Musical memories of the Highlanders, Emeralds and Black and Whites

The West View Highlanders.
The West View Highlanders.

The jazz band scene is alive and kicking in Hartlepool.

And to prove it, we have had a great response in the last week to old photographs that we published.

I now run Hartlepool Ambassador Jazz band aAlong with my son who is member and also trains the band. We formed in 2008 in memory of my mam. We have achieved a lot over the years, being the world champions in Division 2 twice in 2010 and 2015

Veronica Collins

The Union Jacks jazz band brought back memories for lots of you and especially for Veronica Collins.

She said her mum Vera Smith was one of the driving forces on the Hartlepool jazz band scene and added: “My mam started out running West View and Headland jazz band to which I was a member.

“Vera Smith was her name she took a year or so out of bands before forming the Harltepool Union Jacks along with Mary Mincher, Brenda Connor and my dad Clifford Smith.”

Vera passed away ten years ago and Veronica has fllowed in her mum’s footsteps.

She explained: “I now run Hartlepool Ambassador Jazz band aAlong with my son who is member and also trains the band. We formed in 2008 in memory of my mam.

“We have achieved a lot over the years, being the world champions in Division 2 twice in 2010 and 2015.”

Veronica added: “We have now gone into Division 1 and are ready to enter another world championship competition in Wales in august this year.”

Veronica also sent us an old photograph of the West View Highlanders and we are hoping people recognise themselves in the shot.

If so, get in touch and tell us more about those great days.

In the meantime, we would also like to reminisce on the East Durham jazz band scene.

How about these scenes from 1973? Were you a member of the Shotton Black and Whites Jazz band. The photograph shows them on the march at their annual carnival and what an occasion it was.

More than 1,000 children took part and all in resplendent uniforms.

The bands that competed that day included the Lindisfarne Highlanders, the Dentonians, the South Shields Beachcombers, Hebburn Crusaders and the Chester-le-Street Cestrians.

On the same weekend, the Horden Melody Makers were performing at the Peterlee Carnival.

And the Hartlepool Mail at the time also gave notice of the forthcoming Seaton Carew Jazz Band Carnival.

Six bands were due to compete for three trophies and 24 medals and there were also plans for a parade along the front to the park where a display and judging was proposed.

It was the third Seaton jazz band carnival to be held and we would love to know whether you were a part of it - and how you did.

Also in our archives, we have managed to find photographs of the Peterlee Emeralds, the Blackhall Sovereignaires, and the Hartlepool Coronets.

Were you a member of any of those and what were your favourite memories of being part of the jazz band scene?

We would love to know more.

Send us your photographs and let’s relive those good old days.