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Local newspaper archives indicate that a band called Whitehaven Brass Band was advertising for business in 1857 and there are also reports of concerts by a Whitehaven Miners Brass Band. It is probable that these are the same band as a Mr Geo Hunt was listed as the Musical Director for both bands. In 1859, a series of advertisements was placed for joint concerts by the Hensingham Mechanics Band and the Whitehaven Miners band, again under the baton of Mr Hunt. It is likely these are the origin of the existing Whitehaven Brass Band.

What is clear is that over time the band has had several name changes. These are Whitehaven Town Band, Whitehaven Borough Band (the name Borough Band still persists among older Whitehaven residents), Copeland Borough Band, and now back to the Whitehaven Brass Band. The reasons for some of the name changes are not obvious but they must have been considered expedient at the time by the band committee. Funding was originally through private subscription and later through direct grants from the town council, this supplemented by concerts and collections. Now the band is fully self-funded.

As with most bands of long standing, family connections have provided a stable core of support. In recent years whole families have played with the band, most of them having started with the learner’s class. This link is most clearly demonstrated by an examination of the available records with regard to Band Masters. Starting in 1894, the McNaughton family provided a father, a son, a brother and a grandson as conductor. Just prior to the second world war, the band was led by a father and two sons from the McIntyre family, After the war, it was the turn of two brothers called Fitzsimmons and this was followed more recently by James and David Proud.

Band members play purely for the pleasure it gives to them and to the people who wish to be entertained. It is not an expensive hobby, the instruments, uniform and all equipment is provided by the band. The band performs a wide range of music from classical to pop, its not all hymns and marches.

This information was researched by the late Howard Rooms.