1838 – 28th June: Blackwater Musical Band played at Redruth for the coronation of Queen Victoria. (Still Blawin’)
The Blackwater philanthropist, John Passmore Edwards, was a fife player in Blackwater Band.
1878: “… Blackwater Juvenile Brass Band, under the leadership of Mr Frank Symons, was in attendance and played some nice selections throughout…” (RCG 1st February 1878)
1901: Blackwater (Reed and Brass) Band formed or re-formed by C Retallack, DCLI clarinet player. (John Brush)
At some stage it became a Brass Band.
1901: “The Little village of Blackwater may well be proud (says a correspondent) of the rapid strides which the Brass and Reed Band has made during the seven months of its formation. Great credit is due to the conductor, Mr C Ratallack, …” (18 July 1901 – Royal Cornwall Gazette)
Blackwater Band practised in a hut near the railway line.
Blackwater Band at Mawla tea treat pre-1902 (Photo: courtesy Clive Benney)
1902: “… Mr. W. S. Hooper, a cheque for one guinea towards purchasing a new drum for the Blackwater Reed and Brass Band.” (10 April 1902 – West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser)
1902: “Sir Edward Durning-Lawrence, Bart, M.P., has sent a cheque for one guinea towards purchasing a new drum… [for Blackwater Band]” (Cornubian and Redruth Times 11 April 1902)
1902: “A concert was given at Blackwater Chapel on Saturday last on behalf of the Sunday School, by the Blackwater Reed and Brass Band, under the able conductorship of Mr. C. Retallick, late of the 2nd D.C.L.I., assisted by several friends of the district …”(1 May 1902 – West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser)
1902: “… festival was held on Saturday, when the members paraded the streets of the village to the strains of the Blackwater Reed and Brass Band, and afterwards partook of tea. …” (5 June 1902 – Royal Cornwall Gazette)
1902: “… The Blackwater Reed and Brass Band played selections during the afternoon, and gave a concert in the evening. …” (7 August 1902 – Royal Cornwall Gazette)
1903: “… In the evening a concert was given, in which the Blackwater Reed and Brass Band, under the conductorship of Mr. H. Rogers, took part. Mr. F. Thomas’s mandoline and banjo band contributed several items …” (16 April 1903 – Royal Cornwall Gazette)
1903: Blackwater Brass and Reed Band at Mithian Band of Hope tea. (RCG 28th May 1903)
1903: “Bazaar at Porthtowan … The Blackwater Reed and Brass Band rendered excellent music during in the afternoon and evening. The proceeds amounted to ever £20.” (6 August 1903 – Royal Cornwall Gazette)
1903: “… Chacewater Saturday, November 21st Redruth School Mines V. Chacewater. Kick … p.m., when Redruth and Blackwater united Brass Bands will be … . A Collection will be made in behalf of James Lavin, who recently lost both his legs through an accident.” (12 November 1903 – Royal Cornwall Gazette)
Blackwater Brass and Reed Band at Mount Hawke. Ernie Pearce (Monty’s father) is the young lad front right. He joined in 1904 aged 12 and learnt to play the cornet
The style of hats suggest that this is Blackwater Band at Mount Hawke
1904: Blackwater Brass and Reed Band at Mithian Band of Hope tea. (RCG 19th May 1904)
1904: “…. Blackwater, Three burrows, and Mithian Church, from the Passmore Edwards Institute. It was led by the Blackwater Reed Brass Band as far as Mithian Church, where appropriate address was delivered by the Rev. B. Smart, vicar, after which the return was made …” (1 September 1904 – Royal Cornwall Gazette)
1905: “… The children’s tea treat took place on Tuesday, the Blackwater Brass and Reed Band being in attendance.” (8 June 1905 – Royal Cornwall Gazette)
1905: “Mr. Passmore Edwards says his first public appearance was the day when Queen Victoria was crowned. He played in the [Blackwater] Village Band, and the leader had on more than one occasion to say, ‘Jack Edwards, you play out of tune’. He says he has since had occasion to remember the admonition then given, and has found that his capacity for getting out of tune survives from the day of the Coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, to that of the Coronation of Edward VII., and after.”
(16 November 1905 – Royal Cornwall Gazette)
1906: “… The annual treat took place on Tuesday, when the children the neighbourhood, headed by the Blackwater Brass Reed Band, who also gave a choice selection music during the afternoon and evening.”(14 June 1906 – Royal Cornwall Gazette)
1906 circa: Blackwater Brass and Reed Band practised in a stable near Blackwater Chapel.
1906: “…Mithian Band of Hope headed by Blackwater Band…” (Cornubian and Redruth Times 26th May 1906)
1907: From the next report it appears that Blackwater Band disbanded in 1907 although John Brush suggests that the date of its closure was 1914.
1909: “The people of Blackwater and district fully realise the benefit derived from the Royal Cornwall Infirmary, Truro, and the Miners’ Hospital, Redruth, and for years have had what they term a Hospital Sunday demonstration. The idea originated with the members of Blackwater Band, with Mr. T. D. Jenkins as president, and for some years that band gave their services, assisted by some members of Redruth Volunteer Band. Through emigration and other causes the Blackwater Band ceased to exist and for the last two years the Redruth Band has gratuitously placed its services at the disposal of the Hospital Sunday Committee. Last year over £8 was raised. The interest in the cause has not waned; in fact, it has largely increased. After an address in front of Blackwater Institute, a procession will be formed, headed by the Redruth Territorial Band, and march to the top of Blackwater-hill east, where an address will be given by the Rev. B. Smart, vicar of Mithian. (RCG 15 July 1909) 1950s: “I was playing in the upper floor of Ward’s Garage in the centre of Blackwater village when I came across the Blackwater Band bass drum.” (Tony Mansell)
1950s: “I was playing in the upper floor of Ward’s Garage in the centre of Blackwater village when I came across the Blackwater Band bass drum.” (Tony Mansell)
Compiled by Tony Mansell (Bardh Kernow)
This collection is a part of the Cornish National Music Archive (CNMA) project to Collect, Preserve and Share our Cornish Heritage and Culture.
It is based on location as each may have had more than one band.
Our thanks go to all of the organisations and individuals, whether named or not, who have provided information and photographs for this archive.
If you own the copyright to any of the photographs included here then please let us know and they will be credited or removed.
If you are able to correct or update any information included here then please leave a comment.