Hatfield & Askern Colliery Band is part of a national initiative launched by Brass Bands England to save the many UK brass bands who are struggling to survive through the COVID-19 pandemic. Brass bands are a core of their local community, and many risk disappearing altogether without your help.
Why are we crowdfunding?
The enforced curtailment of playing activity brought about by measures to restrict the spread of Covid-19 during the 2020 pandemic means that our band has lost out on significant income which has historically been raised through summer and Christmas concert programmes. Denied this funding source, the band now faces extreme financial hardship battling to pay its way.
Your donations will be used to cover fundamental costs and sustain essential infrastructure pending a return to operation. Maintaining instruments and our rehearsal facilities during dormancy are imperative, lest we find ourselves short of the essentials of banding. Equally, our insurance costs do not go away during dormancy.
About Hatfield & Askern Colliery Band
The bands of Hatfield and Askern Colliery officially merged in June 2018 to form the Hatfield and Askern Colliery Band.
Askern Colliery Band was formed in 1921 as the Askern Silver Prize Band and during the late 30’s and early 40’s was conducted by the great Harry Mortimer to many contest successes. Askern’s most successful period was during the late 70s and early 80s, culminating in being crowned National Champions in 1980.
Hatfield Band was formed in September 1947 by two miners of Hatfield Colliery, Jim Rigby and John George Hedley (known as Geordie) and has been the premier brass band within the Doncaster area for many years. There have been many contest successes during this time. Most notably the Pontins Championship section winners in 2007 and more recently “Brass at the Guild” Championship Section in 2017.
Over the years, the bands have flourished under the direction of such greats as Ken Johnson, Alan Exley, Steve Sykes and Graham O’Connor. At the same time they have fledged many renowned players in the brass band world, such as David Read, Roger Webster, Steve Sykes, and Richard Marshall to name but a few.
The Band rehearses in dedicated rooms at the Askern Miners Welfare Club, with a separate Library and Instrument storeroom adjacent. This is enviable for any Brass Band. Currently resurgence has been driven under the influential and charismatic leadership of ex-Grimethorpe Band Flugel horn player Stan Lippeatt.
In 2019 the newly combined band swept the board in the First Section at the NEMBBA Championships and Yorkshire Area Championships, also picking up a 3rd prize at “Brass at the Guild” along the way. 2020 started with an excellent 7th place in the Championship Section at the Yorkshire Area contest, before Covid-19 brought the curtains down.
In the heart of the Yorkshire coalfield, brass band success is a matter of community pride and our band has justifiably lived up to expectation in delivering success and maintaining esteem.
About Save Our Brass Bands
Brass bands exist in every corner of the UK, with over 30,000 people of all ages and standards taking part in weekly activity – rehearsing, performing and providing entertainment for their local community.
But we risk losing this forever.
Brass Bands saw their main source of income disappear in an instant when they ceased being able to perform in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Months later, we still don’t know when normal performances will be able to take place. A significant loss in income over the Summer months, paired with necessary expenditure needed to make rehearsal spaces Covid compliant means that many Brass Bands are in a perilous financial situation.
Without urgent support, we could lose our nation’s amazing Brass Bands. Please help us to make sure they survive this crisis and will be there to be enjoyed by future generations.
Please donate, share this page widely and do what you can to help us to make sure our Brass Bands survive this crisis.