Friday, January 14, 2011

Sepia Saturday 57 : (Conductor Mr. F Metcalfe)


My Sepia Saturday contribution this week is a bit of a lucky dip into Great Uncle Fowlers' Picture Postcard Collection. And out comes a "real photograph" of the Skipton Mission Brass Band (Conductor Mr F Metcalfe). Quite why he should have this picture I am not sure : I don't think he was a bandsman and he lived in Keighley rather than Skipton (although there is only a few miles between the two). But it is a fine photograph in a rich sepia tone. We could probably track down the identity of the photographers' assistant who produced the print as he (or she) has conveniently left their fingerprint in the left edge of the print.

Skipton Mission Brass Band was formed in the 1870s and continued to exist until the outbreak of World War I (1914). After the war it was reformed but the name was changed to Skipton Prize Band. It appears that Fred Metcalfe continued as the conductor and the band won considerable fame (and a number of prizes) at competitions in the 1920s and 1930s. The band still exists and is now known as Skipton Brass.

There is a splendid website called IBEW (Internet Bandsman's Everything Within) which has a marvelous collection of old band photographs and within the collection are two of the Skipton Mission Band. Whilst these are not the same photograph as the one in my collection, several of the faces are recognisable.

Take the time to view some of the other Sepia Saturday contributions this weekend. And whilst you do so why not listen to the Black Dyke Mills Band play Annie Laurie.

24 comments:

  1. That is a fantastic photo! I can't help but think of the movie "Brassed Off" and the late, excellent actor, Pete Postlethwaite.

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  2. It is a wonderful photo. It brings up questions as how each person learned to read music and to then learn to play their instrument. I suppose it is in a larger city area where lessons were taught privately.

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  3. It's a great photo! I hope everyone clicks on it to enlarge for a better view. Mr. Metcalfe should have been proud!

    BTW ~ is that your thumbprint on the top left corner? :)

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  4. Great photo, and I can't believe the band still exists after nearly 150 years! Take that, Mick Jagger!

    I'm very fond of Skipton, especially the fabulous whiskey shop in the middle of town. I was chased by a ferocious swan while boating up the canal there.

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  5. In the 60s and early 70s we had a wonderful Victorian bandstand in the centre of Southport. In the mid 70s it was demolished in an act of civic vandalism and replaced with a tacky 'garden'.

    In the 80s and after much complaint the garden was replaced. With what? An erzats Victorian bandstand.

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  6. Actually, we had the bandstand in the late 1800s, the 00s, 10s, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s as well as in the '60s. Just stating the obvious before someone picks me up on the mistake.

    Obviously if the bandstand had only been there in the '60s and early '70s, it would not have been Victorian.

    Yours, etc, Mr Pedantic.

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  7. Brass bands, I've never quite got on with them, but they were a great part of the local community.

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  8. Some fine moustaches here. I wonder whether they're a sign of seniority in the band.
    "Brassed Off" was a great film. We will miss Pete Postlethwaite,

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  9. This post resonates, Alan. Our daughter played baritone horn in a couple of Cornish Silver Bands. There's a great tradition in the county. I'm not so sure that the scene is as healthy as it was, though. It's good hear that Skipton Band has continued to this day.

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  10. My head is playing "76 Trombones" now... A long time for a band even with one name change. Echoing Betsy--who is that tiny boy on the top?? Great photo and interesting links.

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  11. It's a wonderful photo and a great history..but, of course, all I can think about now is "the tiny boy".
    What a find, Betsy!. From now on I'm going to blow up all photos.

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  12. P.S. The last comment was really from me, Barbara. My sister, Nancy and I share some blogs and if we don't remember to change the photo and name each time we post this is what happens. Anyone else have this problem?

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  13. there's always something neat about seeing a band...live or in photos...very nice!

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  14. How very smart and polished they all look - and some fine 'taches too :-) Jo

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  15. What a rich post! I have always loved brass bands and rarely have a chance here to see a live performance. What a collection of distinguished gentlemen, too. Just made for sepia tones of every hue. I'm glad these old traditions still live.

    Thanks for the concert. My legs wanted to march!

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  16. I love the sound and sight of a brass band.

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  17. What a fine photograph. As I enlarged the photo to look, I began admiring the moustaches, from left to right, and then began wondering if it was a requirement to sit on the front row. But no, I came to a man without one.

    The best thing about this photo is the little boy on the right side just above the hat of the man in the center row. I wonder if the photographer realized he was there. He almost looks like a doll because he's so small. Very fun.

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  18. this photo is in amazing condition. what a handsome troupe!

    and to think the band still exists - albeit with a different name and different musicians. i wonder if there are any women in today's skipton brass???

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  19. I can imagine them all shining their instruments and waxing their moustaches for this photo. Wonderful!

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  20. Do they still have brass bands in rotundas in Parks? I remember one in Stretford near Manchester where my Nana lived in the 60's and they played when it wasn't raining. So nostalgic.

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  21. I think no one could ever out-do your postcard collection, Alan. It's great!

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  22. What a delightful brass band photo! Thanks for posting this.

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  23. Fantastic photo and piece of history ...and I love the little boy in the background on the right!
    Great wee tune too.
    I replied to your query about Americans migrating to NZ or not on my SS post in the comments.

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  24. interesting picture, but they look so grim...
    strange, since they have a fun job, in my opinion.
    thanx 4 sharing!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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