Frickley South Elmsall was formed in 1969 as the learner band to Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band. Under the guidance of Robert Oughton, the aim was to train and supply players for the Championship band. Having obtained an old set of instruments through the CISWO organisation for miners, the first competition was entered in 1970 and 3rd prize obtained. Soon the band had registered in the 4th section of The National Brass Band Registry and entered competitions run under national rules.

With the involvement of parents and helpers the band became independent in 1976 and gained income by giving concerts at local venues such as Galas, Working Men’s Clubs and Parks along with fund raising raffles, coffee mornings and sponsored events.

The band gave free concerts for local charities and entertained the elderly, especially at Christmas. In 1980 it was granted a small levy paid by the NUM members of Frickley South Elmsall Colliery and this continued until the closure of the colliery in 1993.

With the closure of the colliery in 1993 a depression set in on the village. Community spirit was lost and people had no desire to try things other than work, thus very few took up the challenge of learning to play an instrument.

After a television programme in 1994 dealing with how mining communities were coping, and 21 appearances of the band on television in one year, including a trip to Germany, sponsorship from the local firm of Standard Fireworks was obtained, but after two years the recession in firework manufacture caused the closure of the factories and the end to the deal.

With the need to renew the now very old instruments a successful application was made to the Foundation of Sports and Arts (organised by the Pools Promoters Association) allowing five new instruments to be bought. A year later another successful grant from the Arts Council of England (Lottery) and the local EEC Re-generation Grant, enabled the rest of the instruments to be renewed.

Frickley South Elmsall is still running to this day, but recently has taken the decision to not compete and follow a path of community entertainment.


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