Winterley Brass Band Alumni


The first Winterley Band

The first Winterley Methodist Brass Band outside the church.

Winterley Methodist Brass Band was founded in 1938.   During the last seventy four years many players have performed with the band and the membership has grown significantly, particularly during the last two decades.

The band has compiled a list of everyone who has ever been a regular member of the band.   Please click on the link below to view the list of alumni.

If you are aware of any further names which should be included in the list, please email with the details.

An Acrobat document with past membership can be found here:  






Cliff French

Cliff French

Cliff French
24/07/1935 - 17/03/2016

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


David Lowe

Dave Lowe pictured at the band's 75th Anniversary Dinner.

The funeral service for David Lowe (aged 55) was held at Wheelock Methodist Church on Friday, 7th November, 2014.   David was an organic dairy farmer who, in addition to playing in the band, always found time to support the band in a practical ‘hands on’ way.   Following a service at the farm many years ago, he was tempted to learn to play and subsequently taught himself to play the euphonium.

David could always be relied upon to use his Landrover and trailer to transport the band equipment to concerts, and he and his wife, Caroline have hosted the annual band party at School Farm for many years.   David also arranged for the band to rehearse at the Hancock Hall at his ‘home’ church, Wheelock Methodist Church, when elections prevented the hall at Winterley being used.

Over the years, David and Caroline have hosted Band Coffee Evenings at the farm to help raise funds for the band.   A marquee and covered stalls are just small examples of the considerable effort which they have made to ensure that the events were a great success.   Recently, David agreed to store a large number of items at the farm for the successful Attic & Garage Sale at Winterley in September.   Nothing was ever too much trouble for David.

He attended the band rehearsal on Thursday, 23rd October as usual, and therefore his untimely death, two days later, came as a huge shock to everyone in Winterley Band.   David was a ‘team player’ with a gentle sense of humour, and the band owes him and Caroline a huge debt of gratitude for the endless support which they have selflessly given over many years.

Forty players were present to play before, during and after David’s funeral service.   The coffin entered the church to the strains of ‘We Plough The Fields And Scatter’ and the recessional music was the hymn tune "Deep Harmony".   The hymns were "Blessed Assurance", "Love Divine" and "Great is Thy Faithfulness".   The excellent number of players present enabled two bands to be formed (one inside and one outside).   The wonderful turnout is testament to the high regard in which David was held by everyone in the band.

These few words do not begin to do justice to the huge contribution which David made to all our lives. He leaves a gigantic ‘space’ and a huge legacy.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
     But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

(Words included in the order of service)  

Please hold Caroline, Katy, Sarah & Clare in your thoughts and prayers.

(In the band photograph at the head of the Home page David is fourth from the right on the front row.)

Neil Barnett
Committee Vice-Chair
Winterley Methodist Brass Band
Where Are They Now?

Thank you to all those former band members who have kindly agreed to write a few paragraphs about what has happened to them since they ceased playing regularly in the band.
1.     Duncan Hook

2.     Tina Ashburner (nee Sandlands)

3.     Marc Clarke

4.     Rachel Goddard
5.     Daniel Keen

6.     Michael Shenton

7.     Lisa Wilkinson

This section is in the process of development.

ALUMNI:    1938 - 1947

The following information is taken from in a cash book in which the treasurer recorded the weekly subscriptions.

In 1938 the band was known as Winterley Methodist Sunday School Band.   The officers in that year were:

President - David (Dave) McClymont
Secretary - William (Bill) Newton
Treasurer - Eric Barnett

The names of the following band members are listed for all or part of the following years - December, 1938 to July, 1947:
 1.    David (Dave) McClymont  5.     Roy Antrobus  9.     Alan Large
 2.    William (Bill) Newton  6.     Robert (Bob) H. Fleet  10.    Henry Newton
 3.    Eric Barnett  7.     Harold Newton  11.    R. Bailey
 4.    Clifford Barnett  8.     R. Price  12.    T. Jones

In October 1943 approx. five new learners commenced.   They are recorded as ‘Lads’ (i.e. No names are entered in the book).   The weekly subscription was 6d and 1d for lads.   At a meeting on 15th May, 1940, it was agreed to reduce the subscription to 3d.

Information provided by Neil Barnett - December, 2011.

Musical Directors of Winterley Methodist Brass Band

The list of names below has been produced to acknowledge the dedicated and loyal service given by those who have directed the music performed by the band throughout its history.   The ‘job titles’ have changed over the years – whatever the title, the band owes a great debt to each person named.   The information is taken from the band archive.

Date Name Title
1938 - 1972 Harold Newton Bandmaster
1972 - 1973 Clifford Barnett Acting Bandmaster
1973 - 1975 Clifford Barnett
Roy Sparkes
John French
Musical Director
Assistant Conductor
1976 - 1977 Clifford Barnett
Michael Shenton
Musical Director
1978 - 1980 Clifford Barnett
Cliff French
Musical Director
1981 - 1993 Clifford Barnett
Dave Newton
Musical Director
1994 - 1996 Dave Newton
Paul Vickers
Musical Director
Bandmaster (Regular Conductor)
1997 - 2003 Paul Vickers
Dave Newton
Musical Director
2004 - Present Richard Birchenough
Granville Jennings
Musical Director
Asst. Musical Director

. At the 2005 AGM the title of ‘Bandmaster’ was re-instated “for the purpose of band organisation and discipline at concerts, etc.”

Geoff Hall was appointed in 2005, Dave Wood in 2011 and Geoff Hall again in 2012.

Information provided by Neil Barnett - February, 2011

Presidents of Winterley Methodist Brass Band

The minister of Winterley Methodist Church has traditionally held the post of Band President and chaired the band AGM. The list below acknowledges the support and encouragement given to the members of the band by all the ‘resident’ ministers of the church since the band was founded in 1938.

Date Name
1938 - 1941   Rev J W Horner
1941 - 1946   Rev W Brown
1946 - 1949   Rev J Riddell Smith
1949 - 1951   Rev Lewis F Lovell
1951 - 1952   Rev Jack Dowson
1952 - 1955   Rev J Basil Pegman
1955 - 1959   Rev Eric D Lees
1959 - 1962   Rev A R James
1962 - 1967   Rev Michael W Hill
1967 - 1972   Rev Frank E Bishop
1972 - 1977   Rev Robert W Gollins
1977 - 1981   Rev Paul R Cieka
1981 - 1982   Rev Kenneth Stone (Circuit Superintendent)
1982 - 1986   Rev Horace Barker
1986 - 1987   Rev G Guy Stanford (Circuit Superintendent)
1987 - 1992   Rev Edward Hobbs
1992 - 1994   Rev J Graham Wassell
1994 - 2008   Rev David R Westhead
2008 - 2010   Rev Simon Sutcliffe
2010 - 2012   Rev Pauline Basterfield
2012   Rev Malcom Lorimer (Circuit Superintendent)

. Most of the information is taken from AGM minutes and circuit plans.

Information provided by Neil Barnett - January, 2013