In 1904 they were again top of the Scottish
Championship bands. In 1977, under the leadership of
David Richardson (The SNO's General Administrator)
they were not only the Scottish Champions but were
also placed fifth in the UK National Brass Band
Championship in London. That year saw James Anderson
(euphonium), Gus Mitchell (horn), Archie Sutherland
and Willie Rodger (cornets) take the Scottish
Quartet Championship. In the first European
Championship, which was held the following year
(again at the Royal Albert Hall), they secured an
unbelievable fourth position behind Black Dyke
(England), Grimethorpe (England) and Solan (Sweden).
The conductor was the late Bryden Thomson, a name
normally associated with the concert hall.
In 1984 and 1987 the Band managed to secure second
place at the Scottish Championships and you only
have to look to 1995 to find the band's last win
Over the years the Band has also appeared on radio
and television, their most recent engagement being a
radio performance in September 1987. Incidentally
their first radio performance took place on Friday
5th September 1930! Sadly BBC Scotland have
discontinued the broadcast of Brass Band programs.
An illustrious past indeed, but some of the later
successes very nearly did not happen. On the 13th
March 1956 the band hall containing the instruments
and music was totally destroyed. The estimated loss
was £4,000 a large sum in those days. The bandsmen
through an enormous act of willpower turned the
catastrophe round and got help from all quarters.
The famous writer/arranger for brass band, Eric
Ball, sent a large bundle of music. Other bands
throughout Scotland sold many raffle tickets to
greatly help the Band. The people of Bo'ness rallied
to its aid and the Council sponsored an appeal. The
debt generated by the purchase of so many new
instruments was miraculously cleared by everyone's
sheer determination and hard work. Some years later,
an extreme act of generosity saw Harrison the
builders donate the material to build a new hall.
The players and supporters used their own sweat and
muscle to build the present band hall in Boundary
Street (Bo'ness). It has been named HARRISON HALL in
honour of this magnanimous gesture.
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