Discover more about one of the oldest surviving brass bands founded in 1875 from proud ironstone mining roots.

History Of Marske Brass Band

The band

Upleatham Mines Band – The Start Of Something Exciting

Marske Brass Band was founded in 1875 when a group of young men approached their bosses who were known as the ‘Quakers’ in those days. The bosses were Pease and Partners from Darlington and were the owners of the Upleatham Ironstone Mine. They agreed to the formation of a Brass Band and the Miners Union further agreed to the deduction of a penny a week from the miners’ wages towards the upkeep of the band. The Band was called the Upleatham Mines Band.

New Marske Band – New Uniforms, A New Band Hut And A Dance Hall

When the mines closed down, the band had to vacate the Band room. In 1937, the North Riding County Council allowed the band to use the local school and yard. The band’s name was changed to the New Marske Band. An account was opened at the Midland Bank in Saltburn allowing the band to obtain a loan of £100 in order to buy a set of 25 uniforms. One uniform alone today costs well over £150!

The Band decided that they needed their ‘own’ band room. They approached the owners of the Middlesbrough Estate and bought a first World War hut from the Longbeck Trading Estate. It was a large hut, 90ft long and 25ft wide. It was dismantled and re-erected on an allotment garden site. What a good band room and dance hall it became!

Marske and District Prize Silver Band – The Collapsing Ceiling And The 2nd World War Hut

In 1958 the Zetland Estates, which owned the allotment site, required the land for house building so, once again, the band was without a practice room. Local businessman and councilor, Mr. Ray Jarvis, gave the band the use of a guard room on his aerodrome site for a couple of years after which the British Legion Ladies section allowed the band to use the ‘Tithe Barn’. This was occupied by the band until the ceiling collapsed!

“There is a 2nd World War hut in the council yard, if you take it away, you can have it”

Saltburn and Marske Urban District Council (1966)

The Saltburn and Marske Urban District Council was approached in 1966 and the response was “There is a 2nd World War hut in the council yard, if you take it away, you can have it”. The band was given planning permission for the erection of the hut in the playing fields area at Marske and the rent was set at £15 per year. The name of the band was changed to the Marske and District Prize Silver Band.

The playing fields, owned by Zetland Estates, were given to the council who formed the Marske Sports and Recreation Association (the MS&RA). The Band had to join the association in order to stay on the land. The ownership of the hut was transferred to the MS&RA Committee.

Marske Brass Band – New Instruments And A New Junior Band

In 1993 the band received a £16,000 grant from the Foundation for Sports and Art which enabled the purchase of 15 new instruments – 10 Cornets, 2 Tenor Horns, 2 Baritones and 1 Euphonium. The old instruments allowed the re-formation of a junior band with members, aged from approximately 8 years upwards, many of whom had never played a brass instrument before. The junior band is run separately from the senior band and all tuition is free.

The band’s conductor, Alun Prest ALCM, was commissioned to compose a new piece of music entitled “Cleveland Hills” which was played at a concert in celebration of the receipt of the new instruments.

In March 1999 the band received a lottery grant of £29,986. A further £3,331 was raised through other grants, donations and fundraising events such as raffles held by the band itself. The £33,317 was used to purchase the remainder of the new instruments not covered by the Sports and Arts grant including a drum kit and full set of pedal timpani. In addition, Alun Prest ALCM was commissioned to compose a new piece of music. Entitled “Cleveland Hills”, the piece was played at a concert in St Marks Church on 29 November 2000 as a celebration of the receipt of the new instruments and music. The event was opened by the Mayor and Mayoress of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.
In 1994 the band name changed to the Marske Brass Band.

Marske band at remembrance day parade

Making Headlines

The Band appeared many times in the local press during the early 1990s (and still does to this day). 1992 was a milestone, as this saw the ‘Magnificent Seven’ come to the band. Here is the article that was published about them…

“Teenage brass players are proving quite a match for the more established members of the band. Band director Ray Profuse decided to allow talented young players to swell the band for concerts, but he didn’t realise so many of them would make the grade. Lined up all ready to take part in their first concert of the season are the band’s new young players, from left to right, Richard Medd (14), Clare Scott (15) Rachael Smith (13) Amanda Thompson (16) James Chisholm (14) Caroline Dick (13) and Kate Chisholm (12).”

Another article that also appeared was in aid of the band library of music. The band was fundraising to try to preserve the 63,000 sheets of manuscript in its 117 year old library. The band had rebuilt the library and required funds to buy two fireproof doors, some fireproof cabinets and a photocopier, which would allow the band to copy some of the valuable Edwardian arrangements that are now out of print. Other expenditures anticipated during this year were estimated at £1,000 to restore the practice room, £5,500 for a new uniform (compared to the £100 in 1937!!) and £35,000 for new instruments. The band took part in many fundraising events such as the Marske Gala Day.
Marske Brass Band Today

Musical Director
Alun Prest

Alun Prest the band conductor

Principal Cornet
James Chisholm

James Chisholm principal cornet

Band Chairperson
Chris Robertson

Chris Robertson band chairperson

Summer Bandstand Concert
Solo Cornets

Solo cornets on Saltburn bandstand

Remembrance Sunday Parade

Trombones on Remembrance Sunday

Christmas Carols
The Junior Band

Junior band playing Christmas carols

DLI Museum
Brass Band Contest

The band at the DLI contest