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Rockingham Band

appearing at

Bolsover Festival Of Brass

Clowne, Derbyshire


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Rockingham Band


Brass Band


Rockingham Band is one of the oldest bands in South Yorkshire. It was founded in 1850, as a village band around Birdwell, near Barnsley. After playing at the opening of Wharncliffe Silkstone Colliery in 1853, the band was invited to take on the pits’ name.

Early certificates show them to have won prizes at Crystal Palace as early as 1907, but at this time they had changed their name to the Rockingham Colliery Band. It was however, as Wharncliffe Silkstone that the band achieved its fame during the nineteen twenties and thirties.

The Second World War took its toll of members but in 1945 the band again started on its way under a young conductor named Edmund Hoole. From the lowly third section it fought its way into the Championship section and in 1954 claimed twelve prizes in as many months. In 1968 Wharncliffe Silkstone Colliery was closed down and workers were transferred to the adjoining colliery of Rockingham. From this date the band once again took on its current name.

However, tragedy was to strike! The bands’ principal cornet player, William Hopkinson was killed in a pit accident and in 1971 came the sad loss of Edmund Hoole. Thanks to a few devoted members, wives and friends, the band carried on without its long serving members.

In 1974, Derek Ashmore was appointed Musical Director and through his ability and enthusiasm, the spirit of the old band was returned. New faces filled the chairs and new challenges where made and met!

Over the 42 years that followed, the band saw a further 28 Musical Directors! Many successes at all levels have been realised, especially under Graham O’Connor who still stands as the bands most successful conductor.

Today the band is much like it was in 1974. They have faced their share of challenges over the last six months and have met all of them. In October 2015, Adam Whittle took the reins as the bands 30th conductor and it’s youngest in its 166 year history.

Membership numbers had dwindled to a mere 8 and Rockingham’s future looked very uncertain. With the assistance and support of the remaining members, Adam began to rebuild the once mighty band. In March 2016, the band claimed 2nd place at the Yorkshire Regional Championships alongside the Best Percussion Award and the prize for Youngest Competing Player. This secured their qualification to the National Finals in September and promotion to the Third section from 2017. The band is back on form and with 32 active members, will continue to fight their way back to the top!

Bolsover Festival Of Brass

Venue Type



Bolsover Festival of Brass is one of the leading Brass Band Entertainment Contests of today which for the last three years has produced a live-broadcast around the world to over 15,000 audience as well as its live capacity audience.

The event for 2018 will again take place at Heritage High School, Boughton Lane, Clowne, Derbyshire. S43 4QG on Sunday 30th September 2018 commencing at 9am running in two halls simultaneously.

There are five sections (Championship, First, Second, Third and Fourth) with 50 competing bands in two halls all performing a twenty minute programme of entertaining music with a featured soloist. The school boasts great facilities for audiences and bands alike. Each band being provided a 30 minute rehearsal room prior to their contest performance.

The event is held all on one level and is very accessible to all.

Catering and bar on site throughout the day and evening.

Tickets are available on the day on the door and are £8 Adult and £6 Concessions (under 16 and over 60). Children under 5 entry free.

Heritage High School, Boughton Lane,




S43 4QG.

Disabled AccessBarFood Served

Admission Fee: Festival Admission Charge Applies

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