Terry Vallow's memories of playing in Marsden bands

Marsden Senior School Boys' Band

My memories of the band during the years I spent with them are of the discipline it taught us under the tutoring of Tom Eastwood. I had private lessons with him and he was a firm but fair teacher who explained the whys and wherefores of music and at the end of each lesson he counted the money I gave him in Welsh because most of the time the money was in pennies. He was also influential in obtaining Leonard Brennan a position with the Royal Military School of music who was great trombone player with both the Boy's Band and the Silver Prize Band.

Marsden Senior Boy's BandFormed in 1931.

Back Row: 1.Michael Parr 3.Reynold Quarmby 4.Leonard Brennan 

Front Row: 1.Trevor Coldwell 2.Terry Peacock 3.Terry Vallow 4.Arthur Carter 5.Kenneth Peacock

Marsden Silver Prize Band

The tutoring with Tom Eastwood was good grounding for me and several others for when we joined the S ilver Prize band at a time when the band had just engaged Willie Kay to take over as the conductor. The band at that time was a poor relation in the area when there were bands such as Brighouse & Rastrick, Dobcross and many more but Willie Kay took us to another level and as you can see in the photo the band won several prizes over a 5 year period.

I have great memories of playing at Leicester City’s De-Monfort Hall and beating some of the top bands in England such as Foden Motor Works it was a challenging piece of music called The Thames Valley Suite. Also playing at Bellevue this was always one of the major venues for Brass Bands in those days (1953 - 1958).

The Good Friday marches in Lancashire was always an highlight and it is great to see that the tradition is still carried on today. It was amazing at that time I was doing my engineering apprenticeship at Brook Motors  and the pay for one day doing the march was about half of my weekly wage at that time.

The other memories was at the war memorial in Marsden Park when Jack Worsnip played the last post he was an amazing musician he could make a cornet talk.

One other person who influenced my music was Herbert Ellis who tutored me through several slow melody contests that I played at through the Clone Valley and Huddersfield area over a few years with moderate success. However I can say again that by playing in these contest it taught me discipline and concentration and is something you never lose in your life.

In the 1950’s Brass Bands provided an outlet for people with musical interests after a long day at work as most people in those days worked 48hr weeks or shift work to make ends meet. The majority of Marsden people in those days worked for one of the many mills in Marsden along side people who were brought in from the Barnsley area and many more from outside the village to meet the work force demands of the day.

The Band was also a source of entertainment in the village with concerts and leading religious marches through the village especially at Whitsuntide. I am sure if some of the people I have identified in the photos are still alive they could possibly add more information as I left Marsden in 1965 looking for a warmer climate in Australia and a new adventure in my life with my wife Laurel.

Silver Prize Band 1954

Marsden Silver Prize Band 1954

Back Row - 1. Colin Denby 2. Jack Worsnip 3. Brian Garside 4. Jack Gledhill
5th Row - 1. Colin Ellis 2. Gerald Waterhouse 3. Edgar Hudson
4th Row - 1. Terry Peacock 2. Michael Ward 3. Bernard Smith 4. Ernest Lister 5. Terry Vallow
3rd Row - 2. Michael Parr 3. Alwyn Bentley
2nd Row - 2. Glynn Holmes 3. Ronnie Matley 4. Albert Simpson 5. Morris Taylor 6. Herbert Hobson 8. Neil Tiffany 9. Douglas Horn 
Front Row - 1. Fred Kirby 2. Bill Kewley 3. Herbert Ellis 5. Willie Kay 6. Willie Atkins, band and club secretary 7. President Malcom Emms 8. Sid Bartholemew 9. Derek Boothroyd

Colin Ellis is in Royal Signals uniform as he was doing National Service 1954 to 1956 in the Royal Signals and was home on leave following basic training at Catterick Garrison. The photo is 1954. Herbert Ellis, 3rd from left in front row, is Colin's father.