A colliery band that almost disappeared from the region in the early 2000’s is celebrating a resurgence after joining forces with another top brass ensemble.
Askern Colliery Band amalgamated with Hatfield Colliery Band in May 2018 and on March 2 this year was named number one at Huddersfield Town Hall.
Cornet player and band trustee, Phil Price, said the comeback was complete and the band was now about to start rehearsals for the spring festival in Blackpool in May.
He said: “What a turnaround. As a joint venture we are now competing with and beating the best. After the latest victory in Huddersfield everyone was ecstatic.”
He added: “The guys worked extremely hard for this victory. For the concert we played Symphony of Marches by Gilbert Vinter and picked up a magnificent shield. In 2021 we will pay tribute to the centenary of Askern Band and we aim to pick up even more trophies.”
Phil said that given the longstanding support of Hatfield Town Council, and under the leadership of Stan
Lippeatt, the band had managed to gather a few contest prizes in the years to 2018, when they were unceremoniously relegated from the Championship Section after coming 13th in the Area contest.
Since then, their path has been one toward restoration of status and the new band has collected a fifth in the Senior Cup at the 2018 Spring Festival, a third in Brass at the Guild (Preston) in January 2019 and lately, a first place in the NEMBBA Contest on February 24, when airing the test piece for this year’s Area contest, with Mike Kilmartin also scooping the soloist prize on the day. Phil further added: “Building this momentum has generated a sound feel-good factor among the players. There is still a final polish to be applied this week, but there is no doubt that the name of Askern Colliery Band is back in the spotlight, the Phoenix is rising, and the might of Hatfield and Askern Colliery Band will be striving for top spot again.”