Isle of Man Brass Band Festival 1987-1996


The Isle of Man Brass Band ran from 1987 to 1996 and took place around the Spring Bank Holiday weekend except for itís last year when it was held over Easter weekend. The Festival had 3 competitions, - Class B which took place on the Saturday afternoon and Class A which took place on the Sunday afternoon were 25 minute own choice entertainment competitions and a marching contest which took place on the Saturday night. Class A was for 1st & 2nd section bands and Class B for 3rd & 4th section and Youth bands whilst the marching contest was open to bands from all sections. From 1993 Class A included championship section bands.

With the exception of 1988 the entertainment contests took place in the Villa Marina Royal Hall. In 1988 it was held at the Gaiety Theatre. The marching competition took place on Douglas Promenade from 1987 - 1995 and for itís last year attracted sponsorship from Isle of Man Breweries and was held on the North Quay, Douglas.

The Festival was run by a committee which consisted of Officers from the Manx National Youth Band and the Department of Tourism. John Howarth was Contest Controller during the 10 years the Festival ran whilst there were 2 Assistant Controllers during that time. Don Redfern from 1987 - 1990, following his sad passing Peter Bates took over from 1991 - 1996. Members of the Manx Youth Band stewarded during the 10 years. The late Harry Mortimer, CBE was the first Patron of the Festival until his untimely death in 1992. In 1993 Norman Wisdom kindly agreed to be Patron.

Prize money for the Festival was one of the highest offered for any contest in Britain starting off with a total prize fund of £4,600 in 1987 rising to over £6,000 by 1995. Uniquely it was the only contest which offered the winners of both classes A & B the same amount. As well as cash prizes for the first 3 in each class, there were also prizes for the highest placed lower section bands in each class, not in the first 3 and the bands gaining highest entertainment and highest deportment mark in each class. Glass trophies were also given to the prize winners, similar to those now given to the first 6 bands in each section at the North West Regional Championships.

Other prizes in the A & B classes varied over the years. The first year the best soloist in each class won a weekís holiday for 2 in the Isle of Man, these were then changed to music vouchers from 1988. Other prizes included The Harry Mortimer Trophy for best cornet player in either class (1990), The Jean Howarth Memorial Trophy for the best trombone section in class B (1990), Isle of Man Brass Band Festival Trophy for the best percussion section in either class (1990), Don Redfern Memorial Trophy for best bass section in class B (1992).

In the marching contest there were cash prizes for the bands gaining the highest marks for music and deportment with the Joe Cook Memorial Trophy being awarded to the best drum major from 1992.

In April 1997 due to the lack of entries for that year's Festival it was decided that it should be cancelled,so 1996 was the last year it was ever held.

Below is a list of all the bands that took part in the Festival during its 10 year history:

A & B BRASS (PEMBERTON OLD) 1987
CHESHIRE CONSTABULARY 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
EAGLEY 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996
GREENALLíS 1987, 1988, 1992, 1995
IND COOPE BURTON BREWERY BRASS 1987
55TH OLD BOYS (BELFAST) 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991
ROTHWELL TEMPERANCE 1987, 1988
STRANDTOWN SILVER 1987
UNITED CO-OP (CREWE) 1987
WANTAGE SILVER 1987, 1989
YORKSHIRE EVENING POST 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990
BESSES BOYS 1987, 1989
BOLTON YOUTH 1987, 1989
BLETCHLEY 1987
CHAPEL-EN-LE-FRITH 1987, 1988, 1989
DOUGLAS TOWN 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
RAMSEY TOWN 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
WARBURTONS (BOLTON) 1987, 1989
ALVA TOWN 1988
LAGANVALE 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993
LAPORTE BRASS 1988
NEWHALL 1988
TULLIS RUSSELL MILLS 1988
BALLYDUFF SILVER 1988
CELYNEN COLLIERIES INSTITUTE 1988
VOLEX GOLBOURNE 1988, 1989, 1990
ALVINS (WALKDEN) 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992
FAIRFIELD (BUXTON) 1989
LYCEUM BRASS 1989, 1990, 1991
DRIGHLINGTON 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995
LONGRIDGE 1989, 1994
MARPLE 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996
MURLEY SILVER 1989, 1990
PRIEST LINDLEY 1989, 1994
BRITISH STEEL STAINLESS DODWORTH 1990, 1991
VERNON BUILDING SOCIETY POYNTON 1990, 1993, 1994
BLIDWORTH WELFARE 1990
DURHAM CONSTABULARY 1991
HADE EDGE 1991
ROSSINGTON COLLIERY 1991
ONCHAN SILVER 1992, 1993, 1994
YORKLEY ONWARD 1992
JAYESS (QUEENSBURY) 1993
TRAFFORD 1993, 1995
OLD HALL BRASS 1993, 1994, 1996
TADLEY CONCERT BRASS 1993
BRITISH STEEL (TEESIDE) 1994, 1995, 1996
WEST YORKSHIRE MOTORS 1994
LLAY WELFARE 1995
MARSDEN SILVER PRIZE 1995