Fond Memories

theresak
theresak Member Posts: 1,998
edited 14. Jul 2015, 14:25 in Community Chit-chat archive
This morning we were woken early by the sounds of a brass band marching the Brandon banner the three miles into the Durham Big Meeting, aka Miners' Gala.

This happens every year, and always brings memories of how my father used to take me to watch all the banners come in, each accompanied by its band. He used to hoist me up to sit on his shoulders as a child, so I could see what was going on. No miners here now, of course, bearing the blue marks of coal splinters like badges of honour, but the tradition is still there.

The City centre has changed, the marching routes different now, but the brass bands still play, with the power to stir folk to remember. I still love brass bands, and can never hear one without thinking of Dad all those years ago.

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What lovely memories! I, too, love brass bands and think of them as being essentially northern. As a child I loved to go for long walks on the moors on Sunday afternoons and you could often hear the strains of a village brass band in the distance. Magic.

    I also recall an old couple we used to visit who, when the Jarrow marchers passed through Leeds, mended their boots overnight. I find that very poignant.
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What a lovely post, Sticky - I agree, brass bands are a northern thing. One of the last 'outings' we took Dad before he died was to a Black **** Mills concert in Durham Cathedral - magic indeed.

    Yes, lots of poignant stories of the Jarrow Marchers.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think, for me, it's the cornets. Where else do you get such a sweet brass sound?

    P.S. Talking outside church this morning to some friends, father and son both playing in a brass band. Last week the son had a solo and the wind blew his music away halfway through :o He improvised.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,276
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    theresak I saw this on the TV, how lovely that they keep the gala going,, we used to march with ours here in the North West...I remember Harold Wilson walking with us...and the events on the field after ... :D what lovely memories of your dad. little things can make lasting impressions.... :D
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My friend got up at 5am to travel up and play in that march Theresa! Where I live brass bands are still a regular feature and you cal often hear a band practice. We have 'whit friday' where bands travel from all over Europe (it used to be more local) to compete in each village. They do the whit walks with the churches in the morning and then late afternoon the contest starts. It's magic! I was brought up around brass bands, my grandfather was a percussionist and I used to march behind the band. My uncle still plays and a few of my friends do too. I did once date a cornet player who was big on the brass band scene - as close as I got to a rock star boyfriend and not quite as glam 8)
    The sound of a brass band brings tears to my eyes and just makes me remember my grandad. It's particularly bitter sweet at chirstmas for some reason but the sound of Intermezzo (Cavalleria Rusticana) is guaranteed to make all the women in my family cry. It was my grandad's tune and played by a brass band it is so melancholic.
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Bittersweet memories, indeed, LV.


    One of my favourite films was "Brassed Off."
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The Intermezzo is a bit of a tear jerker whatever it's played on but I can imagine the brass band effect. I have a CD of carols by the Brighouse and Rastrick Band. I love it.

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