According to the Brighouse Echo of September 1938 the band was formed in 1838 as the Clifton Silver Prize Band. Celebrating a 100 birthday that year. I have tried to find evidence from local newspapers about this date without success.
The nearest I can find is a report of a brass band concert held in the Oddfellows hall in Bailiff Bridge in 1873. Maybe this was the Clifton Band or had Bailiff Bridge its own band? For those of you who may not know where the Oddfellows hall was. It was in a row of terrace houses opposite the 6 story mill on Bradford Road opposite Ebenezer Methodist Chapel.
The nearest I can find is a report in the Brighouse News dated Dec 11 1880. This tells of a general meeting of the band held at the Black Bull in Clifton on Tuesday Dec 7 1880. “ Mr H Farrar presided. The chairman expressed the pleasure it gave him to be present, and he complimented the band upon its prosperous condition and the numerous engagements it had had during the past year. It had now been in existence three years, and numbered 24 members”. So 1877 seems the most likely date for the beginning of the band. If anyone has any further evidence please get in touch with me.
The following people were elected onto the committee. President Mr H.Farrar, Treasurer Mr B Stocks, Secretary Mr F.Hirst, Assistant Secretary Mr J.B.Brinkley. Committee, Messers H.Brealey, F.Rayner, J.Roberts, L.Womersley and A.Bottomley.
Mr Fairburn Rayner was elected as the conductor and remained until 1902. So he was the conductor for at least 22 years. The finances make interesting reading for that year. A total income of £30.11sh .2½p. After all payments the band had a surplus of £9.0sh.4 ½ p.
It wasn’t until 1882 that a declaration of trust was set up. The first trustees were Sir George John Armytage Bart. of Clifton, Esquire. John Medley Wood of Clifton, Wire Manufacturer and Charles Ramsden also of Clifton, Leather Merchant.
At this time the band owned the following instruments:- 2 Soprano Cornets in Eb, 7 cornets in Bb, 2 Tenor Troms in Bb, 1 Bass Trom, 1 Baritone in Bb, 1 Euphonium in Bb, 1 Flugel Horn in Bb, 3 Tenor Sax’s in Eb, 1 Bombardon in Bb, 3 Bombardon’s in Eb. 1 Bass Drum with cymbal, bell and sticks, 1 side drum with shoulder strap and sticks. Therefore it was quite well off for instruments at that time.
In May of 1883 the band paraded around Brighouse to show off their new uniforms, which had been made by a Mr Smith of Clifton Road. They were of military fashion with white ornamental facings, belts, pouches, and shell caps. On Whit Monday of that year they were photographed by a Mr Martin Manley of Church Street, Brighouse as they led the procession of witness around the town.