Brass band get new instruments in time for Durham Miners’ Gala

Members of Easington Colliery Band with the new instruments.
Members of Easington Colliery Band with the new instruments.
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Members of a historic brass band will be taking to next month’s Durham Miners’ Gala sporting shiny new instruments thanks to generous donations.

Easington Colliery Band has taken delivery of four Yamaha Neo tubas to replace their existing instruments, which were than 20 years old and well used.

“The new Yamaha Neo Tuba is a pleasure to play and I would like to thank the organisations who helped fund the purchase and particularly Michael Watt our sponsor.”

Richard Mason

The band committee have been working hard to secure grants and use existing funds to purchase the much-needed instruments.

With added funding from their sponsor Michael Watt, of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, the instruments were then ordered through Band Supplies.

Band spokesman and principal B-flat bass player Richard Mason said: “The new Yamaha Neo Tuba is a pleasure to play.

“I would like to thank the organisations who helped fund the purchase and particularly Michael Watt our sponsor.”

The band also thanked the North East Miners’ Social Welfare Trust Fund, which provided a big chunk of the funding, which will go a massive way to securing its future for many years to come.

Formed in 1915, the band was supported by the miners of Easington Colliery, until its closure in 1993.

The band is now mainly self-supporting through playing concerts and charitable donations.

The next project for the group is to replace its horns and baritones, followed by a full set of new cornets.

Band chairman Jonathan Collins said he hopes this will be a reality by the middle of next year.

“We are working extremely hard on securing funding for more instruments as well as for our main project of totally refurbishing the band hall, with a possibility of making it available in the future to other organisations based in the village,” said Jonathan.

The band will be appearing in many locations over the summer, including the Miners’ Gala on Saturday, July 9.

It also hopes its title at the Durham County Brass Band Association Entertainment Contest at Houghall College in Durham on Sunday, July 3.

The band next performance is at Easington Colliery Methodist Church on Monday, June 20, at 7.30pm, with tickets £3 on the door.