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The Band was founded in 1858 and was originally known as the Grange Instrumental Band. It has the distinction of being one of the oldest brass bands in Scotland. Most of the players were miners from the Grange Colliery.

Records show, even in the early years, professional conductors were employed to increase the standard of musicianship. Some of the engagements of those early years were adventures indeed, as getting round the country was infinitely more difficult than it is today. On one occasion the Band attended Culross Fair. The players were ferried across in small boats but the tides did not always suit the public house closing hours. A few stragglers had to spend the night on the sands until they were collected the next day.

Before the advent of radio and television, the band always enjoyed a very large following, so large in fact that on one occasion a steamer had to be hired to get the band and its supporters to a major contest at Kirkcaldy.

In November 1891, one reads of an engagement with a difference. There was a torchlight procession in Grangepans to mark the inauguration of the lighting of the village. Each of 60 or 70 gas lamps were lit as the Band marched its way along their ranks. One can just imagine the inhabitants thinking "this new fangled lighting is all very well but do we have to have this Brass Band every night?!"

1895 was a momentous year in the Band's history. As the brass band movement grew in popularity, competitions became an increasingly important part of its existence. This particular year saw the first Scottish Championship, which Bo'ness and Carriden Band went won. A private train was hired to take some 800 supporters to the contest.

At the Waverly contest in Edinburgh, an unbelievable 10,000 spectators watched ten first class bands compete. The test piece was "Eureka" arranged by H. Round. By all accounts the best band won the day and the prize it bore home was a 30 -guinea challenge cup and 15. On the return journey the Waverly Station was so packed with the Band and its followers that the train was delayed by 20 minutes. Once back in Bo'ness the Band headed a torchlight procession and marches were played throughout the town. Crowds turned out everywhere to cheer the players. Everyone lost count of the number of times the Trophy was filled with ale that night!

1897 saw the introduction of the first Bo'ness Fair as we know it today. The Band played "The Red White and Blue" which is still played at the Fair to this day.

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THE BAND OVER 100 YEARS AGO
 
THE BAND IN 1895
 
THE BAND IN 1995
 
THE BAND IN 2002
 

 

 

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