Brass band’s historic hall on the move to Beamish

Hetton Silver Band Hall being dismantled for its move.
Hetton Silver Band Hall being dismantled for its move.
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AN iconic Wearside band hall is being dismantled and rebuilt brick by brick at Beamish Museum.

The Hetton Silver Prize Band Hall, in South Market Street, was erected almost 100 years ago.

Hetton Silver band in 1947

Hetton Silver band in 1947

Using “state of the art” building technology for its era, the Band Hall became a popular community building, serving the people of Hetton since 1912.

Now bosses at Beamish Museum are moving the building to their own mining village where it will be used as an educational music room.

Although Hetton Silver Prize Band blew its last note in 2009, its legacy will live on at the popular open air museum.

The 12 remaining members of the band teamed up with Broughtons Band in South Hetton, and are now known as the Durham Mineworkers Association Brass Band.

Glenis Smith, a teacher at Hetton Lyons Primary School, plays cornet in the band.

The 57-year-old said: “I would have been so upset to see it gone forever. The hall has been like a second home for me. I’ve spent three or four nights a week there for years.

“We really wanted to see what we could do to save it, so we approached Beamish and were delighted when they said they were interested.

“There’s already a Hetton street at the museum and the band hall is going to be placed near it. It’s brilliant to see Hetton’s heritage coming to life.”

She added: “It would have been so sad for it to have been knocked down, but now it will live on forever. ”

Hetton Lyons Primary School has always had strong links with the band and is helping to raise money for the reconstruction of the hall by hosting a variety of fund-raising events, such as selling raffle tickets, which will be drawn at their annual Maypole and Country Dancing event on Saturday, May 21.

The school’s award-winning choir are set to combine with the Durham Mineworkers Association Brass Band in a charity concert on Saturday, April 9.

The concert is at 7pm in Hetton Union Street Methodist Church. For tickets call Glenis Smith on 372 0749.

Hetton Silver Prize Band has always had strong links with the mining industry.

It was founded in 1887 and began rehearsing in the hall in 1912.

Beamish, which is set in 300-acres, help threatened significant buildings from around the region.

Several have been physically moved to the museum and set in the landscape. They are interpreted by people in costume.

The buildings are set in 1913 or 1825 depending on the area in which they are located.