass on the Whitsunday March

Photograph courtesy Beryl Calladine
Crich Band
Front far right is Ernest Mason, immediately behind is Jack Else

Photograph courtesy private album
Crich Band

Whatstandwell Brass Band
Back row: 2nd Bert Flint, 4th Mr Flint, 7th Ernie Mason, 8th Albert Swindell. 9th Ted Allsop
Front row: 3rd Arthur Mason

Photo courtesy Clifford Raven
Photo of Wakes Parade

The Wakes Parade down the Common about 1909. Ladies in black are of the Perry family in mourning for father Henry.

Photo courtesy Clifford Raven
Crich brass band

Crich Brass Band playing at Belper in the 1950s.
L to R: Jack Else, Jonathan Burnham, ?, Tony Lester, Colin Fantom

Courtesy Tony Lester
Crich band 1950s

The late F.E. Ashman leading Crich Band past Allsop's bakery in the 1950s.
Front: Jack Else, Jim Garrity, John Burnam, Ernest Mason, ?
Row 2: Harry Harpur, ?, Harry Land
Row 3: Arnold Morley, Alf Leafe, Albert Swindell, ?, ?
Row 4: Terry Berrisford, Brain Berrisford, Mick Lester, Colin Fantom
Back: Jimmy Holmes, Joe Perry, Tony Lester, Nag Haslem (with flat cap, not white)

Crich brass band 1950

Crich United Silver Prize Band - Matlock Bath 1950

Standing L – R: G. Hickman, A. Morley, A. Swindell, S. Hollingsworth (conductor), J. Perry, C. Fantom, G. Oliver (drum), F. Mellors, J. Else, F. Wood, E. Mason, unknown, A. Morley, A. Goadby, W. Mellors
Kneeling L – R: G. Cowlishaw, D. Swindell, T, Lester, H. Land, H. Harper

Photo courtesy of a relation
Crich brass bandsman
One of the Roe brothers (possibly James) c 1920s
Photo courtesy Alan Perry
Joseph Perry
Father and son, the two Joseph Perrys, outside Prospect Terrace

Crich Band 1945 – 1962

Memories of Tony Lester (2000)

My earliest recollection of Crich Band was following behind it in the Whitsuntide walks before the 1939-45 war. My real interest came after the war when the band was reformed. Around a dozen of 'us lads' started going to practice in the Parish Room on a Sunday morning and down to Mr Albert Swindells, at Chapel Lane on week nights.

After some while we were allowed to go on parade and on engagements. The conductor at that time was Mr George Haslam, the village Blacksmith, who, when on parade, played the trombone.
We were kept pretty busy with concerts at places like Ripley, Belper, Matlock Bath, Hall Leys, Derby Parks, Ashbourne and Burton. Apart from parades at Crich, we led carnivals and sermons round the district. We also played at the Venetian nights, when they started up after the war. We played carols round the village on Christmas morning. The proceeds - of which were divided up between the bandsmen and "collectors", around £1 each, not forgetting old Bill Holmes, who always had an ounce of tobacco, he used to put the stands up for practices etc, and came on all the jobs.

I can only remember two young ladies being in the band, Barbara Haslam, now employed at the Crich Health Centre, and years later Colleen McArthur, a pupil at Strutts.

On the earlier 'jobs', we went to Ashbourne several times in Mr Des Sellors lorry. It had a tarpaulin cover on with wooden benches for seats. He used to convey Italian RO.W.'s about from Heage. Later it was Gervase Taylors (has anyone paid twice) lady coach. Some members used to travel quite a distance. Harry Harper used to carry his Euphonium (no light weight) to practice from Ridgeway, Arnold Morley biked from Belper with a baritone on his back. Joe Perry and Ernest Mason came from Whatstandwell. In later years, four or five came by taxi from Wirksworth.

The next conductor was Mr Griff Martin, who had relatives at Fritchley I believe. I think Mr Sam Hollingsworth was the next one, a champion tenor horn player and a member of the 'Besses o'th Barn' Band, going on a tour to Australia with them.

We went to our first post war contest under Mr Hollingsworth in March 1953. The Daily Herald Midland area at Nottingham, I think we came about fifth place.

A man who influenced my banding interests was Mr Jack Else - solo trombone player. He took me down to London to the finals at the Albert Hall, along with Mr Dennis Else (himself not a player), but a great lover of bands, with a very dry wit, who had us in stitches with his views about the "vice etc." in the big city, this was in the early 1950s. Mr Else also took me 'guesting' with other bands in the area.

The president of the band was Mr Percy Taylor, a local butcher, who was later followed by his son Horace. Mr Alf Leafe was the secretary after the war and then Mr Colin Fantom took over. The band had an active ladies committee, who raised funds with whist drives, dances and raffles etc. Mr Else once told me the band used to play for it's own dances and others (pre war), called the Silver Six.

Around 1951, it was decided we would obtain new uniforms, so fundraising started. The old uniform was a little bit out of date by now and some members had remnants, some none at all. It was a plum colour with gold trimmings and had a 'dog collar' which resulted in many sore necks when the weather was warm on parades. The new uniform was acquired in 1952 and worn on a parade to church and an evening concert on the market, a double breasted jacket with ties. Very smart at the time, the young lads had blazers and 'chip bag' hats.

Mr Jimmy Holmes (solo cornet player) was the next conductor. I then had a break for three years, whilst in the R.A.F. and so couldn't comment on this period.

We had several band trips to Bridlington etc. and an annual band dinner.

Around 1958 (I think), we were parading around Whatstandwell for the sermons and we finished in the old campfield. A man and his family were camping and he heard us. He came from Derby and his name was Bill Maudsley. He got talking to some of the band and the outcome was that he came to the next practice to conduct us. It appeared he was a good cornet player with the Bickershaw Colliery Band up until the war and he gave our band a new lease of life. He improved the playing and started talking about going to contests. He took four of us to Quartet Contests and also introduced new music to us.

The first contest he took us to was at Leicester (early 1960s), then followed three more,at Edwinstowe, Derby and Blackpool. The last was around April 1962. Some of the older players had finished and the younger ones were not coming along. Armistice day came, and we had about ten players turn up, not enough to play, so we walked up to church without playing a note.

Later that year on Christmas morning only three or four turned up to play! I was asked to go and play with Stanton Works Band, near Ilkeston, so I am afraid my ties with Crich Band were broken.
I am not sure when the band finally finished. The old committee: C. Fantom, J. Perry, T. Longdon, D. Wetton, A. Swindell and myself met in later years to officially wind the band up. Doug Wetton, I believe, still goes playing at Wirksworth. A. Swindell, until recently was playing with the City of Stoke Band. Dawson Longdon still has a 'blow' at home.

We still go to listen at contests etc. I still get great pleasure from listening to my collection of records, tapes and now C.D.'s. I have still got a recording of Crich Band from around 1961.

Crich Band 1950

Crich Band uniformBetween 1952 and 1953 Crich band changed its uniform from the plum colour with dog-collar necks (uncomfortable) to the one on the right.
Photograph shows Tony Lester with brother Michael.

Listen to Crich Silver Prize Band play "Abide with Me & Mary's Boy Child"

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