Durham Miner’s Gala 2018

Yesterday we marched the Eppleton Lodge banner into Durham for the 134th Durham Miners Gala. It was an absolutely fantastic day with a brilliant atmosphere. We managed to get some great live videos of “Gresford” and “Disney & Friends” but we would love it if anyone who took videos or photos of us could share them with us.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who helped us out yesterday, whether they were playing an instrument or helping carry gear and water, you know who you are and the band really appreciated the support.

If you saw the band yesterday you might also have noticed that we have modernised our uniforms. For the first time yesterday we donned our new purple polo shirts making a change from wearing shirts and ties at the Gala, and we were all very thankful of this due to the blistering temperatures.


Daniel Laverick

Last week we announced the appointment of our new musical director Daniel Laverick. Daniel is now in his second week in his post and is settling in tremendously.

Daniel is originally from Craghead, County Durham. He started playing cornet at 9 years old but quickly realise he was outgrowing his instrument so he moved onto Eb bass. He played with Lanchester brass band until going to university. Towards the end of his time with Lanchester he got the opportunity to conduct and hasn’t looked back. Daniel conducted the university brass band in Southampton for 4 years whilst also playing for Ocean Brass and helping out a number of other bands with the little free time he had. He also aided with conducting Ocean brass from time to time and other local bands when needed such as Downton Band and Horsham borough Band. He is currently playing Eb bass for Westoe brass band and is enjoying being able to play and conduct once again.

Daniel said: “I am hugely pleased to have been given the opportunity to take over the role of musical director for Backworth. I am really excited to take on the band and to evolve the band with fun and enthusiasm”

New Musical Director

We are delighted to welcome Daniel Laverick as the new Musical Director of the band! Daniel led his first proper rehearsal with us on Tuesday (23rd May). His enthusiasm, ideas and ambitions for the band are already creating quite a buzz of excitement and we are looking forward to a bright future together.

May Day


Once again, the band the led the annual Tyne and Wear TUC May Day parade in Newcastle, on Saturday May 5th.

This year the route started at Exhibition Park bandstand, and made its way back into the town centre to finish with a rally at The Monument where the band played Gresford and speakers included Labour MP Laura Pidcock.

Marching and playing is always a challenge, and this event is more challenging than some since the route is often narrow with lots of street furniture such as bollards to avoid. Gillian and Heather led the way and the kept the band safe. We are indebted to friends of the band including Calum for helping out to make sure we put on a good display.


Memorial events

The band were proud to take part in the RAFA Service to commemorate 100 years of the RAF at the Commonwealth Graves site in Chevington cemetery on Sunday Apr 22nd. We played the 3 nationals anthems of Australia, Canada and New Zealand specially arranged for the occasion by our former MD Colin, Ben played the Last Post and Reveille and the band played 2 marches during the ceremonial march off and march past. Wreaths were presented by representatives of the airforces of the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, RAFA representatives, local dignatories and residents. The names of each airman and airwoman buried at Chevington was read out as serving officers and cadets laid small crosses on the graves.

We were also very proud to take part in the annual Workers Memorial Service on Sunday Apr 29th at St Johns Church, Killingworth for the 3rd time. In addition to accompanying the hymns the band played Abide with Me and Gresford outside at the Communicare Cross.

In Accord concert

The band played a supporting role at the concert given by the In Accord choir at North Shields Methodist Church on Saturday 28th April, playing 4 short sets in a full evening of music.

Highlights of the evening were the recollections of a veteran from of the choirs older members about his time in the Second World War, and the audience sing-along of patriotic songs such as Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory etc.

Our deputy conductor Gillian did a fantastic job to prepare and lead the band on the night, and our varied and entertaining programme was well received.

Regional Contest 2018

Once again it was that time of year where the band competed at The North of England Regional Brass Band contest which was held at the Gala Theatre Durham for the third consecutive year, over the weekend 17-18th March, and it was another very successful and enjoyable event, with the added feature of snow.

Despite being depleted in numbers the band gave a great performance of the Test Piece: Napoleon on the Alps (Philip Harper), unfortunately the band came 8th, however the band have received many positive compliments and comments from various sources around the brass band world, spirits still remain high under the circumstances. The band is now in the process of building from this, onwards and upwards we will go.

The results were as follows –

Third Section:

Test Piece: Napoleon on the Alps (Philip Harper)
Adjudicators: Mareika Gray & John Roberts

1. Barton Community (Gary Oglesby)*
2. Knaresborough Silver (Nick Garrett)*
3. Ellington Colliery (Claire Winter)
4. Jayess Newbiggin (Andrew Griffiths)
5. Murton Colliery (David Conway)
6. Swinton & District Excelsior (Robin Rutter)
7. Billingham Silver (Vaughan Evans)
8. Backworth Colliery (Colin Harris)

Withdrawn: Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes (Brian Harper)

The bands performance can be heard below –



Colin standing down as Musical Director

Our Musical Director Colin Harris has decided to stand down after the Regional contest later this month. We are very sorry to lose Colin as MD. We owe him huge thanks for all his work for the band over the last four and a half years. He has led our rehearsals with great skill and enthusiasm, giving encouragement and expert advice, writing some fantastic arrangements and providing a very engaging public face and voice at our many performances.

This is actually Colin’s third stint with the Backworth Colliery Band. He first joined in 1994, when he came to the area to study music at Newcastle University. During his first period in the band, Colin played (mainly) Eb Bass and assisted with the running of the band. After a short spell at Gateshead Brass in 2003 (formerly Northumbria Police Band), Colin rejoined to take the baton as Musical Director in October 2004 and led the band through a very successful period, achieving such results as promotion to the 3rd section and 1st at the Durham League contest. Colin stepped down due to work and family commitments but was re-appointed as MD from August 2013.

We hope that Colin will continue to be closely associated with the band, but wish him every success with whatever the future brings.

Robert Coxon and Backworth Colliery Band

Backworth Colliery Band early 1900s in front of Queen Victoria statue, Tynemouth, with Robert Coxon arrowed

We were invited to play during brunch at Guyzance Hall in Northumberland as part of the 70th birthday celebrations of Robert Coxon. Robert’s family come from Backworth and he was very keen to have the band play as his great grandfather and grandfather, both also Robert Coxon, played with the band.

Robert had prepared a display for his family to see featuring a photo of the band from 1900 that included his great grandfather. It is entirely possible that he was a founder member of the band back in 1886!

It was a lovely event and wonderful to meet Robert and re-connect with the Coxon family. Our MD Colin invited Robert up to conduct the band for “Blaydon Races” (he did a vert good job keeping time at a good tempo).

Our first set was mostly backgound music as people ate and chatted, but our second set turned into a mini concert, as the brunch had been consumed and the guests all sat and listened intently!

We played a selection of pieces that have gone down well over the year including “Sweet Gingerbread Man”, “Buster Strikes Back”, “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”, “Gresford”, “Two British Folk Songs”, “Fairytale”, “Clog Dance, “Lord of the Dance”, “Pink Panther”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Misty”, “Time to Say Goodbye”, “La Vie en Rose and Wonderful Life” “Reet Petite”. Plus of course “Happy Birthday”.

Brass Showcase concert

Our annual concert this year was a Showcase event featuring our senior band, training band and children, tutors and teachers from the North Tyneside Brass in Schools project.

The senior band opened the show with a 30 minute set. This was followed by some of the children and a teacher from Brass in Schools plus the children from our training band playing 3 short pieces “Join the Band”, “Rock Around the Clock” and “Jingle Bells”.

After the raffle, the training band started the second half, followed by the senior band and finally a combined band played “La Paloma” together.

It was great to hear so many children playing brass instruments, and a large training band of children and adults tackling a challenging and extensive programme. They all did fantastically well, and their leaders and tutors should be very proud!

St Johns Church in Killingworth kindly hosted the event, so a huge thanks to Rev David Gray and everyone at the Church for making us so welcome, and thanks to our own Nikita who has recently moved near the church and did an immense amount of work preparing and organising the event. Thanks also to Gillian for doing a great job leading the training band, to Natalie, Nicola and Gavin for their work with the Schools, and to Colin for leading the senior band with such energy, fun and direction as well as writing great arrangements and compering the whole event!