Uppermill Brass Band was formed initially as a Youth Band in March 1979...

... then known as ‘Uppermill Brass’. This followed enquiries being made by a group of local youngsters with a desire to learn to play a brass instrument.


A local brass tutor and trombonist, Mr Ted Tooley, offered to provide tuition and Mr Arthur Cooper, who was later to become the Band President, very willingly offered the use of his home for the groups’ first rehearsal. Subsequent rehearsals were held in locations a diverse as the ‘back room’ of the local fish & chip shop, the Parochial Church in Lee St, the Methodist Church, Buckley’s Mill, and the Spiritualists Church; all in the village of Uppermill.


Eventually the Band was offered more permanent rehearsal facilities outside the village at Austerlands Cricket Club which was to be the Bands home for over five years, during which much progress was achieved.


The Band boasted an 85 strong group of players ranging in age from 7 to 14 years. It was necessary to split the group into two sections, and the more accomplished group, augmented with a handful of adult players, became Uppermill Band and became registered as a 4th Section brass band.


Following further progress under the expert guidance of musical director Harold Robinson, the Band qualified for the National Finals in London in 1988, and the prestigious Pontins Final in the same year. Mr Eric Landon conducted the Band in the finals. A year later further success ensued under the musical direction of Mr Peter Weston when the Band qualified again for the National Finals resulting in promotion in 1990 to the 3rd Section.


In 1991 the Band was given the opportunity of moving back into Uppermill with rehearsal facilities being offered at Uppermill Conservative Club, which became the Bands home for the next eighteen years!


At this stage, no less than SIX of the Bands’ young players were members of the renowned ‘National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain’. A fine achievement indeed! Naturally, a number of players were ‘spotted’ by higher section bands, and were offered the “chance to move-on” as they used to say.


Challenged with having to replace talented players, the Band sadly returned to the 4th section for a period. Under the direction of musical director Mr. Jim Hunter, however, the Band re-grouped and forged ahead once more, gaining contest prizes at the Pontins Championships, and particularly over a three year period at the local Whit Friday March Contests.


After a period of ten years with Uppermill Band, Jim Hunter decided to ‘retire’ from his post, and in 2003 Mr Simon Wood took the baton. After an extremely successful twelve months, the Band qualified once more for the National Finals, this time held in Harrogate. Due to increasing commitments elsewhere Simon relinquished the post.


In July 2014 the Band engaged Mr Alan Widdop as musical director, and under his experienced leadership the Band enjoyed many successes, notably qualifying for the National Championship Finals in 2007 and 2008. The Band was runner up at the National Finals in 2008. Consequently, the Band gained promotion to the 3rd Section in January 2009.


In the same year the Band proudly moved to its current home. The Band teamed up with Saddleworth Cricket, Bowling & Tennis Club based at Well-i-hole Road, Greenfield, to refurbish the old Tennis Pavilion transforming it into a modern, bright and acoustically sound Bandroom. Band Members undertook the massive task of totally transforming what had become an overspill storage space for the cricket groundsman, and after 18 months of hard work the facility became fully equipped and up and running.


During this period the Band was hugely successful on the contesting stage with the prize money earned being designated to cover the costs of the materials required. The bandroom boasts a fully equipped music library, wardrobe and storage space together with brand new toilet facilities.

The Bandroom was officially opened by the joint ‘forces’ of acclaimed Brass Band conductor Richard Evans, and Peter Bates, chairman of the North West District Brass Band Association.


Success continued in 2010 with a 4th consecutive triumph at the Buxton Festival and a 4th consecutive victory at the Pontins Championships, the only Band in the UK to achieve this in the long history of the contest. Following another successful year of contesting the Band were promoted to the 2nd Section from January 2011. Other fine results in 2011/12 secured promotion to the 1st Section from January 2013, the first time in the Bands’ history.


At the same time, the Band recorded its first CD entitled ‘Stepping Stones’, reflecting the Bands step by step progress. The ‘Stepping Stones’ allow passage across the River Tame and are a well-known and very popular beauty spot in the village of Uppermill, the heart of Saddleworth and historical home of Uppermill Band.


March 1979

Formed as a Youth Band


Qualified for National Finals


Qualified for National Finals


Qualified for National Finals


Qualified for the

National Championships


Promotion to the 3rd Section


4th consecutive win at

Buxton Festival and

Pontins Championships

January 2011

Promotion to 2nd Section


Stepping Stones CD created

January 2013

Promotion to 1st Section

September 2019

3rd Section National Champions

February 2020

2nd Section Area Champions


National Finals Cheltenham