Edinburgh Brass Band Confirmed

Edinburgh Brass Band Confirmed

Thursday, 15 August, 2013

Edinburgh Brass Band confirmed

The Dalkeith and Monktonhall Colliery Brass Band have been confimed as the on stage brass band for the Edinburgh performances of Brassed Off.


The Dalkeith and Monktonhall Colliery Brass Band have been confimed as the on stage brass band for the Edinburgh performances of Brassed Off. Here they tell us a bit more about the band's history and their excitement at being part of the Brassed Off experience.

Dalkeith and Monktonhall Colliery Brass Band is an amalgamation of the Dalkeith Burgh and Monktonhall Colliery Brass Bands.The Dalkeith Burgh Band was originally called the Westfield Brass Band. It was in existence in 1892 when it led a procession to welcome a visit to Dalkeith from William Gladstone. After many years as a civic/trades band came a sponsorship and affiliation with the Bilston Glen Colliery which was situated in Loanhead.

The Monktonhall Band was originally formed in 1918 and registered as Prestonlinks Colliery Silver Band until the closure of that colliery in the very early 60s. After a brief period as Prestonpans and District Silver Band, sponsorship from the new giant ‘super pit’ at Monktonhall, near Musselburgh, was gained.

The demise of the coal industry after the strike in the 1980s saw the bands losing money until they were on the verge of extinction. With a handful of players in each of the two bands and few options, it was realised that amalgamation was a means of survival. Since that amalgamation in 1989 the new band, although with no financial sponsor but a lot of hard work, has become one of Scotland's leading amateur music groups.

With both pits flattened Bilston is now an industrial estate and Monktonhall woodland. The band plays on and represents Scotland and the area at UK and regional contests and supports the immediate communities through a series of concerts and community events.

The band supports good causes and some members of the band climbed Ben Nevis with their instruments in September 2006, playing on the summit and helping to raise £2,000 for the local St Columba's Hospice. We have been friends of the Sick Kids (The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh) for many years now and continue to support their ‘Carols for Christmas’ every year.

The bands’ players are looking forward to the Brassed Off challenge and everyone is excited about appearing live in the stage play, trying to work out the way that the band will fit into the play, having only ever seen the famous film featuring Grimley Colliery Band.

We welcome the focus that the play will throw on brass bands and their part in the welfare of the communities that they play in, and hope that folk seeing the play will better understand the workings of banding and the benefits that playing music with a group of friends can bring. The Grimley Band was united through adversity and need. From that, friendship and a common goal flourished, not unlike our own story.