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Researchers look to record brass banding coalfield past

A doctoral study into the history of the British Coalfields is looking to record interviews with players who can recall the organisation of brass banding in the mining areas of Scotland, the Midlands and the North East.

  The research will look at the political and cultural history of areas of the British Coalfields

The organisation of brass banding in some of the historic coalfield areas of the UK will form part of a doctoral research study to be undertaken next year at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

Brass band interest

Led by PhD student Marion Henry, the research entitled; 'Building identity with music: a political and cultural history of British Coalfields 1945 — 1984', will look at the organisation of musical activities in the coalfields of Scotland, the Midlands and the North-East of England between 1945 and 1984, with a specific interest in the brass band movements of the areas.


Speaking to 4BR, Marion said: "As part of the research I hope to be able to conduct a series of interviews with brass band players who used to work in the coal industry and who can give an insight into how brass banding was organised and run in these areas — from the bands they played in to the concerts and contests they performed at."

Marion said that she hopes to meet people to interview at some point over the next 12 months.

The interviews would be audio recorded, then transcribed and archived for posterity at the Scottish Oral History Centre (SOHC) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, where it would be accessible to other researchers and members of the public.

Important research

She added: "I believe this to be an important area of research, especially as brass bands provided such an important social activity in these areas during this time.

It will not be an intrusive interview, and any help will be greatly appreciated. I'm also looking for information from former colliery bands archives to help add to the research, which I believe will help future generations understand more about the people and the communities of these industrial areas."

I believe this to be an important area of research, especially as brass bands provided such an important social activity in these areas during this timeMarion Henry

Contact details:

Marion Henry
Telephone: 07517575939

Department of Humanities
University of Strathclyde
Lord Hope Building
141 St. James Rd
G4 0LT


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