Cadishead Band Circa 1930.


Cadishead Public Band was formed in 1877 under the title of Cadishead Brass Band and during its long history has taken on various titles to reflect in most cases where it was using for rehearsal premises. One major change was when, around 1890, it became the Cadishead Congregational Brass Band during the period it rehearsed at Cadishead Congregational Church. The Band reverted to Cadishead Brass Band in 1895 when it moved to the Old Smithy at the corner of what is now Cadishead Park 

In 1882 the Irlam Agricultural and Horticultural Society held a show on September 15th. A large marquee was erected on the school field. Many people came to the show. Music was provided by Cadishead Brass Band under the leadership of Mr. Dewhurst. On 7th September, 1885, the 5th Annual Show of the Cadishead Cottage Gardeners' Society was held in a field near the Railway Hotel in Cadishead. In spite of dreadful weather, the show excelled all previous shows. The Cadishead Band played selections of music during the afternoon, and for dancing, in the evening. 

Various premises were used for rehearsals including the Congregational Church, St Mary's Schoolroom and the Wesleyan Schoolroom. Around 1911, the former Smithy, as what is now the entrance to Cadishead Park, was used for rehearsal purposes and this was used when William Henry Fairhurst was the conductor, and it was only later that the Band moved to the premises in Moss Lane, at the rear of the Plough Inn. Sadly, these have long since been demolished to make way for a car park. There is a short piece of music in the library called "Moss Lane" specially written for the Band. There is also one called "Cadishead".

In the late 1960's, the Band moved to the former Fire Station in Clarendon Road which they shared with several other groups including a Playgroup, Judo and Karate Clubs. The Band has specified use of the main room, and one office for storage on a Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday morning. The building was made available to the Band by the former Irlam U.D.C. and no charges were made by the Council.

Gradually, the other groups left the former Fire Station and in 1984, the Band purchased the building from the former Greater Manchester County Council, who had taken over responsibility for the building when local government re-organisation took place in 1974. This gave the Band, for the first time in its history, a permanent place of its own. Over the years, the Band has spent a great deal of time and money in the upkeep and restoration of the building which is now known as "Talbot Hall". It was named in memory of Eddie Talbot who for many years was the longest serving member of the Band.

The Band has enjoyed a varied history and highlights must include in the late 1920's and early 1930's, when the Band competed with championship section bands at the various Belle Vue Contests. In fact, in 1930, they won the May Contest playing against the likes of Black Dyke Mills Band etc. The test piece that they had to play was, 'A Moorside Suite' by Gustav Holst. 

In the 1920's, the then Groves and Whitnall Brewery donated a silver trophy to be competed for at a Brass Band Contest to be held in Cadishead each year and the Band still has this trophy in its possession, although the contest has long since gone. In those days, the contest would take place in the afternoon and the Band gave a concert in the evening. It is hard to imagine such a thing happening today.

Today's Band is very much a concert and marching Band, with the occasional Beer & Brass engagement or Dance Night. Until the Bands recent renaissance as a contesting Band the previous contest placing was a second in the Manchester District Championships in 1983. The Band also enjoyed success with wins in the City of Salford Legion Entertainment Contest and the Kirkholt Entertainment Contest in 1981.

The future for the Band looks rosy with many registered playing members in the Main Band and a number within the "B" Band or learning.  The Band has always prided itself on being able to recruit from the locality and in some cases; children have followed their parents into the Band. It is a family orientated band and many social gatherings are attended by the members. Until recently there was an annual summer BBQ for all the members, family and friends, the profit from the BBQ being used to purchase new instruments or contribute to the cost of Band Tours abroad.

The policy of the Band has always been to try to provide the best possible instruments, uniforms and tuition to all its members free of charge. There are only a few members who own their own instruments. The Band has provided the rest and insures them for Band use.

The Band’s motto is "Consistency and Progress" and in these days of increasing demands on a person's time, it is a testament to the motto that the Band has been able to continue its work within the Irlam and Cadishead locality, and to still attract young people into learning to play a brass band instrument.

Conductors of Cadishead Band

Like most Brass Bands, Cadishead has had its share of different conductors over its 125 year history.

The previous incumbent is Roy Hesford, who had been with the Band continuously since 1974. He is probably the longest serving conductor the Band has had, but records do not go back far enough to prove this point. Roy comes from a brass band orientated family. He was a trombone player in the Irlam Public Band and his Uncle, Rueben Hesford, was the conductor. Roy also did a large amount of orchestral trombone work in theatre orchestras.

He came to the Band in 1974 and said he would give it a try for a year and then let the Committee know. They are still waiting for his decision so it must be one of the longest trials on record. He was presented with a gift in 2009 to mark his 35 years with the Band and he has received the NWABBA Diploma of Honour for over 60 years service in Brass Banding. Roy retired at the Christmas Concert in 2011.

Before Roy came to the Band, the conductor was Fred Houghton, known to us all as "Sandy." He was a tenor horn player with the Band many years ago and made his mark with the band as a conductor. He held the position for most of the 1950's and 1960's and resigned in 1966. He came back to the post for a short period in the early 1970's. He was responsible for the music content of the programme and kept a tight rein on rehearsals. Work commitments and ill health made Sandy give up the job in 1974. His son Fred (Jnr) was also a tenor horn player and after leaving the Cadishead, he played with several other bands in the North West area.

Paul Crashley, a local organist and former trombone player, took the Band for a period after Fred Houghton resigned, and to complete the period from 1968 to 1971, Paul was followed by Wilf Walker and James Lovatt.

Going back in time, there may still be some people in the district who remember William Henry Fairhurst who conducted the Band and Jimmy Adair who was the Chairman. Mr. Adair used to walk in front of the band on March engagements and always wore his long overcoat and a bowler hat and had a distinctive moustache. There is in the Bandroom a silver and ebony baton which was presented to William Henry Fairhurst in 1924 for his service to the Band. Compared with today's batons, this one is a heavyweight.

In 1919, Mr. Fairhurst took the Band to a contest at Haydock and the Band came second and the Band's Euphonium player, Charles Hampson, was awarded the Euphonium Medal. It is recorded that the public were so delighted with the Band's performance that they held a collection and gave the proceeds to the Band.

For later contesting, the band would engage a professional conductor and in some cases the same person would take several bands at the same contest. Back in 1927 when the Band competed at the 75th Annual Belle Vue Contest they had Mr. Joe Jennings to conduct. He also had two other bands at the same contest. Whether he won with any of them is not known.

In 1932, the death of Mr. Wrigley was announced and it is reported he was the conductor of Cadishead Public Prize Band with whom he had been associated for over 26 years.

Mr. Jennings also took them at the 82nd Belle Vue Contest in 1934 competing against the likes of Black Dyke Mills Band, Besses O'Th'Barn, Brighouse & Rastrick, Munn & Feltons and Wingates. In the programme, it lists the Cadishead Public Band's wins at the various Belle Vue Contests as follows:

1st Prize Belle Vue July Contest 1930

2nd Prize Belle Vue July Contest 1934 (Class A)

Prize Winners Belle Vue July Contest 1927, 1928, 1931, 1932,1933.


The Programme also lists the player of the day and Mr. J. Ellison was the Bandmaster.

From a press report, it would appear that in 1883, the band was conducted by a Mr. Dewhurst, although how long he remained as Conductor has not been established.  

Long Serving Members of the Band


Cadishead Public Band must in this day and age, be one of the few bands who can claim to have very long serving members and what is even more to the point is that their service has all been with the one band.  

All these people have received 25 year awards and NWABBA Certificates of Service to mark their 25 years in banding. 

The current longest serving member is Harry Hudson who joined the Band in September 1959, so has over 50 year’s service. He started on cornet, then tenor horn and moved to baritone, an instrument he particularly loved, but he has been for some years, the band's Solo Euphonium. Harry is a bricklayer by trade and has his own business. He lists his likes as Curry, Lager, Brass Band music, murder & thriller films, any programme on Golf, but does not have a favorite composer. He dislikes anyone late for band engagements and he hopes to be a lottery winner one day. In the past, he toured Europe with the North West Youth Band, but he admits this was a long time ago. 

John Blay joined in May 1961 as a youngster and was told by the then tutor that he would never make it as a brass player. John proved the tutor wrong and despite being asked to leave at one time (for a short period only) he was until recently  the mainstay of the Bass section having been on Bb Bass from the age of 15. John is a retired Fire-fighter by profession and lists his likes as Curry, Whiskey and almost all kinds of music. He dislikes people being late. John currently plays Baritone and enjoys playing a part in the Band Christmas Show.

Next in line is Tony Sanderson. He is the former Band Chairman having previous been the longest servicing Vice-Chairman of the Band. Tony joined at age 7 and has been the flugel horn player with the band for most of his playing career. Tony was until recently a Post Man living and working in North Wales. He lists his likes as Boddingtons Bitter or a Single Malt, anything made with chicken or pork, most music except Jazz, Darrell Barry is his choice for composer, and Sean Connery and Sandra Bullock figure as his film actors. Tony also enjoys watching Jeremy Clarkson and his holiday destination is Menorca. He dislikes any form of bad manners and lack of respect for others. He hopes to continue to help his great family and friends in the future and says this is one of his biggest achievements to date.

Ken Whitworth is another longer serving member. He played cornet in his early days, back in the 1960's and until recently was 2nd Baritone. He is the Chairman of the Band, taking over from Tony. Ken had a break in service when he went to work in Canada but as soon as he came back and settled in the area, it was back to the band for him.

Jim Houghton joined the Band in 1967 on cornet and until recently was the Band's Solo Horn Player. He is also the former Band Treasurer, taking over the post from his father, also called Jim.

John Roach joined in 1969 on cornet and along with his sister Diane, who played tenor horn; he had lessons from Oliver Howarth. John became the band's principal cornet player some years ago when Colin Perkin left the Band. He has been with the Band over 40 years.

Peter Bates, currently Band President and Compare,  joined the Band in 1973 as Secretary, a position he held for 33 years.  He took a one year break in 1983 returning at the following AGM.  He was Building General Manager from 1983 to 1990.  Although not a player originally. he could read bass clef and was asked to try Bass Trombone.  He had lessons from Oliver Howarth on the "G" Trombone and then from the late Bob Surgenor when he changed to Bb&F Bass Trombone.  He started playing in the Band in 1974 but gave up full time played in 1987.   Peter retired as Secretary in 2007 and was made a Life Member.  He is still actively involved with the band as Compere.   For many years he has been closely involved with banding in the North West being Chairman of the NWABBA for many years and also Secretary of the NW Regional Championships in Blackpool for 12 years, stepping down in 2011 but remaining a Committee member.   Apart from compereing for the Band, two other highlights of the year for Peter are acting as Compere at the Finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain at Cheltenham in September and at the Royal Albert Hall, London in October.   He still enjoyed annual trips to the USA to see his family and also twice yearly visits to see friends in Benidorm, where he enjoys sun, sea, sand and a few drinks.

David Dee joined in 1981 on Eb Bass and he is still there today. He is the Vice-Chairman  the Band and also Building General Manager, a role he took over in 1990 from Peter Bates. David was later joined in the Band by his brother Gerard on Baritone and his sister Tricia on cornet. Sadly, Ged left the Band due to work commitments. David runs is own handyman business and his likes are a hearty breakfast, Boddingtons Bitter, any music with a good beat, the works of Darrol Barry, the Great Escape and Steve McQueen, and the TV programme Morse with John Thaw. His favourite actress is Sharon Stone and he enjoys holidays in Cornwall/Devon. He dislikes people not turning up for engagements. His future ambition is to win a prize at the Royal Albert Hall.

Des Finch came to the Band from Irlam Band in 1981, one of the very few to join from any other local band. He joined on Bass and is still there. He is now the treasurer of the Band. A software developer by trade, He enjoys holidays in the USA. He lists being a father to three girls as his biggest achievement to date.

Tricia Wright is the Band Secretary and former 2nd Cornet player.

Linda Crompton joined the Band from Eccles Borough and is currently the Soprano Cornet player. She started playing in 1965, her time in the Band movement includes playing with Christchurch Band and Eccles Borough before joining Cadishead in July 1987. Linda has been both Contest Secretary and Band Secretary in the past.

Cadishead Public Band Music Stand Banner 

The music stand banners are decorated with the Irlam and Cadishead Arms. The Arms are made up of three elements: the Shield, the Crest and the Motto. The SHIELD expresses the mediaeval history of the Manor of Barton insofar as it concerns the townships of Irlam and Cadishead. The Lion is that of the de Hultons of Hulton and Farnworth, who held from a branch of the Bartons in the 14th century. He holds a flail from the crest of de Traffords who held the manor in the 16th century. The flail also refers to the local agriculture. The blue intended chief is that of the Lathoms, the principal family of Irlam in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The boars’ heads are from the arms of the Bartons and their connexions the Booths, who held both Irlam and Cadishead from the 13th century. The mitre is for Stanlaw Abbey which held Cadishead from Edith de Barton from the 13th century to the Dissolution.The CREST symbolises the more recent history. The crown of roses on a steel rim with flames issuing is for the local industries, particularly the Lancashire Steel Corporation, the eagle is the crest of the 19th century Greaves family, and the "fountain" on its breast is for the rivers Mersey and Irwell and the Ship Canal. The MOTTO "Ingenio et Consilio" means “By skill and wisdom" or "By good character and counsel" and has the initials I.C. for Irlam and Cadishead. The Cadishead Public Band music stand banners were commissioned by the Band’s Supporters Group for the 2011 Concert Tour of France.