Betteshanger Brass Band

Upcoming Events

-Walmer Summer Fayre, Walmer Green next to RNLI Lifeboat House
12.00pm - 2.00pm
(Academy Band job).

-Deal Community Sports Fun Day

-Deal Memorial Bandstand

-Broadstairs Bandstand

Kent Miners Festival

-Broadstairs Bandstand

-St Margargets Bay Hoilday Park

-Deal Memorial Bandstand Sunday



Welcome to Betteshanger Colliery Welfare Bands New Website

Thanksgiving Service for the life of Joan Abel

Joann Able

The band recently performed Goff Richards arrangement of Crimond at the Funeral service of Joan Abel on Wednesday 6th April. Joan was an avid supporter of the band and is the grandmother of our Principal Cornet player Bridgette. We would like to take this opportunity in thanking all the band who manages to take time off work to grant Joan her final wishes of having a band at her Service. We would also like to thank guest player Graham Harvey who knew Joan very well from his Salvation Army connections and who regularly sat next to Joan's husband bob in the trombone section of the Deal Corp Band. Bob passed away back in 2005 and it was his request also for the band to play his favourite hymn Crimond. We would also like to thank Mike West, Vincent Frances, Mike Schofield, Phil and Lynne Carruthers-Smith and Sue Yardley's husband Ian, who was back on leave from the RAF Police.

Geraldine and Andrew's beautifully inscribed Silver Cornet

Just before Easer we had a call from Geraldine Featherstone asking if she and her friend David Ingram could meet up with a view of presenting a cornet to the band. Geraldine currently lives in Cyprus and has kindly forwarded some photos of the presentation, and also some when David presented the cornet to Geraldine and her brother Andrew. Geraldine recalls, my brother and I were truly delighted with this gift from David, and are delighted to present it to the Betteshanger Colliery Welfare Band. It is a fitting tribute in memory of Mum and Dad but, also, going back to my Grandfather, Sydney Frost, in Dereham, Norfolk.

My brother is making a plaque to be attached to the box housing the cornet, (which is the original, by the way), and he is also going to send you some words on the history of our Grandfather setting up the Dereham Silver Band in the 1930's.

(Pictures 2) Geraldine Featherstone and David Ingram present the silver cornet to Musical Director and Secretary of Betteshanger Colliery Band

(Picture 3) Engraved cornet

(Picture 4) Cornet presented by David Ingram to Geraldine and her brother Andrew.

(Picture 5) East Dereham Silver Band featuring Geraldine and Andrews Father and Grandfather

Pictured below is Geraldine and Andrews Father Geoffrey Frost along with their Grandfather Sydney Frost as Bandmaster.

The East Dereham Silver Band, date approximately 1936/37. Bandmaster (front row with baton ) is Sydney Frost, my Grandfather. My father, Geoffrey Frost, is behind him to the left in this photograph ( the one with the wonky hat ), he was only about 14 years old at the time.


The Betteshanger Colliery Band are looking for committed and enthusiastic players to complete our line up. We are a progressive and friendly bunch, with the very experienced John Goold as our MD. We would particularly welcome applications for the position of flugel , cornet and euphonium. All enquiries will be treated with the strictest confidence.We rehearse every Monday and Thursday 7.30pm - 9.30 pm in Deal, Kent.  If you want to know more email the band manager on

The Neeves brothers join Betteshanger Colliery Band

We would like to welcome Edward joining the cornet section and William taking on the position of Solo Euphonium.

News from the Betteshanger Brass Academy

we would like to welcome Archie, Merlin and Matt to the Academy Band. It's nice to see the whole family at rehearsals, Archie being a welcomed addition to the cornet section. We are currently looking for a kit drummer, preferably one who can read music as percussion tuition is not yet available.


 Two great local Brass Bandsmen pass away,

David Alexander 10th April 1956 to 19th December 2014

Fred Thomson passed away 14th January 2015

Both will be very sadly missed.


Dave Alexander passed away 19th December 2014

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of our First Baritone player David Alexander, on Friday 19th December 2014.  David was a true bandsman, always happy to help out and over the years provided the band with a number of his own arrangements. Dave’s smile and quirky sense of humour will be very sorely missed by all.

Details of Dave’s funeral will be released when known. Mark


Betteshanger Brass Academy at the Duke of Yorks School

Betteshanger Brass Academy under 18's perform with the famous Cory Band on Saturday 5th July at the Nye Hall - Duke of Yorks School Dover. Recently crowned the 2013 National Champions from Wales, they will be performing a specially written work entitled "The Weight" for Brass Band, performing with a Junior Band and three actors; "Hannah, Billy and Mike". The music was composed by David Burridge and the Story and Script by Martin Riley with the help, stories and advice from local Miners who have worked the Kent Coalfilelds. We are extremely lucky to have Tom Hutchinson and Owen Farr who will be visiting us for two workshops with our young Academy players. They are two of the Cory Band’s principal players, Tom plays principal cornet and teaches at the Royal Welsh College, Owen is principal horn and teaches at the RWCMD too, as well as at Birmingham Conservatoire and with the Gwent Music Service.  The Academy Junior players  have a couple of very important spots in the piece when they are the featured ensemble with Solo parts for Cornet, Trombone and Euphonium. They will have the chance to be tutored by some of the Countries top musicians at workshops held in Eythorne Baptist Church on Friday 30th May and Friday 4th July, with a final dress rehearsal with the Cory Band on the afternoon of the concert , Saturday 5th July. This is a chance in a life time for any young player to perform with Countries "Top Brass Band" and we hope you book your tickets early to avoid disappointment. Although we now have some 26 players in our Academy, only the 18's and under will be given this chance in a life time and we wish, Michael, Tom, Jack, Jude, Malachi, James, Beth, Mia, Jamie, Ben, Jack, Sam, Finn and Angus all the very best for this exciting venture.

Ivor Thomas 1924-2014

Ivor Thomas

The Betteshanger Colliery Welfare Band are extremely sad to announce the passing of their President and EEb Bass player, Ivor Thomas.

The band would like to pay their musical respects to one of the greatest players to have graced the ranks of the Deal based Brass Band.

Ivor was a true bandsman in every sense of the word. He was an inspiration and a fine example to all who met him.

He will be deeply missed by us all and we send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Doreen, and children Diane, Susan and Ian at this very sad time.

Ivor Thomas 19th September 1924 - 5th January 2014
Ivor Thomas

It has been said that Ivor was playing in brass bands before the ballpoint pen had been invented & Instant coffee was still science fiction. Ivor was the longest serving member of the Betteshanger Colliery Welfare Band and this is a record which is unlikely to ever be beaten. He also represented the last of the men who both actually dug at the coal face and played in the band in the evenings. As such, he marks the end of an era.

Born in Ystrad Mynach, South Wales, Ivor was very young when he moved to Aylesham in Kent with his family. He accompanied his father joining the Aylesham Mission Band in the early 1930's. His Father was later offered a position on Trombone with Betteshanger Colliery Band and this was accompanied by the offer of a job at Betteshanger Colliery, along with a house in Douglas Road, Deal.

Ivor was often heard telling the story of the time he first auditioned for a place in the Betteshanger Band on Flugel Horn aged 13. No one could, or would even want to escape Ivor's tales, they were truly exhilarating.

Many aspiring players have benefited from Ivor's knowledge of brass, and the banding movement in general.

He was legendary for his remarkable perseverance in maintaining a full membership, even if it meant poaching the odd player or three! His life was long, well lived, and magnificently filled with extraordinary music.

In 2011, Ivor was presented with an 80 year certificate from the Southern Counties Amateur Bands Association in recognition of his service to the Brass Band movement. The band also presented him with a figure of a miner made from coal and engraved 'Ivor Thomas - for Services to Betteshanger Colliery Band 1937-2011.'

He was a superb player, musician and bandsman whose example of dedication was shown in everything that he undertook. Members of Betteshanger Colliery Welfare Band are proud and privileged to have known Ivor who has always been known as "The Figurehead" of the band.

Musical Director, John Goold said "Everyone at Betteshanger was saddened to hear of the death of Ivor Thomas, he was a great motivator and will be sorely missed by the band and the wider brass band community. He was a great friend of the late Walter Hargreaves who first conducted the Betteshanger Band back in the 1950's."

Ivor was "Betteshanger Band", he was a true stalwart to the brass band movement. He will be greatly missed by everyone.

We will finish rehearsal early on Monday to reminisce about the life of this great player and remind everyone of the contribution he made to the band. We will pay tribute to him by performing his favourite hymn "Aberystwyth" in his memory.

Funeral Arrangements
The Funeral Service will take place at Barham Crematorium, near Canterbury on Monday 27th January at 11.20 a.m.

The family has requested no flowers, donations if desired to Ivor's favourite pastime -Betteshanger Colliery Welfare Band, c/o J. Dilnot Smith & Son, 184 Gladstone Road, Walmer, Deal. Kent. CT14 7EL

The Wake
At the conclusion of the service, the family would like to extend an open invitation to join them back in Deal, at the Betteshanger Welfare Sports & Social Club, Cavell Square. This will give family, friends and acquaintances the chance to celebrate the life of Ivor together.

Bettshanger Brass Band

29th Novemeber 2013
Academy award winner

Jack_Betteshanger Academy Band
One of our new Academy players have just received an award for his cornet playing.
Jack came out of school on Friday 29th November with a huge smile on his face. During the whole school assembly Jack was called out by the headmistress and given his Merit Certificate for completion of a standard of excellence bronze award for cornet. He was surprised and proud, and so are we.

Thursday 24th October 2013

Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Betteshanger Welfare Sports and Social Club, Cavell Square, Deal

QUIZ NIGHT with live music from Betteshanger Colliery Band and Cantium Brass

Join Betteshanger Colliery Welfare Band and Cantium Brass as they come together for a fun packed evening of entertainment at the Betteshanger Welfare Sports & Social Club in Cavell Square, Deal on Thursday 24th October - 7.30p.m

Back by public demand, the Brass & Brains Quiz evening will include some light musical entertainment from the bands with Robin Parks, the well known local Quiz Master, who will compère the evening and test your knowledge!

Due to our first Brass and Brains evening being so successful, we would urge you to call 07715 007811 to pre book your team table to avoid disappointment, other wise just turn up and I am sure we will be able to accommodate you. If you just want to come along to listen, you would be most welcome.

The Quiz entry is £1 per person with a prize of £50 for the winning team. There will be a runner up prize of £25. As with all our events, we will be holding a raffle which will go towards much needed funds for the bands.

25th August 2013
Betteshanger Brass Academy

Over the summer holidays Betteshanger Senior Band have extended an open invitation to members of the Academy band which is currently made up of players from the age of 8 to those well into their 60's. Pictured here are a couple of the younger members of the Academy Band who have been rehearsing with us whilst the Academy are on their summer break. We have regularly seen Ann Sturt, Christina Westbrook, Ann House and Benji Irving who are some of the more senior members of the Academy Band. Christina has been working extremely hard and has coped admirably with the much harder repertoire of music that the senior band play and as a result, will be making her debut performance with the senior band at the Miners Festival in Eythorne on Bank Holiday Monday 26th August.

31st July 2013
Harry Yarnell

On the week of the 8th-12th of July, I had been on my audition to join the Royal Marines Band Service. It was the longest and hardest week of my life, and a life changing experience for me. During the course of the week I had to sit many exams including aural exams, oral exams and elements of music exams. I had physical assessments, swimming assessments and determination tests. The physical tests consisted of a bleep test, push ups and sit ups tests and 1.5 mile run. On the Thursday I had an interview with the Director of Music Major Jason Burcham, the Corps Bandmaster WO1 Thomas Hodge, the RMSoM Bugle Major and the Royal Marines Band Service recruitment officer. Here it was I was asked questions on the history of the Royal Marines, there military role and how I would feel being part of the Corps. I left by train for the Royal Marines School of Music, at HMS Nelson, on Monday the 8th of July, and spent four nights there, in Britannia Block, where the trainee musicians live. After four days of music exams, Physical Tests, auditions (on seven new instruments, including the bassoon) and my interview, I had one last meeting with the recruitment officer and Major Burcham, where I found out whether I had been successful or not. It was here I was the most nervous I had ever been in my life. The Major had asked me how I thought I had performed over the four days, then said he was pleased with what he had seen from me, and offered me a place on Clarinet and Viola, starting on September the 9th 2013. I couldn't believe I had finally achieved what I had wanted to achieve over eight years. After I left the interview room, and went outside where the other auditionees were, and they all were thrilled to bits for me getting in. after this I rang my mum and dad, my grandparents and my close friends. Everyone was over the moon for me, and everyone said they were proud of me. The whole journey back and the following days I still couldn't believe it had happened, and that I had finally done it and will be doing what I have always wanted to do.

26th December 2012
Christmas Concert

The Dover Town Hall concert went very well, and as always the Academy Band impressed with a good performance, they really do get better every year. Well done to Phil on his solo and on decorating his bass with tinsel so beautifully. The prize for best decorated stand goes to Dave Alexander (sorry there isn’t a prize Dave!). The raffle was amazing, thanks to all who contributed prizes, and to Mark and Lisa for organising and running it. Thanks to Dennis and Lynn for blowing up all the balloons and decorating the hall, it looked wonderful. More thanks to Mark for doing the posters, tickets and programmes, getting the van and loading all the percussion with Ian. As you can see, Mark was a well deserved recipient of the Bandsman of the Year trophy, this being just a small sample of the work he has put in for the band this year.

Carolling has been very successful this year, it will be interesting to find out the total raised for band funds when Mark has added it all up. Thank you to all who have turned out for these jobs.

23rd November 2012
A Great Start to the Festive Season...

Betteshanger Caroling at Tesco Dover 2012


-Thanksgiving Service

-Geraldine and Andrew's beautifully inscribed Silver Cornet


-The Neeves brothers join Betteshanger Colliery Band

-News from the Betteshanger Brass Academy

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