Pilling Fife and Drum Band
The Smithy, Pilling.

Pilling has had a band since 1875, originally a Fife and Drum Band and later the Pilling Brass Band.

They rehearsed in a room above The Smithy next to the Olde Ship.

The Smithy, Pilling.

Poster advertising the event which launched our Band, 1935
Extract from the first meeting.

On Thursday 20 June 1935 the Pilling Brass Band ‘Junior Section’ decided to form an entirely new band named ‘The Pilling Jubilee Silver Band’ since the first engagement was during the year of King George Vs Silver Jubilee.

However, on that occasion, the band was called ‘Pilling Silver Jubilee Band’ for some unknown reason (possibly a typing error).

Extract from the first meeting (click to expand).

In 1935 the Band was offered a site on which to build their new Bandroom by Mr. Butler, Field House, Pilling for a yearly rent of £1. The Bandroom was officially opened Wednesday 23 October by the Vicar of Pilling Rev. Myles Atkinson, M.A.

Pilling Bandroom built 1935.

In 1936 uniform maker Mr. Beevers from Huddersfield was invited to a Band meeting Tuesday 9 April with members deciding on green and gold for their new uniform.

Pilling Jubilee Silver Band 1936.

On Wednesday 1 October 1945 a special meeting was held and the Band decided it would carry on playing after the war.

In January 1947 Harry Towers of Garstang was appointed Bandmaster.

H. Towers, Bandmaster 1947-51.

In 1952 the Band competed and placed second at the Preston and District Contest followed by a strong performance at the Blackpool Tower Contest.

Pilling Jubilee Silver Band in the 1950s.

In 1960 the Band celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary while impressively owning every instrument in the band.

The Band during their own Silver Jubilee 1960.

In 1961 the Bandroom had to be moved. Thanks to Directors including Arthur Holden (of the North West Egg Packing Station, Pilling) a new plot of ground was allocated. The wooden Bandroom was dismantled on Monday 9 May and rebuilt a few yards over the hedge to its current location.

The Band at this time included a small jazz group called Boosie Eight.

The rebuilt Bandroom (picture taken 28 April 1986).

In 1966 it was decided that the Band should purchase a set of stand drapes. The photo shows the first outing of the drapes at a concert in Garstang (they are dark green velvet with gold lettering and tassels).

The Bands new stand drapes.

In 1969 the Band received a telephone call from BBC television studios, London asking if Ted Sykes would appear with a small group of musicians on the children’s programme Blue Peter. As usual, Ted created a considerable amount of amusement playing tunes on an old 1902 Copper Kettle.

Ted Sykes playing his copper kettle. 

Video of the Band on Blue Peter 1969.

The early part of the 1970s was a difficult period for the Band with a number of senior players leaving requiring the Band to rely on young players from St. Aidan’s School Band, Preesall to fill empty seats.

Tom Redman with young players, six of which came from St. Aidan’s School Band.

Opening of the new Bandroom, 1987
New Bandroom plans.

In 1984 the Band purchased the land the Bandroom was built on and plans were drawn up for a new Bandroom to include rehearsal rooms, toilets and a car park.

During 1984 the Band competed at the Free Trade Hall Contest, Manchester and gave a very creditable performance.

Opening of the new Bandroom, 1987.

In 2013 the Band was invited to perform on Channel 4's Jamie & Jimmy's Friday Night Feast with some of the Band taking part baking a tosset cake, a prized Lancashire treat from the 14th century.

Jamie Oliver playing drums with the Band.

Jamie and Jimmy's Friday Night Feast, Series 1 Episode 2 (final quarter, 36:16), Channel 4, 2013.

In 2013 the Band qualified for the 4th Section National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain in Cheltenham for the first time achieving 5th place out of 19 bands.

Pilling Jubilee Silver Band 2013.

In 2020 the Band qualified again for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain in Cheltenham this time in the 3rd Section achieving 11th place out of 16 bands.

Pilling Jubilee Silver Band 2020.


In 2023 the Band celebrated the Coronation of His Majesty The King performing at Pilling Village Hall Sunday 7th May.

The Band celebrating the Coronation of King Charles III.

Redman, J.A. (1985) Pilling Jubilee Silver Band Golden Jubilee 1935-1985 Souvenir Brochure. Colin Cross Printers. Garstang. 

Thank you to those that loaned photographs and provided help and support to gather information to produce this brief history.