Welcome to our website
Last updated: 24/11/18    We're now on Facebook! Find us here:  FacebookLogo

As a long-established community brass band based in South Cheshire and linked to Winterley Methodist Church, the band is very active and frequently performs concerts for a wide variety of church and community events.

As an ‘open’ band we are always pleased to welcome new members. It is not all work, either. Several social events are held throughout the year, including the Christmas party, garden parties (summertime only!) and treasure hunts. Also, as an interested party, members of the band have been involved in the current disussions on how Winterley Methodist church will evolve and adapt to suit the needs of the community.

Please email for more information.

Fiona Freeman 1964 - 2018

Fiona Freeman

A service to celebrate the life of band member Fiona Freeman was held at Crewe Crematorium on Tuesday 20 November 2018. The service was conducted by Rev David Page and the hymns were Morning Has Broken and Shine Jesus Shine.

Winterley Methodist Brass Band owes Fiona a huge debt of gratitude for all the time and practical support she gave, in order to enable the band to flourish. First as secretary and more recently as assistant librarian and the person responsible for the uniform, she has been a loyal servant of the band for many years. Collecting donations on band rounds and helping to set up the hall for rehearsals, etc. are just some of the ways in which Fiona went the ‘extra mile’ for the band, and why she was rightly voted Bandperson of the Year in 2017.

It was in the late 1990’s that her son Ben first came to a rehearsal, and before long the whole family became active members and office holders. During the last decade, Fiona has also been a loyal member of the Trainer Band, encouraging everyone and ensuring that each member of the group also received a uniform.

Despite her illness Fiona was determined to play her tenor horn for as long as possible, and members will always remember the incredible effort she made to join in the Elworth band round in the Summer of 2018, and to take part in what was to be her last concert at St John’s Methodist Church, Whitchurch on 6 October. We are so glad that that particular performance was recorded.

Fond memories of Fiona will live on in our hearts, she was a very special lady who showed incredible courage, bravery and sheer determination to keep going, even when her health problems might have suggested otherwise. Since receiving her diagnosis she has set us all an incredible example of how to cope with the challenges which she had to face.

Thank you Fiona - we owe you so much and we will always remember your cheerful smile

Please hold Alan, Ben, Erica, Georgina, Tim, Jacob and Samwise in your thoughts and prayers.

Neil Barnett
Winterley Methodist Brass Band

November 2018

Macmillan concert 22 September 2018

David G Newton (fondly known as Rupert) 1940 - 2018

David G Newton

Through his performances in slow melody and quartet competitions at a young age, playing at the highest level during his teens and twenties, conducting many different brass bands (and the church choir at Winterley) and playing hymns during numerous band rounds, Dave Newton has certainly shared his love of music with many, many thousands of people during his lifetime.

Dave was born in Wheelock Heath (Sandy Lane) and attended Haslington CE Primary School. He was 8 when Eric Barnett  asked him if he would like to play an instrument. Eric fetched a tenor horn to his mother’s home and that was the start of Dave’s musical career.

By the age of 10, he was playing for Winterley Methodist Brass Band on the Sunday School Anniversary Rounds. Aged 12, he joined Middlewich Centenary Band, and began entering Slow Melody and quartet competitions. Aged 15, he performed his audition for Foden’s Band in front of Harry and Rex Mortimer, and played with the band until 1971.

As a conductor and musical director, Dave shared his musical skills and musicianship with the members of Hanley Police Band, Wem Brass Band, Tarporley Brass Band, Normid Brass Band, Crewe Concert Band and Winterley Methodist Brass Band. He was Band Master of Winterley from 1981 – 1993 & 1997 – 2003 and Musical Director from 1994 – 1996.

Those players and singers who have had the privilege of being conducted by Dave will have their own fond memories of how he coaxed a higher level of performance from the musicians present, by singing and sometimes whistling how he wanted a phrase or section to sound. His sense of humour always shone through and his love of music was clear for all to see.

The members of Winterley Methodist Brass Band salute a very special person who rose to the heights of brass banding, but maintained his links with the band across seventy years. By playing third cornet during recent years, he has continued to encourage and support those starting out on their musical journey.

We all owe Dave a huge debt of gratitude for everything he has done to encourage so many musicians. As one of the custodians of the brass band movement during the last few decades he set a very high standard – one which will be hard to equal.

Thank you Dave.



Neil Barnett


Winterley Methodist Brass Band


Band Sunday 2016

Thank you to everyone who came to Band Sunday, and to MD Richard Birchenough for yet another excellent programme, which included a spot from the Trainer Band (conducted by Georgina Buckler) and solos by Callum Seddon, Joanna Dunn, Eddy Rhodes and Fiona Freeman. Congratulations to horn player Dave Whiston, who was voted Bandsperson of the Year, an honour awarded in memory of David Lowe.

Fundraising Update Band Sunday 2016

The fundraising for the New Community Resource building project at Winterley has taken a huge leap forward following the news that the church has been successful in gaining a grant of £50,000 from WREN.

It is eleven months since the information was collated and the application first submitted, but our patience has been rewarded. The success of the bid means that we have now achieved £110,000 in grants and fundraising during 2016 - which is absolutely brilliant!

A huge thank you to everyone for their practical support, and to all those who have attended any of our fundraising events over the last year. We now have the challenge of securing the remaining £55,000 in order to achieve the original target of £165,000.

Harvest Supper Concert at Wistaston

St Mary's Church Hall was the venue for our latest concert, featuring a sublime solo by Callum Seddon (Wandrin' Star) and a beautiful rendition of Caresse sur l'Océan by Joanna Dunn in a packed programme that included Swingin' Safari, Anthem from Chess and Highland Cathedral. The concert was held in aid of Christian Aid and the Cheshire Agricultural Chaplaincy.

[Photos courtesy of Stephen & Sarah Rhodes]



Grand Award for Granville

Winterley’s soprano player Granville Jennings has been honoured with the North West Area Brass Band Association’s “Diamond award for long service”. This award is in recognition of Granville's 67 years (1948 - present) of continuous service to the brass band movement as both a player and a conductor. His first band was the Wigan British Legion Band. Granville then played for the Coppull Band, Wingates, the Haigh Band, the Lower Ince Band and Foden's (1964 - 1974). He then moved on to the Royal Doulton Band, before conducting Beresford's Band until 1990. That same year Granville took on the job of band librarian for Foden's and joined Winterley Methodist Brass Band, where he has been our assistant MD since 2004. He is also a member of the Sandbach U3A band.

The award was presented at a Foden’s concert in Sandbach on 17 September by Mark Wilkinson, principal cornet at Foden’s, who thanked him for his continued service and dedication to both Foden’s and the brass band movement.


Band Round in aid of Foodbank

The band enjoyed a very successful band round in Winterley on Sunday 20 September. We collected an impressive £100 (in 100 minutes), which will now be donated to the local Foodbank. Many thanks to everyone who played, collected, handed out leaflets or contributed.


About Our Trainer Band

Do you play a brass or percussion instrument?

Always wanted to learn?

Curious to find out what all those tadpoles on the music mean?   

Winterley's Trainer Band is for players of all ages, and ranges from complete beginners to those with several years' experience.

Why not come along on Thursday evenings (see the Diary on the Events page for our rehearsal schedule) and give it a try? 

We have a small selection of instruments available if you don't already have one.   

Click on the image on the right for more details.


The Trainer Band in action.

Winterley 'Brassed' & Present  -

75 Years of Music Making

This illustrated book tells the unique story of Winterley Methodist Brass Band.

The first section, "Thank You For The Music", records the chronology of the band's musical journey, and includes biographical details about all the Musical Directors. The book then explores several themes under the title of "Thank You For The Memories". These include some interesting and amusing experiences.

The author, Neil Barnett, is an Eb bass player in the band and has been a serving officer of the organisation since 1972.

To obtain your copy, please contact a member of the band, or e-mail a request for an order form to:

Please ensure that you include your name and address.

Copies of the book are priced at £5.00. Post and packing costs £1.50.

To Praise Thy Name
Kevin Birch (second from left) is seen holding the score of his compostion “To Praise Thy Name”. It is one of two pieces the band has commissioned to mark its 75 Years Celebrations. The title of the work is the second line of the hymn Sweet Is The Work (Deep Harmony). Kevin states ‘I wanted to write a piece that encapsulated a typical morning out on the band."

Kevin was born in 1960 in Congleton (Cheshire). As a result of his father's interest in following the Foden’s Motor Works Band, Kevin used to go and listen to rehearsals at the bandroom in Elworth. It was the Foden connection which led to his involvement with Brass Bands. He joined the Middlewich Band (now Roberts Bakery Band) on Second Baritone and progressed through Solo Baritone to the Solo Euphonium. Following a short break he joined the United Co-op Crewe Band.

Whilst he was at Roberts Bakery he started to arrange and compose music for brass bands. His conducting experience started with Tarporley Band and in 1994 he became Musical Director at Audley Brass. In 2007 he was honoured to accept the position of Composer in Residence of the United Co-op Crewe Band. At the end of 2011 he followed in his father’s footsteps when he was appointed as Organist & Director of Music at St. Marys Parish Church, Sandbach.
Kevin Birch at rehearsal

The photogaph shows (l. to r.) Richard Birchenough, Kevin Birch, Brenda O’Dowd, and Neil Barnett.    (Photo courtesy Seamus O’Dowd)

Winterley ‘Brassed’ and Present
Is your group looking for a new idea to include in its programme of speakers?
Look no further!

Winterley ‘Brassed’ and Present is an entertaining presentation containing a number of historical and musical highlights from the story of this rare, if not unique brass band. Your speaker will explain how and why a small group of teenagers founded the band, and share with you a flavour of the wide range of music played by the band, together with some amusing anecdotes from the history of the band.

For more information please email:

What We Do - a Pictorial Record of Events


Included in the Gallery section is a range of photographs taken over the years at some of the many concerts and band rounds.  

We welcome submissions for inclusion in the site.

For more information about what we do, our availability or how to join us, please contact us using the link on the Contacts page.
Many local churches utilise the services of the band for their own special occasions. One such occasion, at Nantwich Methodist Church, was recorded by the BBC as part of their “Songs of Praise” series.
Winterley Methodist Brass Band is proud of its high reputation and is grateful for the continued support of the community it serves.