The Colne Valley Male Voice Choir was formed in 1921 when twenty six men from different areas of the Valley met in Slaithwaite Liberal Club to rehearse. They won First Prize at a concert in Batley and continued to thrive under the leadership of George Stead from 1924 until his death in 1968. George Stead was awarded the MBE for his services to music. As well as conducting the choir, he won prizes for his solo bass singing and he set several of the psalms to music. In 1957 Keith Swallow became the choir's accompanist. In 1998 they came first at the Llangollen festival.
For more information, visit the CVMVC Website
Marsden Band, established in 1889 moved to its current headquarters, the Marsden Bandroom, Marsden Lane in 1931.
They won First Prize at the Belle Vue Centre in Manchester in 1961 In 1997 the band won 1st prize in the area contest at Bradford. The prize included an invitation to the national finals in the Symphony Hall, Birmingham, where the band achieved 4th place. The band was promoted to the Second Section in 1998, gaining third place in the Yorkshire area contest that year. They were promoted to the First Section for the millennium.
The band won the 'Best Local' prize in the Whit Friday March competitions held in Saddleworth, a competition featured in the movie Brassed Off. The crowning glory for the year was winning the entertainment contests at both Wychavon and Malton. They won Easingwold March Contest and were placed 3rd in the First Section at the area contest, a notable achievement in its first year in the First Section. In addition the band won a number of the local march contests.
2001 began with the band winning the 'Best Local' prize in the Whit Friday March contests and on the same day being placed overall 1st at the Delph contest, ahead of a number of Championship Section bands. The band also retained its Easingwold March and Malton Entertainment contest titles. In March 2001, their result in the area competition gained them access, for the first time in their history, to the presigious Championship Section, joining the elite of the Brass Band world. After 2 years in the Championship Section the band were relegated back to the first section having been placed only one place behind Black Dyke Mills in 2003.
For more information, see Marsden Band website
Marsden Senior School Boys' Band was founded in 1931 by Mr Tom Eastwood and Mr. Harry Collins with the support of Boosey, a firm of musical instrument manufacturers who offered to supply a set of secondhand brass instruments.
Only 15 weeks after its formation, in December 1931, the band gave its first concert in Marsden Mechanics Hall. Less than a year later, in October 1932, the band had progressed so well that they were proficient enough to be chosen to appear on radio in a teatime Children`s Hour programme.
The band was very active during the 1930s successfully taking part in many contests and giving numerous concerts. Although the war years had their effect on the band, its demise was brought about in the 1950s when Marsden Senior School closed and all the band's equipment was dispatched to Colne Valley High School where it quickly fell into disuse.
Ron Massey, a former band member, has written a fascinating personal history of the Marsden Senior School Boy's Band. You can download and read Ron's book by clicking on its title in the right-hand column of this web page (or, if you're viewing on a tablet or smartphone, at the bottom of the page).
Read Terry Vallow's memories of playing in Marsden bands.