The Band was founded in 1858 and was originally
known as the Grange Instrumental Band. It has the
distinction of being one of the oldest brass bands
in Scotland. Most of the players were miners from
the Grange Colliery.
Records show, even in the early years, professional
conductors were employed to increase the standard of
musicianship. Some of the engagements of those early
years were adventures indeed, as getting round the
country was infinitely more difficult than it is
today. On one occasion the Band attended Culross
Fair. The players were ferried across in small boats
but the tides did not always suit the public house
closing hours. A few stragglers had to spend the
night on the sands until they were collected the
Before the advent of radio and television, the band
always enjoyed a very large following, so large in
fact that on one occasion a steamer had to be hired
to get the band and its supporters to a major
contest at Kirkcaldy.
In November 1891, one reads of an engagement with a
difference. There was a torchlight procession in
Grangepans to mark the inauguration of the lighting
of the village. Each of 60 or 70 gas lamps were lit
as the Band marched its way along their ranks. One
can just imagine the inhabitants thinking "this new
fangled lighting is all very well but do we have to
have this Brass Band every night?!"
1895 was a momentous year in the Band's history. As
the brass band movement grew in popularity,
competitions became an increasingly important part
of its existence. This particular year saw the first
Scottish Championship, which Bo'ness and Carriden
Band went won. A private train was hired to take
some 800 supporters to the contest.
At the Waverly contest in Edinburgh, an unbelievable
10,000 spectators watched ten first class bands
compete. The test piece was "Eureka" arranged by H.
Round. By all accounts the best band won the day and
the prize it bore home was a 30 -guinea challenge
cup and £15. On the return journey the Waverly
Station was so packed with the Band and its
followers that the train was delayed by 20 minutes.
Once back in Bo'ness the Band headed a torchlight
procession and marches were played throughout the
town. Crowds turned out everywhere to cheer the
players. Everyone lost count of the number of times
the Trophy was filled with ale that night!
1897 saw the introduction of the first Bo'ness Fair
as we know it today. The Band played "The Red White
and Blue" which is still played at the Fair to this
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