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Wanlockhead Village Band

19th Century

The origins of the Band are unknown, but its Society Minute of 5th August 1911 records that “the Band is one of the oldest institutions of the Village, being over a century old”. It established a considerable reputation fulfilling a packed calendar of engagements at gala days, shows and sports days all around Dumfriesshire, Lanarkshire and The Stewartry. At home the Band performed at weddings, concerts and parades, marching every New Year’s Day around the Village “whenever weather and roads permitted”.


In 1871 the Duke of Buccleuch presented the Band with a magnificent set of brass instruments consisting; 1 bass drum, 6 cornets, 1 baritone, 1 euphonium and an E-flat clarionette. They were made by Besson of London and were said to have cost nearly £90. With the coming of the branch railway from Elvanfoot in 1902, the musicians were able to undertake more engagements and to enter national contests. The band became affiliated to the Scottish Amateur Band Association and in 1926 won the Fourth Class Championship Shield. In 1932 the mining company was forced to begin paying off its workers following the introduction of the Free Trade Policy. Good musicians left the Village and in 1935 the Committee called in the instruments which were later sold to a band in Leith.

Museum of Lead Mining
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Wanlockhead Museum Trust