Arts & Entertainment Award 2012
Grimethorpe Colliery Band
Presented by Tim Smith, TV Editor, BBC Yorkshire
The Grimethorpe Colliery Band was formed in 1917, but in 1992, when the government announced its programme of pit closures and Grimethorpe Colliery was shut, all the players were made redundant, however they were scheduled to play at the National Brass Band Championships at the Royal Albert Hall, London 5 days later and they triumphed to become the Champion Band of Great Britain.
Soon after the victory at the Nationals a board of trustees was formed to manage the finances of the band through this difficult period. Financial backing continued from British Coal until 1995 when Richard Budge, Chief Executive of RJB Mining PLC agreed to fund the band, an agreement which continued until 2011.
International fame came to the band with the making of the 1995 film “Brassed Off” which helped to secure their future and they now have a flourishing Youth Band with over 100 members and have also undertaken an education project that is aimed at the underprivileged children in and around Grimethorpe.