Band play on thanks to 5k funding boost

02 February 2018

A Treasured brass band has been saved by a successful bid to repair their instruments.

Murton Colliery Band, founded in 1884, has been given £5,000 by the E.ON Great Eppleton Wind Farm Community Benefits Fund.The fund, managed by County Durham Community Foundation, will allow the colliery band to fix some of their ageing instruments.

Band member Carly Armstrong, who joined two years ago, said: “A lot of our instruments are more than 20-years-old.“As a charity we don’t have the finances available to go out and replace them so funds like this are really important to us. It means we can keep the band going, otherwise we’d be just another colliery band on the verge of closing. “People enjoy having us in the community, especially around Christmas and the Durham Big Meeting. We still have a large following because of the links to our mining heritage.”

The band started out as the Murton Gospel Temperance Blue Ribbon Army Band, but was renamed in 1895 due to its strong links to the local colliery. Play stopped during World War II but resumed in 1943.Today the band has members ranging from 13 to 70-years-old who get together twice a week to practice at the Glebe Centre, in Murton.

Carly, who is also assistant band secretary, added: “It’s like a little family and it’s so nice to be able to get away from the hustle and bustle twice a week and step into a different world. We have friends in other bands and we go off to compete we get to catch up – the atmosphere is terrific. “
And she urged members of the public to support the band wherever possible. Carly said: “The uniforms, the instruments, the hire of the centre all adds up. Anyone can support us through our website, or when they see us out and about performing. The other avenue we’re open to is sponsorship, so if any local businesses are interested then it would be great to hear from them.”
Naomi Stevens, from County Durham Community Foundation, said: “This is what we are all about: matching money to need and helping communities to keep and cherish all the things that make them what they are. We are so pleased that the band’s bid was successful and wish them a long and happy future.”

Nick Taylor, senior stakeholder executive at E.ON, said: “We are proud that our Great Eppleton Wind Farm Community Fund continues to benefit the local area and we are grateful to the members of the local committee that distribute the funds to worthwhile projects such as this. “We encourage local groups and associations to continue to apply for support via this local community fund.”

To find out more about the band go to murtoncollieryband.webs.com.