About Us

 

St Johns is a friendly community band based in Mossley.

 

We rehearse once a week on a Thursday evening, our beginner band rehearse at St John's Church (Mossley) from 6.15pm to 7pm and our training band and main band rehearse at The Yorkshire Ward Conservative Club, Carrhill Road, Mossley. Our training band runs from 7.15pm to 8pm and our main band rehearsal is from 8.15pm to 9.45pm. If you are interested in joining the band please contact Paul Towle at paul@stjohnsband.co.uk. All playing standards are welcome as training can be given to inexperienced players.

We are available for all types of brass band concert performances to cover all tastes and occasions. If you would like to arrange for the band to play at your event, please contact the band Secretary at tel. 07853 442 377 or secretary@stjohnsband.co.uk

 

Please take a look at our St John's Band Mossley blog bage to find out all our latest NEWS

History of the Band

The Rev.W. Leeming was the man responsible for the formation of St Johns Band Mossley in 1933. He was a great Brass Band enthusiast and had formed Brass Bands at all of his previous churches as way of extending the social and cultural activities of the church. At the formation prospective players, who had to be communicant members of the church, got together to form the nucleus of the band. By May 1934, after a lot of tuition and marching drills up and down Quickedge in all weathers, the band were ready for their first Whit Friday Walks. They wore uniforms purchased from Eagley Mills (Bolton).

 

During the war St John's became the band of the (Home Guard) 35th Cheshire Regiment. At the cessation of hostilities membership rules were relaxed so that players from outside the parish could join, gradually building the band up to full strength.

 

In 1983 the band reached one of its highest points by qualifying to play in the Fourth Section of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall. Unfortunately, the band was unplaced, but what an unforgettable experience for those involved.

This level of success was achieved with the help and guidance of some well known conductors, including Arthur Schofield (1970-1978), Harold Robinson (1979-1982) and Bert Howarth (1982-1983).

Nevertheless, with players leaving for various reasons over the years the band has been on the verge of closure on three occasions, twice in the early seventies when the band was lacking in numbers to lead the church in the whit Walks and once again in the late eighties when the band was struggling to hold rehearsals with regularity.

Then in 1990 a group of community minded people notably Ralph Towle, Rodney Oliver, Ian Marsh and Barry Hague formed a committee inviting first Max Wassal as Secretary, later Graham Hutchinson and Stephen Corbett to coach and train the band made up mostly of school children. This proved to be a huge success and Stephen stayed at the band as musical director until 2012.

In 1995 once again the band lost players when six of its leading members went to university, a body blow after three years of successful results at contests. In seventy-five years (three generations) the world, peoples lifestyles and interests have changed immensely and the band has had to change suit.

In 2012 the band were joined by Musical Director Paul Exton-McGuinness. Since then the band have gone from strength to strength, with a new training band and beginner band to focus on eventually bringing fresh new players in to the main band. Paul left the band in July 2018.

 

In September 2018 Paul Towle was appointed as Musical Director, Paul has long running family connections with the band, his Grandfather, Ralph Towle being one of the leading members of the group that helped get the band back on its feet almost 30 years ago.

 

Although the band is not directly linked with the church anymore, they do provide the music for the services throughout the year such as Christmas, Harvest and of course the Whit Friday Walks.