Crofton Silver Band
Brass banding has had a home in Crofton since December 1873, with the earliest recorded concert by Crofton Band taking place at the re-opening of Crofton Parish Church after major restoration work in 1875.
The band has led somewhat of a nomadic existence, with the band being based at an outbuilding behind the Cock and Crown Public House on Doncaster Road. After the First World War the band moved to a small rented building within Crofton Village, Joe Castle a local businessman providing the building for a nominal fee. Crofton Band added Silver to its name in 1936 when the band took delivery of a set of new silver plated instruments. The band stayed in these premises until 1937, with Crofton Working Men’s Club providing a temporary home before moving to the Royal Oak Public House before the Second World War.
After the war the band reformed to perform in the armistice celebrations with what instruments they could salvage after many were damaged during the bands enforced eviction from the band room after the army commandeered it during the conflict, many instruments went missing during this period. The band struggled for members for the years following after the war and was fully resurrected in 1947 by Mr. Hollingsworth. The band enjoyed a prolonged period in one place continuing to practice at the Royal Oak until 1974; financially however the band was less stable. In 1953 the bands were chronically short of funds and several instruments needed replacing, the band approached Nostell Colliery for assistance, the band received funding from the Coal Industry Social and Welfare Organisation (CISWO) and subsequently changed its name to the Nostell Colliery Band.
A change of landlords at the Royal Oak forced the band to move from the pub function room moving back into the Crofton Working Men’s Club where it stayed for the next twenty years. In 1993 the band name reverted back to Crofton Silver band. The band again moved back into the Royal Oak in 1995 and due to the success of the organisation a junior band was formed by members of the senior band, Roger Hine, Alan Clutton, Colin Slassor and Brian Nicholson. The formation of the Junior Band has been a significantly successful step in the development of the organisation with several of the current players progressing from the junior band to prominent seats within the senior band.
After a spell in the Station Pub in Sharlston the band moved to its current home at the Church of the Resurrection in Fitzwilliam.
Crofton Silver Band is, quite simply, enjoying the best 18 months in its 141-year history.
There have been great moments for this West Yorkshire village band over the decades, but never has it achieved the consistent string of contest success it has seen since Musical Director, Dean Jones, took up the baton in 2015.
First places in banding’s third section at the Leicestershire Championship, the Butlin’s Mineworkers Open Contest, the Yorkshire Regional Finals (earning promotion to Section Two) and, in September this year, at the British Brass Band National Finals has left the trophy cabinet groaning at the seams.
But, as well as earning a tremendous reputation for its performances under the contest microscope, the Band is fast gaining quite a name for the musicality and vitality of its concert programmes.
Jazz-funk, Swing classics and pop standards sit comfortably alongside traditional marches, brass band favourites and the deeply spiritual when Crofton Silver Band takes the stage. The aim is to get your feet tapping and the hair on the back of your neck standing up, though not at the same time.
Crofton bring a fresh taste to banding for the 21st century, but with all the best ingredients still in the recipe.
The Band was formed in the mining village of Crofton, a few miles south of Wakefield, back in 1874 and blew its first notes in public in the village church a year later. They have been making music in parades, parks, concerts and church services ever since, except for spells during the two world wars when the call of a greater duty left too many gaps in the ranks.
In 1955 they were renamed the Nostell Colliery Band and taken under the wing of the local pit for over 30 years but the promised financial support never quite materialised. The pit closed and the band went back to its maiden name.
Crofton Silver has achieved periods of success over the decades under accomplished conductors but nothing to compare with the golden era it is enjoying with Dean Jones as Musical Director.
Continued improvement has brought yet more “best ever” results in 2017. The band achieved very creditable third places in both the Butlin’s Mineworkers’ and the Yorkshire Regionals, missing out by a hair’s breadth on representing the county in the Nationals for a second successive year.
But though contesting is vitally important in Crofton’s drive to raise standards continually, entertainment is at the heart of all the band’s concert performances with the cream of the new and the best of the old combining to make audiences want to dance, stamp, march… or simply feel the goose-bumps.
The band rehearse at the Church of the Resurrection, Fitzwilliam.
The Senior band rehearse on Monday and Thursday nights at 7:45pm in the Church of the Resurrection in Fitzwilliam.
The Bandits rehearse on a Wednesday at 7:30pm until 9:00pm, if you fancy learning a brass or percussion instrument please come along free tuition and instrument hire is available. The Junior band welcomes players of any standard and age.