Woodhouse Prize Band celebrates its 160th anniversary

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They have been entertaining the people of Sheffield since Queen Victoria was on the throne, Vincent Van Gogh was born and the first potato crisp was made.

Woodhouse Prize Band marks its 160th anniversary this year and celebrated with a special concert at St James Church.

The group of musicians was originally known as the Handsworth Woodhouse Band and scores of volunteers have done their bit to make sure the tradition has survived over the decades.

Shortly after the band was formed in 1853, the Cook family moved into the village, joined the band and William Cook became bandmaster.

He was followed by four generations of his family who all took on the post of bandmaster.

Graham Cook became the conductor in 1974 and in 2010 he handed the baton on to the current musical director, David Morris.

To mark the fact Graham has served in the band for 70 years, he was presented with the framed sheet music of Il Bachio - the first piece he played on his cornet in St James Church in 1953.

A band spokesman said: “Woodhouse Prize Band has been in continual existence for 160 years with no sponsorship.

“It is just lots of hard work from the band members and supporters.

“The Crimean War was going on when Woodhouse, a tiny hamlet south east of Sheffield, joined many other villages in the UK and formed its own brass band.”

The spokesman said the band welcomes new players of all ages.

- For details, see www.woodhouseprizeband.org.uk or call 0114 245 7002.