This band was formed in 1857, starting with the small membership of eight players. Great difficulties had to be contended with at the start in getting funds for instruments, etc. The instrumentation at this time is rather interesting to present day bandsmen, being as follows: One soprano in D flat: two cornets, A flat: one saxhorn, D flat: one bass trombone, two ophecleides, and one drum. Music was not so easily obtained at this time, and the band used to get a few pieces from Wombwell's menagerie band. After two or three years, the headquarters was shifted to the "Peacock Inn," which, it is interesting to note, is still retained. They have always been strong supporters of Richard Smith's Champion Journal, and are subscribers at the present time. The first engagement, which was on a Whit Monday, is certainly interesting, as, by a mistake of the people engaging the band, two bands turned up where only one was wanted, which led to County-court proceedings. In the end both bands being paid for their services. One good feature of Hucknall Huthwaite is the many old supporters it contains in its ranks, the soprano and horn players have been seen 44 years' service, and two others can reckon 42 years. Mr. William Cooper, father of the present bandmaster, was one of the energetic spirits of the band, and he it was who trained both his son (Mr. J.B. Cooper) and the present energetic secretary (Mr. J.B. Heath) for the present positions which they hold. Mr. William Cooper was a good performer on the E flat bass. Mr. J.B. Cooper was thoroughly put through the traces by his father, taking one instrument after another until he came to the
solo euphonium, upon which he is a splendid player - so much so that his services were retained for the Sutton Old Harmonic Band (a good band in its day) for all contest engagements. Upon Mr. J.B. Cooper becoming bandmaster, with Mr. J. B. Heath as secretary, both determined that a good forward policy should be adopted, and that the band should go in for contesting. And this policy was the right one is proved by the splendid position the band holds in the contesting world at the present time. Out of 10 contests, no less that 7 firsts were secured, 2 being seconds, and 1 third. The band have always gone in for good professional tuition, the following gentlemen having taken them in hand from time to time:- Mr. Simpson Bradford, the late Mr. G.F. Birkenshaw, Mr. Alfred Gray (Manchester), and, last of all, Mr. Edwin Swift who coached them for their magnificent victory at the Crystal Palace last year, in which they gained the first prize and three specials, competing against no less than 17 bands, some of which were very strong indeed. It may be of interest to know that Mr. J.B. Cooper can produce a band of 16, within a radius of one mile of the band-room, from his own relations. It speaks well for the members that the band has been engaged for 23 successive years on Whit Thursday, and it has been renewed for the year 1902. Mr. J.B. Heath and the members have every reason to be very proud of themselves for the great strides they have made in the contesting world, and, being in such energetic hands, we are confident the band will still maintain its great reputation.
A. Lowe (Supporter) - A. Cooper =22 - J.B. Heath (Secretary) =27 - A. Hodgkinson =2 - J. Evans =3 - C.F. Marriott =8 - A. Smith =1 - J. Clay =4 - H. Sprittlehouse =2 - W. Bailey =2 - C.A. Cooper =5 - J. Stringfellow =12 - John Bonser =7 - M. Marshall =41 - A. Rhodes =16 - H. Marshall =44 - W. Newel =2 - W. Cooper =42 - W. Davis =5 - S.F. Cooper =14 - L. Thompson =14 - Jas. Bonser =7 (=Denotes years of Membership)
Written 12 Mar 1906 Revised 23 Jan 13 © by Gary Elliott