Owen, Alexander

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Additional Info

  • First Name: Alexander
  • Last Name: Owen
  • First Year at Besses: 1888
  • Instrument/Position: MD
  • Notes and Research: • 1883 – 1919 Besses Contest Results Under Alexander Owen (Place Points / Draw)
    01/09/1919 British Open ? ? 13
    07/09/1918 British Open 3 ? 14
    01/10/1904 National Championship of Great Britain (Crystal Palace) ? ? 13
    18/06/1904 New Brighton Contest W W W
    28/05/1904 Blackburn Contest 1 ? ?
    26/09/1903 National Championship of Great Britain (Crystal Palace) 1 135 7
    07/09/1903 British Open ? ? 7
    29/08/1903 Dumfries Contest (Open Section) 1 ? ?
    15/08/1903 Kirkcaldy Contest 2 ? 8
    27/06/1903 Morecambe Contest (Open Section) 1 ? ?
    06/06/1903 New Brighton Contest 1 ? 4
    02/09/1902 Deepdale Contest 3 ? ?
    01/09/1902 British Open 3 112 5
    16/08/1902 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? 8
    31/03/1902 Kidsgrove Contest 1 ? ?
    28/09/1901 National Championship of Great Britain (Crystal Palace) ? ? 6
    17/08/1901 Kirkcaldy Contest 3 ? 1
    05/08/1901 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    03/08/1901 Manchester Contest 1 ? ?
    22/06/1901 Dundee Contest W W W
    27/05/1901 West Stanley Contest 2 ? ?
    08/04/1901 Kidsgrove Contest 1 ? ?
    08/09/1900 Dundee Contest 1 ? 12
    25/08/1900 Hawick Contest W W W
    08/08/1900 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? ?
    06/08/1900 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    21/07/1900 National Championship of Great Britain (Crystal Palace) ? ? 4
    07/07/1900 New Brighton Contest D D D
    23/06/1900 Lincoln Contest 1 ? ?
    16/04/1900 Kidsgrove Contest 1 ? 7
    14/10/1899 Leicester Contest (First Section) ? ? 2
    26/8/1899 Buxton Contest 1 ? ?
    19/8/1899 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? ?
    7/8/1899 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    17/6/1899 Hardraw Scar Contest 1 ? ?
    3/4/1899 Clough Hall Contest 1 ? ?
    6/8/1899 Buxton Contest 1 ? ?
    1/8/1898 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    30/6/1898 Doncaster Contest 1 ? ?
    30/6/1898 Doncaster Contest (Second Section) 1 ? ?
    18/6/1898 Hardraw Scar 1 ? ?
    30/5/1898 West Stanley Contest 1 ? ?
    28/5/1898 Blackhill Contest 1 ? ?
    14/5/1898 Bolton Contest 1 ? ?
    6/9/1897 British Open 7 109 17
    21/8/1897 Kirkcaldy Contest 2 ? ?
    21/8/1897 Buxton Contest W W W
    14/8/1897 Handsworth Woodhouse Contest 1 ? ?
    2/8/1897 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    17/7/1897 Bridlington Contest 1 ? ?
    19/6/1897 Hardraw Scar 1 ? ?
    7/6/1897 West Stanley Contest 1 ? ?
    5/6/1897 Blackhill Contest 1 ? ?
    2/1/1897 Manchester Industrial Exhibition Contest 1 ? ?
    12/9/1896 Blackpool Contest 1 ? ?
    7/9/1896 British Open 6 98 3
    1/8/1896 Hawarden Contest ? ? ?
    19/8/1896 Bournemouth Contest 2 ? ?
    15/8/1896 Kirkcaldy Contest 2 ? ?
    3/8/1896 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    4/7/1896 Llandudno Contest 1 ? 3
    2/5/1896 Keighley Contest 1 ? 4
    6/4/1896 Clough Hall Contest 1 ? ?
    4/4/1896 Nelson Contest 2 ? ?
    2/9/1895 British Open 3 79 5
    26/8/1895 Keele Contest 1 ? ?
    17/8/1895 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? ?
    5/8/1895 Blackpool Contest 1 ? ?
    3/8/1895 Scarborough Contest 1 ? ?
    2/8/1895 Llanelly Contest W W W
    22/6/1895 Hardraw Scar 2 ? ?
    15/6/1895 Agricultural Hall, London, Contest 2 ? ?
    3/6/1895 West Stanley Contest (Open Section) 1 ? ?
    27/4/1895 Keighley Contest 3 ? ?
    15/4/1895 Clough Hall Contest 2 ? ?
    13/4/1895 Nelson Contest 3 ? ?
    8/9/1894 Blackpool Contest 1 ? ?
    3/9/1894 British Open 1 101 14
    18/8/1894 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? 1
    6/8/1894 Barrow Contest 2 ? ?
    28/7/1894 Nelson Contest W W W
    21/7/1894 Scarborough Contest 2 ? ?
    14/7/1894 Heywood Contest 1 ? ?
    16/6/1894 Hardraw Scar W W W
    14/5/1894 West Stanley Contest (Open Section) 1 ? ?
    12/5/1894 Blackhill Contest W W W
    21/4/1894 Keighley Contest 1 ? ?
    23/9/1893 Blackpool Contest 3 ? ?
    4/9/1893 British Open 2 ? ?
    2/9/1893 Keighley Contest 1 ? 3
    19/8/1893 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? ?
    7/8/1893 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    22/7/1893 Scarborough Contest 1 ? 2
    1/7/1893 Leek Contest 1 ? ?
    17/6/1893 Hardraw Scar 3 ? ?
    10/6/1893 Stacksteads Contest 3 ? 6
    22/5/1893 West Stanley Contest 1 ? ?
    20/5/1893 Crawshawbooth Contest 1 ? ?
    3/4/1893 Kidsgrove Contest 1 ? ?
    1/10/1892 Old America Contest 5 ? ?
    26/9/1892 Sandbach Contest 1 ? ?
    5/9/1892 British Open 1 ? ?
    27/8/1892 Hull Contest 1 ? ?
    20/8/1892 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? 4
    13/8/1892 Galashiels Contest 1 ? 3
    10/8/1892 Longton Contest 3 ? ?
    6/8/1892 Scarborough Contest 1 ? ?
    1/8/1892 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    23/7/1892 Bacup Contest 1 ? ?
    18/6/1892 Hardraw Scar 1 ? ?
    11/6/1892 Morecambe Contest 1 ? ?
    4/6/1892 Haydon Bridge Contest W W W
    7/5/1892 Stacksteads Contest 4 ? ?
    18/4/1892 Clough Hall Contest 2 ? ?
    7/9/1891 British Open 4 105 1
    29/8/1891 Kidsgrove Contest 1 ? ?
    15/8/1891 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? ?
    3/8/1891 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    4/7/1891 Leeds Forge Contest 1 ? ?
    20/6/1891 Hardraw Scar 1 ? ?
    13/6/1891 Hyde Contest ? ? ?
    23/5/1891 Morecambe Contest 1 ? ?
    6/9/1890 Morecambe Contest 1 ? ?
    3/8/1890 Lincoln Contest 2 ? ?
    2/8/1890 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    2/8/1890 Wyke Contest 2 ? ?
    5/7/1890 Leeds Forge Contest 2 ? ?
    28/6/1890 Edinburgh International Exhibition Contest (Open Section) 1 ? 6
    21/6/1890 Hardraw Scar 1 ? ?
    10/8/1889 Lincoln Contest 1 ? 1
    5/8/1889 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    27/7/1889 Brighouse Contest 1 ? ?
    23/7/1889 Kidsgrove Contest 1 ? ?
    6/7/1889 Leeds Forge Contest 1 ? ?
    2/7/1889 Boston Contest 1 ? ?
    29/6/1889 Hardraw Scar 1 ? 3
    1/6/1889 Haydon Bridge Contest 1 ? ?
    27/10/1888 Glasgow International Exhibition Contest (Open Section) 3 ? ?
    8/9/1888 Brighouse Contest 1 ? 4
    3/9/1888 British Open 5 ? ?
    29/8/1888 Ingleton Contest 1 ? ?
    11/8/1888 Halifax Contest 1 ? ?
    6/8/1888 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    4/8/1888 Crewe Contest 1 ? ?
    21/7/1888 Cleckheaton Contest 1 ? ?
    17/7/1888 Kidsgrove Contest 2 ? ?
    14/7/1888 Bradford Contest W W W
    14/7/1888 Leeds Forge Contest 1 ? 5
    26/6/1888 Boston Contest 1 ? ?
    2/6/1888 Barnoldswick Contest 1 ? ?
    26/5/1888 Southport Contest 1 ? ?
    12/5/1888 Heywood Contest 1 ? ?
    8/10/1887 Saltaire 1 ? ?
    24/9/1887 Liverpool Contest 1 ? ?
    17/9/1887 Newcastle Contest 1 ? ?
    5/9/1887 British Open 3 ? 9
    16/8/1887 Elland Contest W W W
    13/8/1887 Lincoln Contest 5 ? ?
    1/8/1887 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    30/7/1887 Radcliffe Contest 3 ? ?
    23/7/1887 Norland Contest 2 ? ?
    16/7/1887 Lindley Contest 1 ? 7
    11/6/1887 Blackpool Contest 3 ? ?
    4/6/1887 Barnoldswick Contest 4 ? ?
    23/10/1886 Edinburgh International Exhibition Contest (Open Section) 1 ? 16
    1/10/1886 Fleetwood Contest 2 ? ?
    30/8/1886 Liverpool Contest 3 ? ?
    21/8/1886 Radcliffe Contest 1 ? ?
    17/8/1886 Elland Contest ? ? 7
    24/7/1886 Norland Contest 1 ? ?
    17/7/1886 Lindley Contest 1 ? 3
    3/7/1886 Skipton Contest 1 ? ?
    26/6/1886 Hardraw Scar 2 ? 6
    19/6/1886 Eastham Contest 1 ? ?
    29/5/1886 Alloa Contest 1 ? ?
    24/4/1886 Colne Contest 2 ? ?
    12/9/1885 Norland Contest 3 ? ?
    7/9/1885 British Open 3 ? 9
    22/8/1885 Barnsley Contest D D D
    15/8/1885 Rotherham Contest 1 ? 6
    8/8/1895 Queensbury Contest 1 ? ?
    25/7/1885 Middleton Contest 1 ? ?
    18/7/1885 Lindley Contest W W W
    11/7/1885 Batley Contest 1 ? ?
    4/7/1885 Rochdale Contest 1 ? ?
    30/5/1885 Alloa Contest 1 ? ?
    23/5/1885 Littleborough Contest 2 ? ?
    04/04/1885 Colne Contest 1 ? ?
    29/11/1884 Derby Contest 1 ? 7
    20/09/1884 Royal National Eisteddfod 4 ? ?
    01/09/1884 British Open 6 ? 7
    19/07/1884 Radcliffe Contest 2 ? ?
    06/07/1884 Rochdale Contest (1800s) 1 ? ?
    07/06/1884 Southport Contest 2 ? ?
    31/05/1884 Westleigh Contest 1 ? 8
    12/04/1884 Trawden Contest 1 ? ?
    22/09/1883 Blackpool Contest ? ? ?
    • Alex Owen (1851–1920).
    • Professional Conductor Besses 1884 – 1920.
    • Led Besses to wins at
    • Belle Vue 1892, 1894, and
    • Crystal Palace 1903.
    • Took Besses on numerous concert tours, including
    • France (Entete Cordiale) 1905 and the
    • World tours of
    • 1906/07
    • 1909/10/11
    • Must have played cornet professionally, but was essentially a professional brass bandsman, making a comfortable living through conducting, adjudicating and through arranging contest pieces.
    • Owen was born in 1851 and had a humble upbringing in an orphanage in Swinton, near Manchester. He was apprenticed to an army Bandmaster who taught him to play the Cornet. His progress was so rapid that in 1868, at the tender age of 16 became the Principal Cornet player and Resident Conductor of the Stalybridge Old Band. News of his talent travelled fast and just 7 years later he was acclaimed the finest Cornet player in the land and he joined the then famous Meltham & Meltham Mills Band. During his time with this Band, they achieved a hat-trick of wins at the British Open at Belle Vue, Manchester in 1876, 1877 and 1878. By 1879, still only aged 28, he had been appointed to the position of Professional Conductor of the Black Dyke Mills Band and in 1880 and 1881, he conducted the Band when it won the British Open Brass Band Championships, thereby claiming a hat-trick of wins for the Band at this prestigious event. In all, Alexander Owen conducted a band to 1st Prize at the British Open on six occasions. He stayed with Black Dyke Mills until 1888. Also, in 1884, while still conducting Black Dyke Mills, he began his legendary association with Besses o’ th’ Barn which was to continue until his death in 1920.
    By now, Alexander Owen’s fame had spread and in addition to his conducting successes, he was now arranging large Operatic Selections, mainly for his Band to perform at “Own Choice” Contests. In 1887, he conducted Besses o’ th’ Barn to 1st prize at so many competitions playing his arrangement, Rossini’s Works that they were barred from playing it at a contest in Yorkshire. They had in total won 21 out of 29 contests playing this piece. Not to be deterred, he merely made another arrangement, Beethoven’s Works and they entered the contest playing this arrangement instead and were awarded joint 1st Prize.
    In 1892, Alexander Owen and Besses won every major British Challenge Cup. By the end of 1903, the Band had become Professional and was no longer allowed to compete. This was probably a relief to Alexander Owen as, at the Crystal Palace Grand Final that year , he conducted no less than 7 of the 21 competing Bands, gaining 1st Prize with Besses and 2nd Prize with Rushden Temperance!
    In 1906, Alexander Owen and Besses undertook an historic and unprecedented “World Tour” visiting America, Canada, Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa bringing their talent and his music to the world. A similar tour was undertaken in 1909 - 1911.
    The last prize winning performance with Alexander Owen and Besses was at Belle Vue in 1918, the first time the Band had competed since 1903, where they were awarded 3rd Prize Alexander Owen died on 29th July 1920 and the Band with their new Conductor Willie Wood gave him the greatest tribute they possibly could by claiming 1st Prize at Belle Vue later that same year. Today’s Besses o’ th’ Barn Band still practise in the same Bandroom where Owen taught his beloved Band and some 82 years later, his photograph dominates the wall as though he is, in spirit at least, still looking on ‘His Band’.
    • One of the many other Bands that Owen Conducted was Penmaenmawr Silver Prize Band
    • http://www.penmaenmawr.com/historybandhistory.html
    • Extract from the Penmaenmawr Sliver Prize Band Scrap Book by Iorwerth Edwards, 7 April, 1951.
    • The Band was established in the year 1894, with a set of second-hand brass instruments, and started practicing in earnest under their first Bandmaster, Mr. J.S. Coverley, who was a noted Cornet player in those days. Good progress was made under his baton.

    In 1898 a new set of silver—plated instruments was purchased and from that time onwards the Band took an active part in Brass Band Contests under their trainer, Mr. Alex. Owen of the famous Besses o’ the Barn Band, and won several prizes and trophies.
    • http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=O6-iHNQwga8C&pg=PA19&lpg=PA19&dq=alexander+owen+memorial+scholarship&source=bl&ots=IEhsdQ5U4Q&sig=obMU5sJR9Heq2Y46gAzF15-Mvu8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JIuGUN-KEpOY1AXS0oHABA&sqi=2&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=alexander%20owen%20memorial%20scholarship&f=false
    ,• Alex Owen Scholorship
    • Email to Arthur Butterworth
    Please find copy of Alex Owen Scholarship examination poster 1938
    One of the competitors in this programme was Edie Calvert, the music hall trumpet player. He was playing the cornet and was from Preston. He came second.
    I believe that it was the 1939 Competition that you won jointly with Alan Pocock from Somerset
    The poster image was sent to me by Jim Cowburn, at who’s house I believe you ate tea on various occasions whilst a young member of Besses in the early 1940’s
    I have spoken to James (Jim) Cowen and have sent him copies of your recollections and he remembers you well
    Jim was one of the original Besses Boys Band as formed in 1943 and became Principal Cornet for Besses o’th’ Barn Band for Many years as well as taking over administrative, and management positions after his father, Fred Cowburn, took a back seat
    • 1883 – 1919 Besses Contest Results Under Alexander Owen (Place Points / Draw)
    01/09/1919 British Open ? ? 13
    07/09/1918 British Open 3 ? 14
    1/10/1904 National Championship of Great Britain (Crystal Palace) ? ? 13
    18/06/1904 New Brighton Contest W W W
    28/05/1904 Blackburn Contest 1 ? ?
    26/09/1903 National Championship of Great Britain (Crystal Palace) 1 135 7
    07/09/1903 British Open ? ? 7
    29/08/1903 Dumfries Contest (Open Section) 1 ? ?
    15/08/1903 Kirkcaldy Contest 2 ? 8
    27/06/1903 Morecambe Contest (Open Section) 1 ? ?
    06/06/1903 New Brighton Contest 1 ? 4
    02/09/1902 Deepdale Contest 3 ? ?
    01/09/1902 British Open 3 112 5
    16/08/1902 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? 8
    31/03/1902 Kidsgrove Contest 1 ? ?
    28/09/1901 National Championship of Great Britain (Crystal Palace) ? ? 6
    17/08/1901 Kirkcaldy Contest 3 ? 1
    05/08/1901 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    03/08/1901 Manchester Contest 1 ? ?
    22/06/1901 Dundee Contest W W W
    27/05/1901 West Stanley Contest 2 ? ?
    08/04/1901 Kidsgrove Contest 1 ? ?
    08/09/1900 Dundee Contest 1 ? 12
    25/08/1900 Hawick Contest W W W
    08/08/1900 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? ?
    06/08/1900 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    21/07/1900 National Championship of Great Britain (Crystal Palace) ? ? 4
    07/07/1900 New Brighton Contest D D D
    23/06/1900 Lincoln Contest 1 ? ?
    16/04/1900 Kidsgrove Contest 1 ? 7
    14/10/1899 Leicester Contest (First Section) ? ? 2
    26/8/1899 Buxton Contest 1 ? ?
    19/8/1899 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? ?
    7/8/1899 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    17/6/1899 Hardraw Scar Contest 1 ? ?
    3/4/1899 Clough Hall Contest 1 ? ?
    6/8/1899 Buxton Contest 1 ? ?
    1/8/1898 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    30/6/1898 Doncaster Contest 1 ? ?
    30/6/1898 Doncaster Contest (Second Section) 1 ? ?
    18/6/1898 Hardraw Scar 1 ? ?
    30/5/1898 West Stanley Contest 1 ? ?
    28/5/1898 Blackhill Contest 1 ? ?
    14/5/1898 Bolton Contest 1 ? ?
    6/9/1897 British Open 7 109 17
    21/8/1897 Kirkcaldy Contest 2 ? ?
    21/8/1897 Buxton Contest W W W
    14/8/1897 Handsworth Woodhouse Contest 1 ? ?
    2/8/1897 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    17/7/1897 Bridlington Contest 1 ? ?
    19/6/1897 Hardraw Scar 1 ? ?
    7/6/1897 West Stanley Contest 1 ? ?
    5/6/1897 Blackhill Contest 1 ? ?
    2/1/1897 Manchester Industrial Exhibition Contest 1 ? ?
    12/9/1896 Blackpool Contest 1 ? ?
    7/9/1896 British Open 6 98 3
    1/8/1896 Hawarden Contest ? ? ?
    19/8/1896 Bournemouth Contest 2 ? ?
    15/8/1896 Kirkcaldy Contest 2 ? ?
    3/8/1896 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    4/7/1896 Llandudno Contest 1 ? 3
    2/5/1896 Keighley Contest 1 ? 4
    6/4/1896 Clough Hall Contest 1 ? ?
    4/4/1896 Nelson Contest 2 ? ?
    2/9/1895 British Open 3 79 5
    26/8/1895 Keele Contest 1 ? ?
    17/8/1895 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? ?
    5/8/1895 Blackpool Contest 1 ? ?
    3/8/1895 Scarborough Contest 1 ? ?
    2/8/1895 Llanelly Contest W W W
    22/6/1895 Hardraw Scar 2 ? ?
    15/6/1895 Agricultural Hall, London, Contest 2 ? ?
    3/6/1895 West Stanley Contest (Open Section) 1 ? ?
    27/4/1895 Keighley Contest 3 ? ?
    15/4/1895 Clough Hall Contest 2 ? ?
    13/4/1895 Nelson Contest 3 ? ?
    8/9/1894 Blackpool Contest 1 ? ?
    3/9/1894 British Open 1 101 14
    18/8/1894 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? 1
    6/8/1894 Barrow Contest 2 ? ?
    28/7/1894 Nelson Contest W W W
    21/7/1894 Scarborough Contest 2 ? ?
    14/7/1894 Heywood Contest 1 ? ?
    16/6/1894 Hardraw Scar W W W
    14/5/1894 West Stanley Contest (Open Section) 1 ? ?
    12/5/1894 Blackhill Contest W W W
    21/4/1894 Keighley Contest 1 ? ?
    23/9/1893 Blackpool Contest 3 ? ?
    4/9/1893 British Open 2 ? ?
    2/9/1893 Keighley Contest 1 ? 3
    19/8/1893 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? ?
    7/8/1893 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    22/7/1893 Scarborough Contest 1 ? 2
    1/7/1893 Leek Contest 1 ? ?
    17/6/1893 Hardraw Scar 3 ? ?
    10/6/1893 Stacksteads Contest 3 ? 6
    22/5/1893 West Stanley Contest 1 ? ?
    20/5/1893 Crawshawbooth Contest 1 ? ?
    3/4/1893 Kidsgrove Contest 1 ? ?
    1/10/1892 Old America Contest 5 ? ?
    26/9/1892 Sandbach Contest 1 ? ?
    5/9/1892 British Open 1 ? ?
    27/8/1892 Hull Contest 1 ? ?
    20/8/1892 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? 4
    13/8/1892 Galashiels Contest 1 ? 3
    10/8/1892 Longton Contest 3 ? ?
    6/8/1892 Scarborough Contest 1 ? ?
    1/8/1892 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    23/7/1892 Bacup Contest 1 ? ?
    18/6/1892 Hardraw Scar 1 ? ?
    11/6/1892 Morecambe Contest 1 ? ?
    4/6/1892 Haydon Bridge Contest W W W
    7/5/1892 Stacksteads Contest 4 ? ?
    18/4/1892 Clough Hall Contest 2 ? ?
    7/9/1891 British Open 4 105 1
    29/8/1891 Kidsgrove Contest 1 ? ?
    15/8/1891 Kirkcaldy Contest 1 ? ?
    3/8/1891 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    4/7/1891 Leeds Forge Contest 1 ? ?
    20/6/1891 Hardraw Scar 1 ? ?
    13/6/1891 Hyde Contest ? ? ?
    23/5/1891 Morecambe Contest 1 ? ?
    6/9/1890 Morecambe Contest 1 ? ?
    3/8/1890 Lincoln Contest 2 ? ?
    2/8/1890 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    2/8/1890 Wyke Contest 2 ? ?
    5/7/1890 Leeds Forge Contest 2 ? ?
    28/6/1890 Edinburgh International Exhibition Contest (Open Section) 1 ? 6
    21/6/1890 Hardraw Scar 1 ? ?
    10/8/1889 Lincoln Contest 1 ? 1
    5/8/1889 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    27/7/1889 Brighouse Contest 1 ? ?
    23/7/1889 Kidsgrove Contest 1 ? ?
    6/7/1889 Leeds Forge Contest 1 ? ?
    2/7/1889 Boston Contest 1 ? ?
    29/6/1889 Hardraw Scar 1 ? 3
    1/6/1889 Haydon Bridge Contest 1 ? ?
    27/10/1888 Glasgow International Exhibition Contest (Open Section) 3 ? ?
    8/9/1888 Brighouse Contest 1 ? 4
    3/9/1888 British Open 5 ? ?
    29/8/1888 Ingleton Contest 1 ? ?
    11/8/1888 Halifax Contest 1 ? ?
    6/8/1888 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    4/8/1888 Crewe Contest 1 ? ?
    21/7/1888 Cleckheaton Contest 1 ? ?
    17/7/1888 Kidsgrove Contest 2 ? ?
    14/7/1888 Bradford Contest W W W
    14/7/1888 Leeds Forge Contest 1 ? 5
    26/6/1888 Boston Contest 1 ? ?
    2/6/1888 Barnoldswick Contest 1 ? ?
    26/5/1888 Southport Contest 1 ? ?
    12/5/1888 Heywood Contest 1 ? ?
    8/10/1887 Saltaire 1 ? ?
    24/9/1887 Liverpool Contest 1 ? ?
    17/9/1887 Newcastle Contest 1 ? ?
    5/9/1887 British Open 3 ? 9
    16/8/1887 Elland Contest W W W
    13/8/1887 Lincoln Contest 5 ? ?
    1/8/1887 Barrow Contest 1 ? ?
    30/7/1887 Radcliffe Contest 3 ? ?
    23/7/1887 Norland Contest 2 ? ?
    16/7/1887 Lindley Contest 1 ? 7
    11/6/1887 Blackpool Contest 3 ? ?
    4/6/1887 Barnoldswick Contest 4 ? ?
    23/10/1886 Edinburgh International Exhibition Contest (Open Section) 1 ? 16
    1/10/1886 Fleetwood Contest 2 ? ?
    30/8/1886 Liverpool Contest 3 ? ?
    21/8/1886 Radcliffe Contest 1 ? ?
    17/8/1886 Elland Contest ? ? 7
    24/7/1886 Norland Contest 1 ? ?
    17/7/1886 Lindley Contest 1 ? 3
    3/7/1886 Skipton Contest 1 ? ?
    26/6/1886 Hardraw Scar 2 ? 6
    19/6/1886 Eastham Contest 1 ? ?
    29/5/1886 Alloa Contest 1 ? ?
    24/4/1886 Colne Contest 2 ? ?
    12/9/1885 Norland Contest 3 ? ?
    7/9/1885 British Open 3 ? 9
    22/8/1885 Barnsley Contest D D D
    15/8/1885 Rotherham Contest 1 ? 6
    8/8/1895 Queensbury Contest 1 ? ?
    25/7/1885 Middleton Contest 1 ? ?
    18/7/1885 Lindley Contest W W W
    11/7/1885 Batley Contest 1 ? ?
    4/7/1885 Rochdale Contest 1 ? ?
    30/5/1885 Alloa Contest 1 ? ?
    23/5/1885 Littleborough Contest 2 ? ?
    04/04/1885 Colne Contest 1 ? ?
    29/11/1884 Derby Contest 1 ? 7
    20/09/1884 Royal National Eisteddfod 4 ? ?
    01/09/1884 British Open 6 ? 7
    19/07/1884 Radcliffe Contest 2 ? ?
    06/07/1884 Rochdale Contest (1800s) 1 ? ?
    07/06/1884 Southport Contest 2 ? ?
    31/05/1884 Westleigh Contest 1 ? 8
    12/04/1884 Trawden Contest 1 ? ?
    22/09/1883 Blackpool Contest ? ? ?
    • Alex Owen (1851–1920).
    • Professional Conductor Besses 1884 – 1920.
    • Led Besses to wins at
    • Belle Vue 1892, 1894, and
    • Crystal Palace 1903.
    • Took Besses on numerous concert tours, including
    • France (Entete Cordiale) 1905 and the
    • World tours of
    • 1906/07
    • 1909/10/11
    • Must have played cornet professionally, but was essentially a professional brass bandsman, making a comfortable living through conducting, adjudicating and through arranging contest pieces.
    • Owen was born in 1851 and had a humble upbringing in an orphanage in Swinton, near Manchester. He was apprenticed to an army Bandmaster who taught him to play the Cornet. His progress was so rapid that in 1868, at the tender age of 16 became the Principal Cornet player and Resident Conductor of the Stalybridge Old Band. News of his talent travelled fast and just 7 years later he was acclaimed the finest Cornet player in the land and he joined the then famous Meltham & Meltham Mills Band. During his time with this Band, they achieved a hat-trick of wins at the British Open at Belle Vue, Manchester in 1876, 1877 and 1878. By 1879, still only aged 28, he had been appointed to the position of Professional Conductor of the Black Dyke Mills Band and in 1880 and 1881, he conducted the Band when it won the British Open Brass Band Championships, thereby claiming a hat-trick of wins for the Band at this prestigious event. In all, Alexander Owen conducted a band to 1st Prize at the British Open on six occasions. He stayed with Black Dyke Mills until 1888. Also, in 1884, while still conducting Black Dyke Mills, he began his legendary association with Besses o’ th’ Barn which was to continue until his death in 1920.
    By now, Alexander Owen’s fame had spread and in addition to his conducting successes, he was now arranging large Operatic Selections, mainly for his Band to perform at “Own Choice” Contests. In 1887, he conducted Besses o’ th’ Barn to 1st prize at so many competitions playing his arrangement, Rossini’s Works that they were barred from playing it at a contest in Yorkshire. They had in total won 21 out of 29 contests playing this piece. Not to be deterred, he merely made another arrangement, Beethoven’s Works and they entered the contest playing this arrangement instead and were awarded joint 1st Prize.
    In 1892, Alexander Owen and Besses won every major British Challenge Cup. By the end of 1903, the Band had become Professional and was no longer allowed to compete. This was probably a relief to Alexander Owen as, at the Crystal Palace Grand Final that year , he conducted no less than 7 of the 21 competing Bands, gaining 1st Prize with Besses and 2nd Prize with Rushden Temperance!
    In 1906, Alexander Owen and Besses undertook an historic and unprecedented “World Tour” visiting America, Canada, Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa bringing their talent and his music to the world. A similar tour was undertaken in 1909 - 1911.
    The last prize winning performance with Alexander Owen and Besses was at Belle Vue in 1918, the first time the Band had competed since 1903, where they were awarded 3rd Prize Alexander Owen died on 29th July 1920 and the Band with their new Conductor Willie Wood gave him the greatest tribute they possibly could by claiming 1st Prize at Belle Vue later that same year. Today’s Besses o’ th’ Barn Band still practise in the same Bandroom where Owen taught his beloved Band and some 82 years later, his photograph dominates the wall as though he is, in spirit at least, still looking on ‘His Band’.
    • One of the many other Bands that Owen Conducted was Penmaenmawr Silver Prize Band
    • http://www.penmaenmawr.com/historybandhistory.html
    • Extract from the Penmaenmawr Sliver Prize Band Scrap Book by Iorwerth Edwards, 7 April, 1951.
    • The Band was established in the year 1894, with a set of second-hand brass instruments, and started practicing in earnest under their first Bandmaster, Mr. J.S. Coverley, who was a noted Cornet player in those days. Good progress was made under his baton.

    In 1898 a new set of silver—plated instruments was purchased and from that time onwards the Band took an active part in Brass Band Contests under their trainer, Mr. Alex. Owen of the famous Besses o’ the Barn Band, and won several prizes and trophies.
    • http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=O6-iHNQwga8C&pg=PA19&lpg=PA19&dq=alexander+owen+memorial+scholarship&source=bl&ots=IEhsdQ5U4Q&sig=obMU5sJR9Heq2Y46gAzF15-Mvu8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JIuGUN-KEpOY1AXS0oHABA&sqi=2&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=alexander%20owen%20memorial%20scholarship&f=false
    ,
    • Alex Owen Scholorship
    • Email to Arthur Butterworth
    Please find copy of Alex Owen Scholarship examination poster 1938
    One of the competitors in this programme was Edie Calvert, the music hall trumpet player. He was playing the cornet and was from Preston. He came second.
    I believe that it was the 1939 Competition that you won jointly with Alan Pocock from Somerset
    The poster image was sent to me by Jim Cowburn, at who’s house I believe you ate tea on various occasions whilst a young member of Besses in the early 1940’s
    I have spoken to James (Jim) Cowen and have sent him copies of your recollections and he remembers you well
    Jim was one of the original Besses Boys Band as formed in 1943 and became Principal Cornet for Besses o’th’ Barn Band for Many years as well as taking over administrative, and management positions after his father, Fred Cowburn, took a back seat

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