Shirland Welfare


Shirland Band was founded in 1881, sixteen years after the colliery was sunk. Although the colliery closed in 1965, the Miners’ Welfare Institute continues to support the Band with rehearsal facilities and a comfortable meeting place.

The Band has a long tradition of family loyalty and service – in the past couple of years, five members have each received awards for 50 years contribution to the Band. But we are far from being an “old fogies’ band” – more than 250 years of experience is a firm foundation for teaching our 25-strong Training Band, with ages from 7 to 18. Learners receive free tuition and loan of instruments. 

This strong youth policy is central to our Constitution. We aim to always promote from within the Band organization, and our Musical Director Lynden Cooper is a great support for Ian Beckett who trains the Junior Band. We are fortunate that our past-conductor Marie Fawbert-Smith (awarded Membership of the Honourable Company of Musicians for services to musical education) provides individual tuition to our learners. Slow melody, air varie, duet and quartet playing further develop musical skills.

We have a lively social side – there is an annual Band tour/holiday, with many other events for old and young throughout the year.  

First appearance at Nationals since 2009 (Section 2). Total of 4 previous Nationals appearances (all S2), so this is first time appearing at S3. Highest documented Nationals placing was 9th (S2 1998).

Principal Players

Cornet - Colin Hamilton-Martin

Soprano  - David Stone

Flugel horn - Dave Hill

Tenor Horn - Luke Newborough

Euphonium - Dave Harvey

Baritone - Charlotte Burton

Trombone - Colin Davenport

Bb Bass - Jack Newborough

Eb Bass - Paul Smith

Percussion - Martyn Beckett