History of Amington Band

Amington Band has a rich history and the last few years have been quite exciting for us, but how did we get here?  Let's start at the very beginning.

In late 1917, the Amington Band was formed by eight keen Bandsmen and one committed Band Master; Roland Davis. Before Amington Band as we know it now, there was a Band in Amington albeit in conjunction with other local villages. However, word soon spread and young players joined the new Band.

In 1918 the newly formed Amington Band entered its first contest in Moira, North West Leicestershire. This contest developed an ethos of 'improvement through performance', and that still remains at the heart of Amington Band to this very day.  The Band worked hard to put on concerts in the local area and started entering more competitions. The Band’s first podium finish came in 1919 with a well-deserved third place at a contest in Bolehall, Tamworth.

By 1920 the Band had new instruments and a professional conductor: William Pollard. The Band started to win more contests including the Junior Cup (3rd Section) in 1921 and the Grand Shield (2nd Section) in 1923. This resulted in the Band being promoted to the Championship Section. During this time, the Bandroom at Sharpe Street was built and Amington Band had a permanent home.  We still use the same Bandroom today!

The band continued to succeed through the 1930s and 40s. Prize wins at the British Open in Manchester, regular performances at the BBC and various recordings were particular highlights. During the Second World War, the Band continued to perform and following the end of the War, the Band toured Southern England.

During the 1950s, Amington Band welcomed its first female players and in the 60s Bernard Springett was appointed as Musical Director. He worked hard to secure the Band’s contesting success. Under his direction, the band achieved second place in the final of WD & HO Wills European Brass Band Championships of 1973 and even appeared in the film ‘Privilege’ (released in 1967).  Sadly, during this time, the coal mines started closing and with players worries and attentions diverting to their jobs, the Band were unable to maintain their Championship Section status. 

In 1984 Allan Morris took the reins as Musical Director and between 1985 and 1988, he took the band from the 4th section right back up to the Championship Section, appearing at the National Finals in 1985.  By 1989 the Band was in its element and had attracted sponsorship from Tamworth based firm 'Triman', and released a recording -'Brass Meets Plastic'.  The band appeared at the National finals two more times after this; once in 1992 and again in 1993.

Throughout the 90s the Band dwindled but in 1999 Wesley Kendrick was appointed as Musical Director.  In his 15 years conducting the band, Wesley steered the band from the 4th Section to the 2nd Section – picking up a hat trick of National Finals appearances from 2006-2008.  During his time at Amington, the Band also appeared in a performance of ‘Brassed Off’ at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre in 2010, and performed at Tamworth Castle Grounds as  the Olympic Torch passed through Tamworth in 2012.

In early 2014 the Band appointed Kevin 'Sid' Steward as Musical Director.  He helped the Band gain a respectable 7th place at the Midlands Areas in the following March.  This secured the Band’s place in the Second Section for another year.  In June 2014 however, Kevin announced his intention to leave the UK for Singapore, where he now works full time. Meanwhile the band started the search for a new Musical Director and successfully appointed Bob Stradling, who took up the Amington baton in December 2014. Bob worked the band hard, to be able to take part in the 2015 Area Contest but Bob moved on soon after.

After another difficult search for a conductor, Malcolm Read took the reigns in April 2015, just a month before the Wood Farm Brewery Entertainment Contest.  We were all very pleased to achieve fourth place in our section, which brings us back to today! The Band has an exciting future with a busy concert and contest programme – and a continuing desire to play a part at the heart of the Tamworth community.