Colliery band is still in tune after 100 years

Easington Colliery Brass Band held its centenary concert next to Tommy in Seaham.
Easington Colliery Brass Band held its centenary concert next to Tommy in Seaham.
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A leading brass band proved it is still on song after 100 years.

Easington Colliery Band staged a free concert in East Durham to celebrate its centenary.

Scores of people enjoted the musical extravaganza on The Terrace Green in Seaham.

Scores of people enjoted the musical extravaganza on The Terrace Green in Seaham.

Scores of people gathered next to Tommy, on The Terrace Green in Seaham, to enjoy the afternoon musical extravaganza.

Peter Lawson, secretary of the band, said he was delighted with the support from the public.

He said: “The concert went really, really well and we were very pleased with the turnout.

“It was a very blustery day, especially being on the sea front, but we managed fine. It would be lovely to play there a few times throughout the summer.”

The concert went really, really well and we were very pleased with the turnout.

Peter Lawson

Easington Colliery Band was founded in 1915 and has enjoyed a great reputation as a premier band, both regionally and nationally, playing at a championship level.

Originally miners with band experience were encouraged by the colliery management to come from the west of Durham to work at the pit and play in the band.

The band was supported financially and run by the joint board of unions, until the start of the Second World War.

It played for community activities, such as dances, concerts, and competitions, amalgamated with the public band in 1956 and 1993 witnessed the end of an era when Easington Colliery finally closed.

Easington Colliery Brass Band has been plying its trade for 100 years.

Easington Colliery Brass Band has been plying its trade for 100 years.

The band is now totally self-supporting and relies on the work put in by the band members at concerts throughout the year to raise the funds to keep the band alive.

Peter said the band has been going through a period of change and is busy building its membership back up, but one of the problems is not having the younger generation of players coming through.

He said: “I would hate to see brass bands dying out. It is getting more difficult to get younger people, they don’t seem to teach brass instruments in school anymore.”

However, Easington Colliery Band is in the process of setting up a youth academy and hopefully be able to secure funding for music tutors.

Easington Colliery Brass Band held a free concert to celebrate its centenary.

Easington Colliery Brass Band held a free concert to celebrate its centenary.

Although members of the band live across the region, it still rehearses in Easington Colliery in the former colliery pay office opposite the Memorial Gardens, which is on the site of the old mine, on a Wednesday night at 7.30pm.

Anyone interested in joining the band, or supporting it in any way, can contact Peter Lawson on 07881 817 778 or visit the website at www.easingtoncollieryband.com.

Easington Colliery Brass Band is in the process of setting up a youth academy.

Easington Colliery Brass Band is in the process of setting up a youth academy.