Monday, April 15th, 2013...5:36 pm

The City of Lincoln Brass Band and the Grandstand

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I recently went on a drift, out towards the top of the city. Sitting back on a bench looking out over Lincoln, I spotted the grandstand. Almost lost out of view of the busy, noisy city, it looked peaceful and quiet. This observation made me reflect on site specific, and how I think it is our mission to show the residents and visitors of Lincoln, what a beautiful site it is. With such charisma, and history I believe what we are doing as a group, really brings life back into the building and what the audience should feel is proud of Lincoln, proud of the grandstand and inspired.  Having found that the City of Lincoln’s Brass Band rehearse in the weigh room, got me thinking about how the sounds of the city and history are incorporated into the grandstand.

The band is a continuation of the Lincoln Malleable Iron works band formed in 1893.1 In 1939 the band was disbanded from the Iron works due to the war. After the war the band was almost diminished because of the lack of player and funds available. However with help from Councillor Mrs Mary Sookias, who ‘bought’ the band, set them up with some new instruments and set them up with their new practice room at the Grandstand. 1979 saw the band having to move due to the Grandstand being refurbished, and only in the most recent years have the City band returned back to the weighing room.

During one of our visits to the Grandstand, Michael suggested having a look at the brass bands repertoire which had been written on a blackboard in the weigh room, to see if I could get hold of any of the music or indeed play it. One of the songs on the sheet was ‘The Lincolnshire Poacher’. On our recent trip to the Lincolnshire Life museum, there was a display up about this very song and I was able to source the music from a reliable source as the song is a wide spread March, used up and down the country. The song was originally use by the 10th regiments of the Foot and its successors the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, known as ‘the poachers’. After this it was adopted by the Royal Air force College, Lincolnshire in 1919 as a quick march. The song is listened to with lyrics or instrumental and all brass bands in Lincolnshire use the well known song, to show and remind themselves of their heritage.

Although I have not found a moment in the performance to play this or indeed a song close to war (the last post) can be worked in, I am sure as the piece develops a clear slot will arise, whether it is in some dead space or enhancing another groups piece. The band itself has been affected by the war, and loss and development and restoration similar to the similar themes we explore in the various performance aspects so i think it would be a huge loss if it was not used. I believe there is something magical about a brass sound hitting the walls of such an historic and quiet building which can bring it back to life within an instance.

  1. accessed: 14th April 2013 []

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