The history of Ynyshir Band
Originally formed in 1898 as the Ynyshir Drum and Fife Band, it later became the Ynyshir Standard Colliery Prize Band because of its close association with the local Standard Colliery. The well-known and widely respected musician Mr T G Moore was its conductor. Under his direction the Band competed in the Championship Class and won many accolades, amongst the many prizes it won were:
- 1920 The Royal National Eisteddfodd
- 1920 The South Wales and Mon Championship Shield
- 1920 Dr Richards Challenge Shield
- And were Welsh Champions in 1920, 1921 and 1922
The band continued with its success until it was forced to disband at the outset of the Second World War.
After the war in 1946, Capt D Liddel reformed the band as the Ynyshir and Wattstown Junior Band, by inviting any youngsters interested to attend the bandroom in The Station Hotel, approximately 60 attended and it is from this group that the band was eventually formed. It took over a year to obtain all the instruments necessary to complete a full set, but it was accomplished and the band started competing in Class D in 1948, the average age of the band was 14yrs and they progressed through the classes until they culminated their progress and success by winning the Class A Championship at Abertridwr in 1954.
In 1958 the band was renamed the Ynyshir and Wattstown Colliery Band and received contributions from the National Colliery Wattstown miners towards the running of the band, each miner contributed 1penny per week. This was a major factor in helping the band to replace instruments and purchase uniforms, it enabled the band to purchase music and enter into band competitions it would not otherwise been able to do.
Over the years the band has represented Wales at many National Finals Contests and has qualified for many of the N. C. B. National Finals held in Blackpool, where they have been Champions in their Class on no less than three occasions in 1964/1976/1998.
The band has won the City of Oxford Challenge Trophy and has a long list of other prizes and awards to its name, its success has been due in no small measure to the conductors who have steered the band over these years, their credentials were unique and they rank as some of Wale’s finest Brass Band conductors. Amongst these names were Gordon Harris, Harold Morgan, Oliver Jones, Evan Richards, Tom Trotman, Maldwyn Guy, Stanley Williams and Jim Davies.
Under Allan Gibbs the band blossomed and proved their abilities by winning promotion to Class A and by notching up the titles of N.C.B. Champions and Weston Open Champions.
One of the main aims of the band has always been to teach young people to read and play music; Maldwyn Guy and Alan Rowe pursued this policy and established a junior section, which was responsible for creating many top class players.
The present junior section is taught by Derek Andrews, whom was one of the original group that started back in 1946, and have an enthusiastic group of boys and girls making up a competent Junior Band.
The band was extremely fortunate to attract sponsorship from STACKS of TILES in 1999 and ensured recognition by adding their name to the band’s title.