President : The Rt. Hon. Lord Jones PC

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In the beginning . . .

In the early 19th century a group of local musicians gathered for their own entertainment, to play and develop their musical interests. Later these people would begin to play for religious services, it is from these humble beginnings the Royal Buckley Town Band was formed.

Firstly, it was a Brass and Reed Ensemble, and members would, because of their musical ability, be very respected in the neighbourhood. Many could not read or write, it is therefore not surprising that early records were not kept. The evidence points to the fact the first signs of the emergence of a Band, as such, was in the early 1820's, and, although in the book 'Out of this Clay', written by local Historian, Alderman Dennis Griffiths, he states the Buckley Band was formed in 1820, the Alderman later agreed it was probably nearer 1822 before the musicians were regarded as a Band. This is supported by the Jubilee publication of 1902 where it is stated the Royal Buckley Town Band was 'set on foot' 80 years ago.

In 1822 a local Band of musicians were present in the parade from Hawarden to Buckley for the laying of the foundation stone of St. Matthew's Church. While there is no evidence to state categorically that it was the 'Buckley Band', certainly it seems to be a reasonable assumption, since there is no indication of the existence of any other group of musicians at that time. During its early years the Band was very short of instrumentalists and they attended few, if any public engagements, although they most certainly carried on playing for local religious services.

In 1853 a well-know local Choirmaster, Mr Edward Griffiths, encouraged a number of local people to purchase their own instruments, and under his direction and tutorship the Band took on a new lease of life, this time the ensemble being entirely of brass instruments.   Because of the number of members of the Griffiths family in the Band, the Band became know as the 'Griffiths Band', and the newly acquired Bass drum was suitably decorated. Mr Edward Griffiths died in 1867 at the early age of 38 and his place was taken by his nephew.

Mr James Griffiths, the new Bandmaster, encouraged the Band and more people became interested, and it was around this time the Trombone first made its appearance in Buckley. Although in reality no member of the Band could play this instrument, this did not deter Mr Griffiths who persevered and quite soon a member of the Band was proudly presented to the people of Buckley as their first Trombonist. Mr Griffiths remained Bandmaster until well into the twentieth century, and during his leadership of the Buckley Band, other Bands were started in Buckley. In 1880 the Buckley Engineers Volunteer Brass Band was formed, locally called the 'Mill Band' and later the 'Denbighshire Hussars Imperial Yeomanry Band', locally called the 'Slaughterhouse Band'.

The next Bandmaster was Mr 'Jimmie' Griffiths and thus the last of the Griffiths line took charge of the Band. By this time Brass Band Contests were held, and in 1923 at the Mold Eisteddfod the Band gained third prize. This photo being the oldest photograph of the Town Band that can be traced. Members in the photo include Bill Sharp, Sammy Collins, Bill Davies, John Smallwood, Arthur Bellis, men who played a large part in seeing the Band flourish.

In 1958 Mr Harold Wilcock led the Band to victory in the Llangefni Contest; in October of that year the band took three third prizes at the N.W.B.B.A. Rally held in Conway. This was easily the best year to date, and the untimely death of Mr Wilcock only a few months later was a bitter blow. His place was taken by his brother Mr. Len Wilcock who remained with the Band for two years before taking a Bandmastership with another local Band.

In 1960 Mr 'Joss' Lloyd took over as Bandmaster, and under his baton the band gained its first ever prize in the Belle Vue Spring Brass Band Festival - being placed third in the Junior Trophy Section.  In 1965 the Band again gained three second prizes in the N.W.B.B.A. Rally, and in 1967 and 1968 gained fifth and sixth places in the Senior trophy Section - at last the Band was going places.

In 1970, the band engaged a Professional Tutor, Mr. James McDean, a member of the famous Fodens Band and in December, 1971, under his direction the Band gained entry into the final of the National Brass Band Championships. It was the first time in the Band's history and it was a very proud band who took the platform in London on April 22 1972. Their reward was seventh place out of twenty Bands, and the Band are justly proud of this achievement.

In 1973 Mr Glyn Smith took over as Bandmaster. Under his direction the band went on to win many contests. Glyn is in fact the longest serving Bandmaster from 1973 until 1993.

1969 ~ Bandmaster Josh Lloyd

1977 ~ Bandmaster Glyn Smith