After much hard work by members of the band past and present we're delighted to be back in the Besses bandroom on Moss Lane. There's still plenty of jobs to keep us busy including recataloging the extensive library, but it's great to be back. A special thanks to our Chairman Barrie Chappell, Gordon Hardman, Andy Tasker, Tony Condron and solo horn player Nick Guzman for the many many hours they've put in!

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We have been very busy over the last few weeks rebuilding and enhancing our ranks after the Covid onslaut and are pleased to announce some new members

Welcome to Lotte Evans on Repiano Cornet, Hope Tasker on 3rd Cornet, Stuart Hardcastle on Trombone, and Graham Kearsley on Solo Trombone and welcome back to Alice Marriotte-Lodge on 1st. Baritone.




We are looking to fill the last empty seat in the band.
All players are welcome, but we have permanent positions available for the following:

Percussion - Kit

Percussion - Timpani & Tuned

Please contact Band Manager Gordan Hardman on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

Rehearsals are every Tuesday and Thursday 8-10pm

Want to see Besses in concert?
Here are our latest bookings:


Saturday 27th November, from 3:00 pm
Besses  Church Concert


Saturday 5th December, from 7:30 pm
Glossop Band Club Concert


Saturday 11th December, from 8:00 pm
Bury Parish Church Concert


Wednesday 15th December, from 7pm
Sedgeley Park Rugby Club
Annual Christmas Concert


If you would like any further information or to book the band for your event please contact Gordon Hardman on 07973 711520


Joseph BirkettCompany Sergeant Major Joseph Birkett DCM
240883   2/5th East Lancashire Regiment
Lived at 49 Marlborough Street, Burnley

The Burnley Express of 16 August 1919 reported:

The Distinguished Conduct Medal was presented on Saturday last, at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, to ex- Company Sergeant-Major J. Birkett, 1/5th East Lancashire Regiment (Burnley Territorials). Ex-C.S.M., Birkett, who is now demobilized, and resides at 49, Marlborough Street, Burnley, enlisted on October 9th, 1914, in the 2/5th East Lancs. He first got the information of his honour through the columns of the "Burnley Express," on June 4th, 1919, when we published the honours and awards list from the London Gazette, dated June 3rd, 1919. The Depot Colonel at Preston presented him with the medal as stated, the following regiments being represented on the parade, about one company in strength; East Lancashire Regiment, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, one battery R.F.A., and a small detachment of A.S.C.

Read more: Besses Band’s own WW1 Hero

Besses may have been a string Band in the late 1700’s

Besses are recorded as Cleggs Reed Band in 1818 during reign of George 3rd

First recorded Contest wins

1821 – George 4th Coronation playing God Save the King

1837 – Queen Victoria Coronation playing Hail Smiling Morn

1853 – Became a Brass band

  • 1892 – Holders of all three British Open Cups
  • 1892 – British Open 1
  • 1894 – British Open 2
  • 1903 – British National Champions
  • 1920 – British Open 3
  • 1931 – British Open 4
  • 1937 – British Open 5
  • 1959 – British Open 6
  • 1982 – British Open 7
  • 1906 – First World Tour
  • 1909 – 2nd World Tour
  • 1912 – Canadian Tour
  • 1943 – Formed Besses Boys

The band has a rich and illustrious history, having been the British Open Champions on seven different occasions.

The band also completed two World Tours in the early 20th Century, incredible by today’s standards, extraordinary at the time!

In 2018 Besses will celebrate 200 years of existence, with many events and concerts planned in the years leading up to this historic milestone

The band rehearses on Tues & Thurs nights in our historic bandroom in Whitefield, near Manchester, from 8-10pm.

Please visit our website, <> , for further information on the band, current vacancies, or to read our wonderful history section.

Besses Recordings

  1. 1.LP’s
    1. Variety In Brass
    2. Your Favourite Hymns
    3. Alex Owen 60th Anniversary
    4. Music from Vale Royal
    5. Well done Lads
    6. Pride of the North
    7. Besses in Australia
    8. Viva Vivaldi
    9. Showcase for Brass
    10. Heritage of the March - Volume LLL
    11. Heritage of the March – Volume IIII
    12. 20th Century Soloists
    13. Hymns and Things


2. 78’s

    1. Nearer My God to Thee / Fierce Raged The Tempest
    2. Jerusalem the Golden / Jesus Christ Has Risen Today
    3. Rock of Ages / Sovereignty
    4. The Church’s One Foundation / Lead Kindly Light
    5. Deep Harmony / Lascelles
    6. Bradford / Rimmington
    7. I passed By Your Window / Besses o’ the Barn Duet
    8. The Victors Return / Land of the Kangaroo
    9. Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffmann / Pilgrims Chorus from Tanhouser
    10. Distant Greeting / After Sunset (Intermezzo)
    11. Dot and Carrie Polka / Hailstorm
    12. Edwinstone / Harvey House
    13. With Sword and lance
    14. The Conqueror
    15. Solferino3.Digital

  1. Digital
    1. Capriccio Brilliant                             Frank Bryce           1973
    2. b.         Hymns and Things                           Roy Newsome        1982

      c.         Concertos for Brass                       Roy Newsome         1982

      d.         Heritage of the March V3                       Roy Newsome 1983

      e.         Showcase for Brass                       Roy Newsome        1983

      f.          British Bandsman                           Roy Newsome        1987       (Brilliante and Moto Perpetuo with Robert and Nicholas Childs on Euphoniums)

  2. 4.Brass Band
  3. 5.Other  
    1. There are many tapes of Besses radio and TV performances from the 1960’s/70’s
    2. There is a DVD somewhere of the BBC Listen to the Band performance that includes the Horra Stacatto rendition by Brian Mather
    3. Edward Gregson has a VHS recording of the BBC Andre Previn Documentary featuring Besses back in the 1970’s





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Besses and You

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