Established in 1818, when Whitefield was little more than a series of hamlets, the Besses band first took the name Clegg’s Band and consisted of men returning from the Napoleonic Wars.
Little is known about the band’s first decades, however they are first recorded as winning a competition to mark the coronation of King George IV on July 19, 1821, with a rendition of God Save The King.
They then repeated their success at a celebration of the 1837 coronation Queen Victoria in Farnworth, Bolton, winning a crown for a performance of Hail! Smiling Morn.
Formally emerging as an all brass band in 1853, Besses became an increasingly professional and successful outfit meaning by 1892 they were the holders of every major open competition cup in Britain.
In the early 1900’s the band began tours based on the railway network and would stop at each station along the way to perform, travelling for months at a time.
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Find out how to save money, by becoming a Friend of the Garrick for as little as £20 per year.
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If you want to get involved as a volunteer, we are always looking for new talent, any age, to work in all areas of the theatre. Whether volunteering on-stage, back-stage, front of house, in wardrobe, props, sound or lighting, or elsewhere, no experience is necessary because you will be given full training by our qualified staff.
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