Still here and celebrating over 50 years of Brass Band Music in our own Town of Coalville.
Do you know that, nearly every colliery, or coal mine, in the U.K. had a brass band. They kept workers out of trouble and were a matter of civic pride for local communities, Coalville still has its very own brass band who have been playing music together for over 50 years
The Leicestershire Co-op (Snibston) Band’s origins are in mining.
The band formed in 1971 as the South Midlands Welfare Band and was run by Jim and Joan Ball who had their roots firmly planted in the mining industry. Many of the original players were also local miners from Snibston and Whitwick Collieries. The band secured rehearsal rooms at the former Snibston baths and during this time had some success under the Musical Direction of Phil Lewsey, John Talbott and Geoffrey Essex.
After the demolition of the Miners Welfare buildings, the band moved to another former mining site of Whitwick Colliery, now Morrisons Car park. There the band had more success under the leadership of Colin Toghill. Unfortunately, due to the demise of the mining industry and peoples’ interests changing the band support ended and the future of the band look bleak. However, after two very fortuitous events, the band was to take a new direction. The band managed to secure grant funding from the Leicestershire Co-operative Society, which continues today. Then the Charnwood brass band (Loughborough) who were in a similar situation were invited to join the band organisation in 1999.
The new ‘Leicestershire Coop Snibston Charnwood Brass Band was formed and were back on the road to success.
The baton of Graham Sutton laid the foundations for the new start and then in 2002 Graham Jacklin became the Musical Director. Over subsequent years the band was promoted to the Championship Section, the equivalent of football's Premier League. During one of its most successful years, the band took no less than eleven trophies, including Midlands Regional Championship. Alas as with the ‘beautiful game’, bands move up and down the league tables and now occupy a strong position in the second section.
The last 50 years has seen many bands disappear off the banding map. For us, the band couldn’t be stronger and, despite the current climate, the band remains a strong friendship group of dedicated players.
Many brass bands have the benefit of having their own rehearsal room and The Leicestershire Coop Brass band is no exception, having two large rooms at The Springboard Centre right in the heart of Coalville. Despite the restrictions of Lockdown during the Covid pandemic, the Leicestershire Coop Brass Band has grown in popularity and have welcomed many new players both in the senior and our ever-growing training band. Under the leadership of Liz Barham our Solo trombone player, who continues to give her time and dedication to the Leicestershire Coop Brass Band organisation, the growing number of young players has helped to secure a flow of talent to play alongside players in the senior band.
The band is still working their way through the ‘leagues’ under the new baton of Ben Hewlett-Davies. A musician in his own right having studied Bass Trombone, Bass Sackbut and Contrabass Trombone at the Birmingham conservatoire. He is also a competent and ambitious conductor who is ready to take on the challenge to help promote and lead the band to more success.
We celebrated 50 years during the pandemic and although a difficult time for brass banding and many other organisations, we are building ourselves up to full strength again. See our vacancies if you are an experienced player interested in joining us. If you are a beginner or haven't played for some time but want to get back into banding, then contact us about joining our training band.
You may also have seen the Band playing out in the community including, church fairs, retirement village concerts, weddings, and Christmas Carols around the town. Our repertoire of music covers every genre and is suitable for every occasion. You will also see the band providing the music for the annual Remembrance Parade in Coalville. Every member of the band is honoured and humbled to support this important event. The band were invited by North West Leicestershire District Council to help celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee and the King's coronation, taking to the stage in Coalville Park for their Picnic in the Park extravaganza.
If you would like to know more about this long-established brass band, or if you would like to book us for future events, then please contact us.