Fred Bower - Contest Medals discovered

Pictured: Fred Bower



A wonderful find by our archivist Andrew Tebbs and historian John Clay, are three contest medals presented to Fred Bower, one of Black Dyke Mills Bands' long serving members. Fred was part of the famous Queensbury Bower family who served the band for almost a century, with Phineas and Harry Bower both being bandmasters in the mid to late Victorian period, and Fred playing Solo Trombone, retiring in 1930.

Medals were regularly given to the players of winning bands at both Belle Vue (British Open) and Crystal Palace (Nationals) and the practise continued until the early 1970's.

Once cleaned and catalogued, the medals will be on display in our Heritage Centre and also be listed on our heritage website.

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New Signage for our Heritage Centre


The Black Dyke Band Heritage Centre have now installed our new external signage to the front and side elevations of our historic 162 year old building. The new signage was part of our Heritage Lottery Grant and proudly displays the bands logo. Visitors can now be in no doubt that they have reached the home of one of the finest brass bands in the world.

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Black Dyke heritage comes to life

Black Dyke heritage comes to life

Black Dyke's ambitious Heritage Lottery Fund project is opened in Queensbury, as 160 years of history is celebrated in musical style. 

The opening of the Black Dyke Heritage Centre was marked with a concert in the Holy Trinity Church in the Yorkshire village of Queensbury, where the history and achievements of its world famous band was celebrated in musical style.

The Centre, which is situated upstairs in the iconic bandroom building, was earlier opened by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford, with local dignitaries, guests, former conductors and players all enjoying their first look at the wide ranging collection of artifacts and memorabilia that will soon be made open to the general public.


The event marked the culmination of over a year of intensive work. It followed a successful Heritage Lottery Fund application, supported by the National Lottery, made for the band by Carole Hirst, which gained an award of £61,500 to help towards the total cost of the ambitious Heritage and Archive Project of £94,500.

Professionally curated by Andrew Tebbs and helped by the work of volunteers, two brand new CDs have also been produced celebrating the musical history of the band, whilst an ongoing digistising process is being undertaken to preserve and document the vast library.

Over 100 children from local schools have also gained awards as part of an innovative educational outreach programme.

History brought to life

"Everyone associated with Black Dyke is conscious that the name of the band has resonated around the musical world for over 160 years," Director of Music, Prof Nicholas Childs said.

"This project enables that history to be brought to life and celebrated for a further 160 years, and provides supporters, as well as brass band lovers a unique opportunity to explore and enjoy a musical heritage like no other."

Everyone associated with Black Dyke is conscious that the name of the band has resonated around the musical world for over 160 yearsDirector of Music, Prof Nicholas Childs



He added: "My thanks go to so many people who have worked so hard on this project — from Carol Hirst and the Board of Trustees and management team at the band, to Andrew Tebbs and the Tolson Museum for their expertise alongside the volunteers who gave of their time to bring this project to fruition.

We now hope to welcome 'Pondashers' from all over the world to enjoy the Black Dyke heritage experience and to help secure the next 160 years of our history."

Courtesy of 4BarsRest

New Exhibit

The Black Dyke Band are pleased that we have a new addition to our Heritage Collection. Through the generosity of one of the band's former members, Sandy Blair, we have now on loan an A90 class tuba dating back to 1899. What is significant about this instrument is the inscription on the bell of the tuba - "John Foster & Sons Queensbury" and the same instrument apperas on one of the band photographs in our heritage centre.