Echoes of the past: 1968 was a great year for local brass

Brighouse and Rastrick band when they were crowned BBC Band of the Year
Brighouse and Rastrick band when they were crowned BBC Band of the Year

Brighouse and Rastrick band have had many contesting successes over the years which has often led to the band marching through the town centre to a civic reception at the town hall in Thornton Square.

In 1968 it was a glorious year of success for the band. On October 12, the band with conductor Walter B. Hargreaves or ‘The Wee Professor’ as he was always affectionately known as. Was crowned at the Royal Albert Hall as not only the national brass band champions, but also the world champion band. Two points clear of its near rivals from Queensbury the Black Dyke Mills Band.

As an enthusiastic member of the audience that day. I well remember with a few bars still to go before the final note the whole audience exploded into spontaneous applause.

Our featured photograph dates back to earlier that year when the band was crowned as the BBC Band of the Year. The band is marching down Bradford Road with the familiar Oddfellows Hall in the back ground. This was the band’s home from 1946 until the town centre re-development plans of the late 1960s became known. They revealed that the bandroom was in the path of the new bypass and would mean the Oddfellows Hall would have to be demolished.

But as we know the life of the band carried on and since those days has built on its earlier successes.