History of the band

Date published: 22 March 2023 10:44

1979 onwards

In 1979 the then Chief Constable Browlow decided a band would be formed. Initially funds could only supply 12 instruments, and Derek Ashmore was appointed musical director. The band consisted of Police Officers, Cadets and Special Constables and performed mainly at Police and Civic events. Early photographs show the band participating in events at the Central Methodist Hall, Victoria Street, Sheffield, Sheffield Lord mayors Parade and an event at Barnsley Civic Theatre, featuring a group called the “Barnsley bucket bashers”. In 1989 the band made its first foreign trio to Swabish Gmund, Aalen, West Germany as part of the Barnsley twin town scheme. Here we joined the Aalen Police Band at a variety of concert venues across the region. In 1990 our German friends’ visited South Yorkshire and the bands performed jointly in front of Her Majesty the Queen at the official opening of the Metrodome Centre. Since that time the band has made another return journey to Germany, and played at a variety of locations including the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, York Minster with the Normandy Veterans Parade, Clifton Cathedral, Bristol to name but a few prestigious locations. The band has played to virtually every member of the Royal Family, including a windswept performance of happy birthday to Prince Charles at Sheffield Airport. Loyd Grossman sampled the bands music during a live appearance and the band seems rarely out of the media spot light.

Since 2005

In 2005 the band celebrated its 25th anniversary with a hugely successful concert at Elsecar Heritage Centre, featuring the band in all its roles of concert band, marching band, corps of drums and heraldic fanfare trumpeters. The concert raised over £1000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Charity. In the autumn of 2005 the band was engaged by Malta Tourism authority to perform across Malta and culminated with daily performances at the 2005 Malta Military tattoo. Two weeks later saw the band combine with the West Yorkshire Police Band and March through the City of London at the Lord Mayors Show. 2006 saw the band focus its activities on community based events and we support local charities, churches and voluntary groups to raise essential funding. A rewarding trip to London saw the band perform to 400 Orthodox Jewish children at a holiday club. Many have never experienced live music before and the audience of 4-15 year olds were sat spellbound. 2007; Highlights included entertaining the capacity crowds at Doncaster Racecourse for the Grand St. Ledger racing event. The fanfare team took centre stage to a crowd of 35,000 spectators and appeared live on Channel 4 racing.

The band integrates closely into the local community and many of players are no longer Police Staff. Apart from serving Police Officers, we are complemented whose occupations include solicitor, nurses, teachers, accountants, students, a doctor, administrators, engineers, mechanics, a steel erector, telecommunications specialists and technical experts. The Police officers involved work in traditional local policing teams, Roads Policing and Control rooms. All give their time freely to rehearse twice a week at Rotherham Police Station. The band provides tailored musical performances for any major event and its fanfare trumpeters can herald the most prestigious events. The band competes successfully and in January 2007 was promoted to the Yorkshire Area 1st section, a ferociously competitive brass band competition. The bands main work continues to be providing high quality music with messages to the communities of South Yorkshire. The band appears by kind permission of our PCC and Chief Constable.