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From an unidentified newsclip, possibly the Argus
Temperance Band
Competition Successes

Rushden Temperance Band and Its Triumphs
[Continued from last week]

The 1888 season was a very good one for the band, so far as contests were concerned. Prior to the contesting, however, an effort was made, on Easter Monday, by means of a big bazaar, to place the finances of the hand on a better footing. Mr. Knight, the secretary, and his wife were indefatigable in their efforts to make the affair a success, and all sorts of novelties—€”such as the electric light—€”were requisitioned, with the result that the band funds benefited to the amount of £70. At Market Harborough, on June 9th, the first prize in a contest open to the Midland Counties was secured. The prize, which was the biggest won by the band, consisted of £20 in cash and a silver-plated cornet by Besson, valued at £12 12s. Mr. King Skinner conducted on this occasion. Shortly afterwards, the band entered for a contest at Hucknall Torkard. On arriving at Hucknall, a number of the bands heard something which decided them not to compete, and the Rushden band was invited to follow their example, but declined after having travelled so far. There was

An Amusing Incident

in connection with the quick-step competition, which was held in the street. The six dis-satisfied bands played together, unknown to the judge, and were easily first in the judge's mind until he was made aware of the circumstances. Of course they were disqualified, and as a matter of fact they only did it for a joke. It only remains to be said that Rushden secured second prize on this day, Hucknall taking the first! On August 13, at Stanwick, the band secured first prize in the selection contest, first in the quick-step, and first and second in the quartett competitions. On this occasion they got just as much as it was possible for them to get, and it is believed that their performance constitutes a record for one day's contesting. The instrumentation of the second prize quartett party was, to say the least of it, interesting. It puzzled even such a judge as John Gladney, and well it might, for the following were the instruments: €”Soprano, flugel horn, tenor trombone, and E-flat bass! Later in the year the band won second prize in a competition at the Irish Exhibition, open to all England, except Leeds Forge and Wyke Old, and on that day breakfasted at Besson's. Before breakfast, the Rushden bandsmen sang grace, and Madame Besson observed that if they played as well as they sang they would do well in the contest. They did do well, and the judges were three-quarters of an hour in deciding between them and Stalybridge Borough.

A Big Engagement Season

Wm Skinner in 1888
Several visits to contests were made in 1889—€”Market Harborough, Kettering, Earl's Barton, and Stanwick—and the band got one first prize, one second, two thirds, and one fourth. This Year the band had so many engagements that proper attention could not be paid to contests—€”the engagements coming in at the rate of two or three a week. On several occasions the musicians had to be divided into two companies. At the end of the season the long connection between Mr. Skinner and the band was severed, and Mr. H. Sharp was appointed bandmaster.

In the following year, the band secured the County Championship and first prize at Stanion contest. At that contest so many people were present that provisions ran short, and a hungry Rushden bandsman, on going to the refreshment tent, found nothing but the mustard pot! The contest was notable for another reason, because on the way the musicians from Rushden were nearly thrown out of the brake. In the same week, the band went to a contest at Althorpe Park, and gained a second prize, and a little later on a second prize was obtained at Burton Latimer. At Stanwick, in September, the band secured the Midland Counties' Challenge Cup for the first time, together with the first prize. The selection with which the prize was won was one of the band's own choice€” ''Stiffelio.'' With this selection, the band has won £122, with the Champion Cup for 1890, and the County Challenge Cup for 1890 and 1891. In the same, contest, the band was first in the quickstep contest and first in the waltz contest. In this year the band had secured a complete set of Besson's instruments. These instruments had become a necessity if the band was to get on terms with the north-country bands, but the cost was about £400 and the paying off of that amount has been hard work. At the present time, however, all the money, except about £12, has been paid.

The Two Cups Again

In 1891, the band took part in contests at Stanion, Aylesbury, Heanor, Rushden, and Stanwick, and won the County Cup and the Midlands Cup for the second time, besides taking five first prizes and three seconds for selections and quicksteps. At the beginning of this year, Mr. Edwin Swift was engaged as professional teacher in place of Mr. Birkinshaw. In September the band played at Belle Vue Gardens. A week before the contest there was a rehearsal, and Mr. Swift said that if the band did as well at Manchester they would not disgrace themselves. Alas! the band did not do so well. The monstre player was suffering from typhoid fever on the date of the contest, and had necessarily to be left behind. Then the train was late, and the bandsmen had to rush across to the Gardens to get a practice, and on the way one of the men fell down and smashed his instrument. While actually playing on the stand, the bass trombone player's water key came off. The conductor noticed the accident, and pointed to a bottle, standing on the platform. The player took the hint, snatched the cork from the bottle, stopped up the hole in his instrument, and went on with his part. Mr. Swift's expenses for the season amounted to just £50.

The band attended contests in the following year at Kidsgrove, Kettering, Buckingham, Finedon, Rothwell, Wisbech, Rushden, Stanwick and Burton Latimer, winning five first prizes, five seconds, two thirds, and one fifth. This year Mr. Birkinshaw was professional conductor. On the way to Kidsgrove, the bandsmen were met at Derby by Mr. A. R. Seddon, who added the part if host and gave the band some rehearsals at his room. At Kidsgrove

The Most Famous Bands

in the country got together, including Besses o'€™ th' Barn, Kingston Mills, Linthwaite, Denton Original, Dewsbury,  Wyke Temperance, and Oldham. Rushden beat Wyke Temperance, Linthwaite, and Oldham. The bandsmen laid themselves out for further advance, and secured the services of Mr. Jerome Houldsworth, of Wyke Temperance as resident conductor. Rapid strides were made, Mr. Houldsworth being an excellent then wielder of the baton. In this year, the band, after trying for years in vain, secured the services of Mr. Alex. Owen, one of the most eminent conductors of the day, as visiting conductor, and Mr. Owen is still connected with the band.

In 1893, the band attended contests at Burton Latimer, Rothwell, Stamford, Stanion, Aylesbury, and Belle Vue. The last three contests were regarded by both the band and its conductor as very unsatisfactory for more than one reason, there being an uncomfortable sort of feeling abroad that the band ought to have been placed higher in each case. The net result of the whole of the contests was that two first prizes, two seconds, and a third were obtained.

The following year the band attended Rushden, Raunds, Kettering, Peterborough, Hinckley, Blackpool, and Leicester contests, and got four first prizes, three seconds, one third, and one fifth. At Kettering, the band, under Mr. Owen, won first prize in a competition open to all England with a selection of their own choice ”"Faust." The Kettering people had openly said that

They Did Not Care

what bands stayed away so long as Rushden attended. This was not from any extraordinary liking for the music, but because the Kettering folks wished to see their favourite bands take Rushden down. Both the Kettering bands were at that time in good form, but at the close of the contest the judge (Mr. R. Stead) said it was the simplest contest he had ever judged. It was as simple as A B C D - €”Rushden 1, Kettering Rifles 2, Kettering Town 3, and Burton Latimer 4.  Very much credit is due to Mr. Holdsworth for the way in which the selection was got up. A week before the contest, the band was rehearsed by Mr. Owen from five o'clock in the evening till two o'clock in the morning. During this year Mr. C. Ashby became secretary of the band in Mr. Knight'€™s place.

In 1895, the band went to contests at the Agricultural Hall (London), Northampton, Higham Ferrers, Blackpool, and Belle Vue. This year the Midland Counties Cup was secured again. The London, Blackpool, and Belle Vue contests were open, and at these a third prize and two fourth prizes were obtained. The total prizes for the year were two firsts, two thirds, and two fourths, besides the Midland Counties Cup. Among the prizes were a silver medal at London and a gold medal at Belle Vue. The gold medal was the highest award ever won by a Midland band in the September contest at Belle Vue.

The Latest Successes

Last year at Kidsgrove, the band won the fifth prize in a competition open to all England and followed up this success by winning third prize in an open competition at Lee Mills. In June the band under notice again secured the championship of the Midlands, with a first prize and 24 silver medals. At Boscombe on August 17 a third prize, with a special trombone, was obtained in an open competition. At the end of the year Mr. Houldsworth's connection with the band ceased, and Mr. H. Roach, of Dewsbury Old band was appointed band-master. At the beginning of the present season the baud secured first prize in a selection contest at Bedford and second prize in a quick-step competition. This completes the list of the band's successes in contests up to the present time, and it is a record of which any band might justly be proud.

The counties in which the band has fulfilled engagements are as follow:€” Warwickshire, Northants, Beds, Herts, Bucks, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, Middlesex, Surrey, Hampshire, Staffordshire, Hunts, Leicestershire, and Norfolk. For nine years in succession the band has delighted the ears of the lovers of music who attend the St. Neots flower show, and in Jubilee year was present at the opening of the Jubilee clock. One year, after the bandsmen had left for St. Neots, their wives made up a party and...... [the rest of this article is missing from the newsclip]

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