All Change!

Its been a while since an update and lots of things have happened!

Thornton Cleveleys Brass Band

Sadly we had to say goodbye to our Conductor Stephen Craig due to work. Stephen joined with the band in 2013 along with his Wife Katie, in his time with us he brought the band from 4th section to 3rd section, his winning ways saw us swell our trophy cabinet bringing much needed silver into the bandroom, something we hadn’t had for a long time. Stephen made good friends in the band and will always be welcomed back. Katie is still in the band as she splits her time between their two houses (ooooh Posh!).

We obviously needed a new conductor, David Houghton had been standing in for Stephen on occasion and when the opportunity came we were glad to not only offer the position to Dave, but that he accepted it. At the same time we were also able to offer Dave’s partner, Nichola Gates, the position of Principal cornet which she accepted. After the loss of Stephen and part of Katie, things were looking up.

Wedding bells were ringing for our Soprano player Beth in June last year as she married her fiance Ash.

Mr and Mrs Marston

Beth moved away with her husband Ash as his Band the Kings Division were posted to Yorkshire. Both play Soprano and Ash wants to go down the bandmaster path at some point….hmmm are we seeing a theme here?

Our first foray into the contest arena with Dave was the Blackburn and Darwen Hymn and March Contest.

As you can see we did OK, not only winning our section, but coming 8th overall, not bad considering we beat at least one band from every section including Championship

Finally a bit more up to date, last weekend saw us claim our first 3rd Section Championship at The Brass in the Wire Contest, Warrington. This is the replacement contest for Preston’s Brass at the Guild, since the closure of the Guild Hall.

Trophy haul from Brass in the Wire

Again as you can see we did alright, along with section Champions, we won Best Soloist (Nichola Gates), Best Trombone (Howard Midgley), Best Basses, Best Percussion, Best MD (David Houghton), Best Contest Secretary (Ian Holland).

So we are up to date, we have new members who you can see on the Players page, you can see and hear the band this Sunday online at Boarshurst Band Club

Hear the Band at Boarshurst Band Club or Online on FaceBook, search Boarsthurst Band

or if you can catch us at the area contest in Blackpool on Feb 23rd in the Empress Ballroom.

Hopefully the next update will be sooner than 2 years.

3rd Section contesting for the band

As a bright new year dawns, the players and conductor of the band are getting ready for 3rd section competition, and not to long to wait for our first foray, Brass at the Guild in Preston on 28th January 2018 will be our first outing.

Its been a number of years since the band competed at this level so we need to work hard

The Christmas break may have been a bit of a downtime for the band after a very busy December, but, that hasn’t stopped us from plenty of home practice, everyone is taking this opportunity very seriously and we all want to do well as we can. 

The next outing is not far behind with the North West Area contest in Blackpool on the 25th February, the band have had success topping the 4th section at Blackpool for the past two years and earning our place on the Cheltenham stage for the National finals.

Lets see what this year brings to our Bandroom…. Keep Watching

Its Official! Back again for a second year

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What a year its been!


OK so i have been a bit lazy with the band updates this past 12 months, (too busy practicing is my excuse) so i am going to give you a great big update on the bands success over the past 12 months

What a year its been for the band, we have achieved so much in 2016 its hard to believe, but we are still looking forward to bigger and better things in 2017!

Lets take a look back and see what we have been up to: –

January 2016 – Preston Brass at the Guild Contest – OK not the best result for us, a first run out for the Northwest area test piece, Phillias Fogg, found us in the lower half of the rankings, but, from adversity comes strength, Stephen Craig our conductor, used the remarks, the recordings and his own superb skill to hone the band ready for the next outing at the Northwest area’s in the Winter Gardens Blackpool. Lets hope we do better

February 2016 – Northwest Area Contest at Blackpool Winter Gardens. This saw the band put on a very strong performance and try to rid ourselves of any disappointment from earlier in the year, we certainly did that, we only went and won it, that saw Thornton Cleveleys Brass Band as Northwest Area Champions for the first time in the bands history – Cheltenham National Finals here we come!

The winning band at the North West Area Finals in Blackpool 2016









Much hard work fundraising and playing later we will be off to the National Finals in Cheltenham. This is the first time in the bands history they have been invited to compete at the National Finals, time to measure up against the best bands in our section from across the country.

 September 6th 2016 – Yesterday we were extremely saddened to hear that one of our member Keith Grills had passed away. Keith had been suffering ill-health for a little while and was missing his banding very much. He can now join the big brass band in the sky.
Keith had been a member of the band for around 10 years, but has always been a well known member of the local banding community. RIP Keith








September 2016 – Plenty of hard work summer 2016 raising the required funds (thank you to our fabulous supporters and sponsors) we reached the target required and headed off to Cheltenham racecourse for the big weekend. Many many hours were spent practicing together and individually to produce an excellent performance of Music for Kantara, this performance gained us a 4th place in the National Finals, 4th from 18 bands (the best in section bands from their Area’s) was a spectacularly good performance from a debut band, definitely a top notch performance.

Members of the Thornton Cleveleys Band at the National Finals 2016 – 4th Section 4th Place.











A busy season of winter concerts and Christmas caroling brought 2016 to and end, what a year its been for all involved.

January 2017 – Straight back in to the hardwork with Brass at the Guild in Preston at the end of the month, this year sees the band rehearsing St Andrew’s Variations, a piece popular with the band. Fast forward to the end of January and on a cold Sunday morning we all assemble in the practice room to have our pre-contest warm up, then drawn first in the order of play we have the dash to the Guild Hall to get ready for registration, whilst we wait to be called there is news the adjudicator is stuck on the motorway and is going to be late, can you imagine the nerves are jangling as you build yourself up to play to be told to stand down for 20 minutes. Once on the stage its the usual blur of concentration and the piece is over in what seems like seconds, all there is to do now is wait for the results.

Move on to later in the day when all the bands have played and we are listening to the adjudicators feedback, then the prizes are announced, 1st place for Thornton Cleveleys Brass Band, (clear winners the adjudicator says), not only that, we also won Best Basses, Best Euphonium and Winning MD (Sorry about the pic boss, its the only one of you on the day i could find!)


February 2017 – The big day is finally here, well nearly, after our success at Preston (did i mention it at all?) we have a lot to live upto, winners of the Brass at the Guild in January and returning area Champions, this year we are the band to beat as all the other area bands set their sights on us. Things are getting serious, lockdown rehearsals so no one can gets to hear our interpretation and no recordings or videos to go online without the bosses permission (exciting stuff!). The band meet up for their early Sunday morning rehearsal (joys of the fourth section) and wait on the outcome of the draw. 

Its in!, 4th band on, a good draw for us, get to play early and not let the nerves build waiting through the day, straight over to the Winter Gardens Blackpool and into registration, its all moving very smoothly.

Before we know we it we are sat on the stage of the Opera House waiting for the Adjudicators whistle, this is it, all the hard work and practice going into 10 minutes, and a good performance, no slips or splits, everyone happy with their efforts, now just to wait and see what the two adjudicators think.

A few hours later listening to the other bands and watching the predictions for 4barsrest and British Bandsman and it looks like were are near the top in the predictions, but you can never tell.

Results are in and WE WON! yes, another 1st place for the band, not only that our percussion section west Best Percussion and Stephen Craig won a well deserved Best Conductor. This also means we get invited back to the National Finals at Cheltenham in September.

This now means another round of fund raising for the band to get us to the National finals but we had plenty of fun last year doing so we are all looking forward to it this year, so keep your eyes peeled for the band this spring and summer when we will be running, swimming, cycling, Raffling, mystic meg (ing), walking, baking and even playing to raise money.

Please come along to support your local Brass Band and enjoy some fantastic music, see our Events page for more info of where we can be found.

Grand Prize Draw Social Evening

12804826_10153522283772887_5961183032391700827_nUpdate : – See the list of winners below

Thornton Cleveleys Band are holding a Grand Prize Draw and Charity Social on the 27th August 2016.

Raising funds for the band to attend the National Brass Band Finals in Cheltenham, September 2016

In February 2016 the band played its way to the top spot at Blackpool area contest earning themselves not only the title of North West Area Championscertificate but an invitation to play against all the other area champions from across the united kingdom, a truly remarkable achievement in the bands history.

These trips don’t come cheap though, the band needs to raise additional money to get to the £5000 target to enable them to go, so here’s your chance to help and have a great night as well.

The event is £5 per person, for that you get great entertainment, the grand prize draw, a DJ and you get a hotpot supper – What more could you ask for!

The event is being held at the Norcross Social club on Fleetwood Rd, Thornton-Cleveleys FY5 1RN from 7:30pm onwards. (In front of Tee-Time Golf driving range).

Due to unprecedented demand the pair of Ricky Hatton boxing gloves, one of which is signed by the man himself is now being auctioned, if you want to bid go to the band Facebook page and like the page (search thorntoncleveleysband ) and place your bid, final bids will be taken upto 21:00 on the 27/08/2016, get your hands in some world class memoribilia.

The Grand Prize Draw tickets are just £1 each and are available from any band member or if your local you can go to Bispham market in the village where Ian (in the pet store and sweet shop) will have some on sale, but hurry up as they are going fast. The prizes are –

1st Prize – £100

2nd Prize- House of Commons White Wine – Signed by David Cameron

There are lots of other prizes as well, including (not in any order): –

Free hair cut/blow dry from Susan D Hair Design
2 Boxes of Thorntons chocolates
2 Tubs of Haribo sweets
Ribby Hall beauty products
Silver pendant and earring set from Beaverbrooks
Meal for 4 at Norbreck Chippy
2 for 1 wristband from Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Meal for 2 at Burger & Bibs
Sweet hamper from Chewits
Sweet hamper from Goody Good Stuff
Stationary set
£15 meat voucher
£10 Tesco voucher
£12 Heinz voucher
Jersey Boys tickets at Viva
Cube giftcard
Andres hair voucher

“Night In” hamper

Round of Golf for 4 at North Shore Golf Club
£10 Madison’s voucher

New to list 

Bottle of Prosecco donated by The Counting House Talbot Square

A Sizzling Pubs voucher for £10

A Bottle of Rose wine

The band is a registered charity (No: 501608) and relies solely on donations, collections and musical events to pay its way, please dig deep and help the band to achieve its goal.

Thank you, have a great night and good luck!

Grand Raffle prize winners: –

No:, Prize Donated by, Ticket No:, Winner
1 £100 cash Thornton-Cleveleys Band 985 Ted Sykes
2 House of Commons Wine Signed by David Cameron 451 R Fitzpatrick
3 Silver Pendant & Earing set Beaverbrooks 719 Rebecca c/o M Marshall
4 Meal for 2 Burger & Bites 979 Ted Sykes
5 Chewits Sweet Hamper Goody good stuff 20 Elaine Midgley
6 Tesco Voucher Tesco 1087 Sue Shreeve
7 Where’s Wally Jigsaw Joy Watson 192 D.Clark
8 Rose Wine 19 Elaine Midgley
9 Box Thornton’s chocolates Hancocks sweets 56 Keith Grills
10 £12 Heinz Voucher A.Swann 137 Phil Sherlock
11 Hot stone Indian Massage by India Andres 759 Barclay Jones
12 Bottle Prosecco Counting House 1014 Roger Waring
13 £10 Sizzling pubs voucher Gardeners Arms 42 Christine Diver
14 Haribo sweets Hancocks sweets 172 J.Harvey
15 Tickets for Jersey Boys at Viva D and P Cummins 498 Barnett
16 £15 voucher Scottish Meat Market 249 Marjery
17 Rose wine 641 Beddows
18 Night in hamper Vicki Shreve 509 J.Lyne
19 Eliquid Drip drop vapours 741 S.Marshall
20 £10 voucher Madisons 1127 Jo Jenson
21 Bottle Prosecco Joy Watson 443 Graham Wilcocks
22 Note cards, recipe book Joy Watson ? ? But was handed out on night
23 Planter Barclay Jones 739 Marilyn Marshall
24 Cra-z-loon bracelet maker Y.Fuentes-Moreno 1313 CME Medical
25 Bottle Freixenet 1038 Andres hairdresser
26 Haricut/blowdry Susan D Hair designs 1163 Dave Shaw
27 Beauty products Ribby Hall 36 Karen Barlow
28 Round of golf for 4 North Shore golf club 129 Alison Jones
29 Bottle Rose C.Diver 715 Rebecca c/o M Marshall
30 Box Thornton’s chocolates Hancocks sweets 1307 Katie Craig
31 2 for 1 wristbands Pleasure Beach 133 Kathy Filer
32 Meal for 4 Norbreck Chippy 1052 Mr J Shreeve
33 Notebook set Joy Wsatson 1284 Barclay Jones
34 Haribo sweets Hancocks sweets 159 Rod Harvey
35 Beauty products Ribby Hall 455 Fitzpatrick
36 Stationery set Kingswood stationers 1255 Lee
37 Sweet hamper Goody good stuff 752 Colin Pinington
38 Bottle rose 971 Eric Bradley
39 Recipe book Joy Watson 1184 Dave Shaw
40 Planter Barclay Jones 1453 Sandra
41 Cube Voucher Cube 1004 Shirley Dawson
42 Meal for 2 Strawberry Gardens 1047 Adam

Well done everyone and thank you all for taking part


Winners – 4th Section Regional Champions 2016!


We’ve only gone and done it! Yes Sunday 28th Feb 2016 we played our way to victory at the Blackpool regional area contest,FB_IMG_1456924002547 earning ourselves an invite to the national finals in Cheltenham this September. This is a momentous victory for the band having never achieved a high enough position for an invite in recent years.

“Under the baton of King’s Division flugel player Stephen Craig, a performance rich in character and security in delivery made just the right impression with adjudicators Kevin Wadsworth and Steve Pritchard-Jones in the box – 4BR”

Image: LCpl Robinson Crown Copyright

Stephen Craig – Conductor Image: LCpl Robinson Crown Copyright

The band have gone from strength to strength in the past 7 months since the arrival of Stephen Craig at the helm, his musicality and interpretation of the test piece shone through in the band sound coupled with his ‘encouraging’ style of training and his steadfast determination not to accept anything other than the best, he has instilled a sense of pride in the players and their brass playing, a truly remarkable turn around in the few months he has been with us.


“However, it was Thornton Cleveleys that in the opinion of the judges brought the stylistic and technical differences together the best – from a Paris ‘Can-Can’ to Russian ‘snow waltz’ to capture the biggest prize in their 55 year history – 4br”

The success was followed by the ritual sipping of alcohol at a small celebration.

Well earned drinks all round for the winning band with Stephen Craig, Katie Craig, Ian Holland (Winning Secretary), Nicola Holland, Graham (the Roadie) Paula Pinington, Adam Taylor, Beth Cummins, Colin O’Sullivan, Joy Watson, Natalie Beddows (Camera shy), Paul Cooper, Kathy Redman and Vicki Shreeve

So the next few months we are going to be hard at it, rehearsing, performing and raising money for the trip to Cheltenham, estimated to be about £5000 we need all the help and support we can get, so, keep your eyes peeled as we will be posting our fundraising efforts on the website so you can see what your generous donations have amounted to.

The following write up on give more detail from the days performance: –

Fourth Section:

Thornton Cleveleys will perhaps have to have to find some of Phileas Fogg’s old travel maps after they won the Fourth Section title to claim their place at the National Finals for the first time since the band was reformed in 1962.

Right impression

Under the baton of King’s Division flugel player Stephen Craig, a performance rich in character and security in delivery made just the right impression with adjudicators Kevin Wadsworth and Steve Pritchard-Jones in the box.

Meanwhile, stamping their qualification passports for a second successive year will be Formby, as the defending champion ensured their Cheltenham return with a fine account of Fogg’s musical journal to claim the runner-up spot ahead of a spirited Stalybridge Old.

Just behind them came a host of well directed top six efforts from Tarleton Brass, Blackley and Sale Brass.

Every facet

Peter Graham’s set work proved a good test of musicality as well as contesting basics, as Kevin Wadsworth told the audience: “The piece tested every facet of the bands. Basics, dynamics, tuning and control were important, and the MD’s individuality and interpretation also figured.

The fanfares were fabulous and both Steve and I were impressed by prize winners playing in particular. There were encouraging performances from all bands.”


“We are delighted as well as totally surprised,” Thorntons’ spokesperson later old 4BR. “We’ve never qualified before and haven’t really come close in the past, but since Stephen came to the band last year everything has changed.

We are now much more positive, enthused and enjoying what we do. This is the pinnacle of our banding history – a real gear change. Now we have to start raising funds and looking at potential hotels. It’s a fantastic result for the band.”

Fine marker

Earlier, Stalybridge offered a fine marker off the number 1 draw for others to beat, with Formby upping the ante just after the halfway point (aided by some excellent ‘Best Percussion’ playing).

However, it was Thornton Cleveleys that in the opinion of the judges brought the stylistic and technical differences together the best – from a Paris ‘Can-Can’ to Russian ‘snow waltz’ to capture the biggest prize in their 55 year history – although not the £20,000 first prize that the intrepid explorer won for his 1873 efforts.

Friends of the Band

Thornton Cleveleys band launches its Friends scheme, you can get exclusive access and benefits like concerts and CD’s

For more information and an application form visit our Friends page

Thornton Cleveleys band appoints new conductor.

Thornton Cleveleys Band is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Stephen Craig as their new Conductor.

Stephen took up position tonight with a fantastic first rehearsal, thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The band and Stephen are looking forward to working toward exciting and successful concert and contest performances in the future.

More information about Stephen can be found on the Conductors page

New MD Applications are invited.

Applications for New MD

The Bands current MD Steve Simpson has now stepped down from the role of MD, the band are now taking applications for his replacement.

Steve has served the band since February 2007 as MD,  a dedicated member of the band guiding us through many concerts and contests over the past 8 years.

The Committee and the band wish Steve all the very best for the future.

Thornton Cleveleys Band are welcoming applications for the position of musical director. We are a North West 4th section band that pride themselves on concert performances. We also enter some local contests including the north west areas. We are based just outside Blackpool within reach of the m6/m55. We rehearse Monday and Thursdays 7.30-9.30pm. For more information visit our website
Applications should be sent to our Secretary, Nicola Holland on or 07749118284.

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Holland

The Big Day is here!, the Wedding of Ian and Nicola took place at the Garstang Golf  Club on the 2nd August 2014. To be honest it was a bit of a surprise to us all as not much had been mentioned about it before hand (wink wink) but Ian Holland (our EEb Bass player) and Nicola Swann (our Solo Horn player) tied the knot to the sound of brass band music played by our very own Thornton Cleveleys Band

Ian and Nicola Holland

Ian and Nicola Holland enjoy the first minutes of married life

The Band played a selection of personal choice music that both Ian and Nicola selected to entertain the guests whilst they awaited the arrival of the Groom and his Bride to be, as the ceremony grew closer, Ian and his best man made their entrance , looking very smart in their grey  morning suits, cream waistcoats and matching neck ties they awaited the entrance of Nicola and her dad Andy Swann (Cornet 2nd man down), at 12:59 am the doors closed and the band struck up, at 1:00pm the doors opened to reveal Nicola looking beautiful and elegant in her dress, proudly escorted down the aisle by her Dad Andrew, the smiles on the wedding party and guests were clear to see, and quite a few tears of joy. Normally an expert in delivering Solo performances Nicola managed to fluff her lines much to the amusement of Ian and guests, but that didn’t matter, everything else went perfectly.

Ian and Nicola Signing the Register

Woah steady on, your hand writing will be all wobbly Signing the register Mr Holland

The band played again during the signing of the register and the departure of the newly married Mr and Mrs Holland followed by the guests. Photos inside and outside the venue followed by the wedding breakfast.

Ian and Nicola's Wedding Party

Happy couple with Best Man, Groomsmen, Paige Boy Alfie, Bridesmaids and Flower Girls Daniella and Sophia

The celebrations continued into the night with the Happy couple and guests dancing the night away to yes you guessed it……… A disco!(not the Brass Band there is a limit you know).

All of us at the band wish you both a long and happy life together, Well done Ian and Nicola Holland.

More photos to follow but these ones were borrowed from Sophia Midgley off Nicola’s Facebook page.