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About Littleborough Band

160 Years and counting!

The first recorded performance was on 20th December 1862 when a newly formed Littleborough Public Silver Band performed for the Littleborough Relief Fund (we believe this was in aid of the problems following the Gale floods if we are not mistaken). This performance was recorded in the Rochdale Observer.

The band was originally formed from three bands, one of which was Littleborough Temperance Band. The band re-enacted the War of the Roses with Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band on York Train Station platform. This was in 1876 and followed a contest where Littleborough beat Brighouse again!

Littleborough Band won the British Open Championships at the Kings Hall, Belle Vue, Manchester in 1883. One of the first Whit Friday Quick Step Contests outside Saddleworth was held in Chadderton in the 1890’s and Littleborough travelled to compete, attaining second place.

In 2001, Matthew Bailey took over as the band’s conductor. Beginning with only a handful players, over the next few years Matthew was able to build up the band until we had a full compliment of players. During this time Matthew was able to bring stability to the band and helped us to grow in our musical ability and as a result the band was able to resume taking part in contests from Lancashire to Yorkshire which led to a 2nd place at Greenfield on the Whit Friday Marches.

At the end of 2007, Matthew decided he wanted to continue his playing career and therefore resigned as our Musical Director.

From 2008, Doug Clarkson was appointed as the band’s Musical Director. Due to unforeseeable health problems, Doug Clarkson announced his resignation from the band. Ady Woodhead was appointed temporary conductor during the summer months to lead us through one of the band’s busiest periods. Following a committee meeting in September 2008, it was decided to appoint Ady as the band’s full time Musical Director.

Since 2008, Ady has worked tirelessly to get the band up to full strength (a challenge now almost complete) and has progressed the band with fantastic performance and great results at contesting level. In 2012, the band were promoted to the third section and have been growing stronger ever since.

Over the years the band has had great success competing against other third section band, especially in 2014 where they won in the third section at Hebden Bridge march contest.

In April 2019, Ady made the difficult decision to step down as the MD of the band that he had lead for more than 10 years. Being self employed and with a growing family Ady decided the time was right to take a break from conducting and enjoy what little free time he had.


The band sought a new conductor with auditions taking place, and in July, Alan Seymour was appointed as the new Musical Director. Alan has over 25 years of conducting experience starting with a 10-piece pro brass group to his most recent position as MD with Goodshaw. Alan says he enjoys contesting but aims to put lots of time and effort into developing a repertoire which is enjoyable for the players as well as concert goers.  He has attended the Ray Farr Conductores course in conjunction with Durham University and has led rehearsals and concerts for many bands in the North West as well as the North East.

The band look forward to developing as a team with Alan at the helm; their first concert will be held at Littleborough Coach House on Sunday 6th October. More details of this concert will be available nearer the time.

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