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Last updated: 09/09/16    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.


24/07/1935 - 17/03/2016

Cliff French

A few words from the Band's Committee secretary, Neil Barnett

Cliff French

A service to celebrate the life of Cliff took place at Winterley Methodist Church on Tuesday 5 April 2016, and was followed by burial at St Matthew’s Parish Church, Haslington. The service was conducted by Ian White, David (grandson) read the lesson and Bradley (grandson) a poem called Grandad. A small group of brass players played hymn tunes outside the church prior to the service.

Cliff will long be remembered for his loyal membership of Winterley Methodist Church and his service to the local brass band community. Winterley Methodist Brass Band owes Cliff a huge debt for his willingness to become a key office holder. In 1972 he took over the role of band secretary and served in that vitally important position until 1991. During those years Cliff played his baritone on numerous band rounds and at many concerts. He also helped to organize the band’s Golden Jubilee celebrations which were held at Sandbach Town Hall in 1988. It was Cliff in particular who ensured that the entertainment that evening was provided by Foden’s Band conducted by Howard Snell.

Cliff worked very hard to ensure not only the success of Winterley Band, but also Haslington Boys Brigade Band and Foden’s Band. His determination to encourage interest in brass bands took many forms, an outstanding example being his ambition to establish the Foden’s Band Patrons Association. He called together some friends for an initial meeting at Winterley Methodist Church in June 1987, and then personally recruited numerous members and invited them to the first Patron’s Association concert at Sandbach Town Hall. By the following year the numbers had grown so much that the venue had to be changed to Sandbach Boys School, where it has continued to be held annually.

These few words cannot begin to do justice to the huge contribution which Cliff made to all our lives. It is certainly hard for anyone to begin to estimate how many people, of all ages, were introduced to brass banding by Cliff. His huge legacy will live on through the music performed by all the musicians with whom he worked, and through the large listening audience to whom he introduced brass band music.

We give thanks for the way in which music moves and shapes us. May our lives, like Cliff’s, nurture the precious gift of music.

Please hold Sheila and the family in your prayers.

Neil Barnett
Committee Secretary
Winterley Methodist Brass Band


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.