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History the 1960s Click Here - Early History Click Here

1970s to Present

Flookburgh Band has always been great at fund raising for local charities, numerous events were held through the 70s & 80s such as raft racing & cross-bay walks.

In 1984 it was decided that the band should hold a raft race on Sandgate shore to raise funds. Advertisements were placed in newspapers and posters were distributed over a wide area. Arrangements were made for refreshments and a bar, these being served inside marquees. There were various stalls and the usual raffles, tombola and other money making events. The whole thing depended on the weather being fine. When the day arrived the weather was beautiful and the tide just the right height, that is with the beck full but not over on the grass.
Crowds started to roll up about an hour before the designated starting time. The car parking field was full and all the refreshments sold out by the time it was due to start. There had never been anything like it in the village for numbers of spectators. The people in charge of refreshments had completely underestimated the numbers attending in spite of being told to expect thousands -- they simply could not believe that those numbers would turn up.
The day was still a huge success, something like £2000 being raised, half of which was donated to a charity. The following year, because of the experience gained, everything was better prepared and a few hundred pounds more than in the first year were made. Over the next few years donations were made to St. Mary’s Hospice, Hawcoat Handicapped Peoples’ Home at Barrow and about £800 was set aside for the building of a children’s playground in Flookburgh which, due to the unavailability of land for the project, did not come to fruition for seven or eight years but is now installed on the school field. When the time came to hand over the money it was agreed by the band to give £1600. The first meeting at the school, when it was agreed that the project should go ahead on the school field, was held on September 24th 1991. The scheme was taken over by a committee from the community and moneys were raised from other sources, but it was the initial move by the band which started the ball rolling...

At a meeting on the 2nd of February 1977, all members present agreed to loan the band £5 to assist in the purchase of new uniforms “rather than borrow from the bank at 17%”.


Flookburgh Band – Opening Hayes Garden Centre Ambleside  - Saturday  July 1st 1972

band abbot hall

Flookburgh Band - Abbot Hall - Kents Bank December 1974

Back row L.Moyle, T.Rowlandson, J.Manning, B.Martin, A.Smithson, S.Manning, R.Bland, R.Lauder

Middle row J.Dickinson, F.Benson, R.Butler, A.Couperthwaite, J.Bland, D.Dawson, M.Rowlandson, M.Garnett, E.Handslip

Front row H.Hodgson, J.Wilson, W.Walker, J.Wright(Chairman), Herbert Sutcliffe, W.Dickinson, S.Holt, L.Stephenson, M.Garnett, E.Handslip

Front sat Jill Handslip, Adrian Turner
W.D. & O. Wills Regional Forth Section Winners
               Thos. Reynold’s Cup Skelmersdale Band Contest Third Section Winners
Watney Shield N.W.A.B.B Championships Forth Section Winners

At the A.G.M. held on the 31st of January 1979 Mr. (Johnny) Wright was appointed Hon. Life President after 59 years of service to the band, many of those as chairman. Mr. Wright, being a regular user of snuff, was later presented with a silver snuff box as a parting gift. At the same meeting Mr. Leslie Moyle retired as secretary after 25 years in that office and was subsequently presented with a silver tray as a parting gift.

Four life-memberships were awarded at the A.G.M. of January 1984.
They were L.Stephenson, W.Dickinson, A.Couperthwaite and F.Benson.

On the 2nd of May 1992 the band went to a hamlet near Shap village to make a tape recording which proved to be very successful financially. The conductor was Alan Lewis. It was reported at the A.G.M. on the 8th of February 1993 that the profit from the tape was £1200.

From the very outset there were strong family connections within the band but something of a record was set when 11 of the Rowlandson/Manning family competed in the family class at South Lakeland Musical Festival in April 1998. The players were all descendants of Mrs. Ellen Manning who was in the audience to see the performance. They won by a margin of several points.
At the A.G.M. on the 8th of February 1993, Jack Manning was made a life-member and later a vice-president. On the 9th of November 1996 at a concert in Flookburgh Church he was honoured for fifty years of service to the band and presented with a cut-glass decanter and two whisky glasses, all suitably engraved. Mr. Derek Atkinson travelled from South Lancashire to present two citations from the N.W.B.B.A. “Certificate of Merit, For meritorious service to the brass band movement” and “Diploma of Honour, for 50 years of service to the Brass Band movement”.

jack manning

New concert uniforms with short tunic jackets were bought from Brayshaws in 1987, the old ones being retained for outdoor engagements.


Also in 1987, presentations were made to Messrs Derek Dawson and Alfred Cowperthwaite on their retirement after long service in the band Mr. Dawson later returned to the band, and, having played trombone for all of his previous thirty-odd years, gave sterling service as percussionist and as chairman of the band.

In 1987 a trophy was donated to South Lakeland Musical Festival inscribed The Flookburgh Band Trophy.
In the same year the band qualified for the National Finals in London and played in Westminster Hall. The conductor was Boyd Purser.

One very successful and memorable concert was on Saturday 18th May 1985 at the Cumbria Grand Hotel with two guest players from the famous Fairy Aviation Works Band, (now Williams Fairy). Brian Taylor had been known to the band since the 1970s when he came to the ponderosa caravan site with his parents and brothers. The lads occasionally came to rehearsals and were very promising players even at about 14 years of age.  Brian progressed from his own band, Tyldesley, into the Fairey band and up to principal cornet where he still is today, about 15 years after taking that position.  He was asked if he would put in a guest appearance with the band which he agreed to do but said that he would also bring a tuba player.  Brian, along with Shaun Crowther stayed the weekend in Flookburgh and played several solos in the concert which delighted the band and the capacity audience.

On the 20th April 1996 the renowned cornetist Jim Shepherd came as guest artist on a concert at the Cumbria Grand Hotel.  This again was a huge success.

In February 1991 Mr Alan Lewis was appointed Musical Director.  Alan stayed with the band until 1998.  Alan did a marvellous job with the band, taking it from the fourth section to the first in about six years.  This achievement may be unique in the annals of brass banding.

After Alan Lewis had left, an approach was made to Mr. John Iveson, a professional musician, now living at Ireleth, to see if he would come and conduct the band on an occasional basis or at least to come and have a look at the band.  He came along and obviously liked what he saw and took over as musical director in about April 1998.  John is a classically trained musician with a vast experience, having played trombone in many great orchestras and as a freelance session player.

john iveson

In 1998 the band entered seven contests and was never lower than third place.

On the 12th and 13th of September 1998 the band went to Cartmel school to make a recording which came out on tapes and C.D.s. In this, the experience of Mr. Iveson was invaluable. He, having been involved in many recordings with orchestras and with soloists, was familiar with the procedures and was able to produce the recording to a high standard, travelling to the studio in Manchester several times to complete the work. The end product certainly justified all the hard work by all involved.
The band, being self-supporting, has always had some restraints on what it could do or buy, but the support from local people has been tremendous throughout the years and Flookburgh Band has probably fared better than most un-sponsored bands. Having said that, the necessity to continually raise money has been a spur to take as many engagements as possible and to organize events. The situation took a turn for the better when, in October 1997, the band was allocated almost £37,000 from the National Lottery.

Mr.John Iveson
In more recent years Flookburgh Band has gone on to win the following titles

North of England Championships 4th Section Winners - 2007
Test Piece: The Seasons, Philip Wilby
Adjudicator: Maurice Priestley
Conductor: J. Iveson

North of England Championships 3rd Section Winners - 2008
Test Piece: The Dark Side of The Moon, Paul Lovatt Cooper
Adjudicator: Peter Roberts
Conductor: J. Iveson

North of England Championships 2nd Section Winners - 2009
Test Piece: New World Sketches, Dan Price
Adjudicator: Richard Evans
Conductor: A. Lewis

History the 1960s Click Here - Early History Click Here