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History of the Aveley and Newham Brass Band


The Aveley Band

The Aveley Band was founded as a Fife and Drum band at the rear of the Crown and Anchor public house in 1894. By 1899 it had evolved into an all brass ensemble performing as the Aveley Silver Prize Band. After many years of success, the band won promotion to the Championship Section of Great Britain in 1966 and was renamed the Aveley Band in recognition of this feat. It made its first appearance at the finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall in 1989.

In 1994, to celebrate the Band's centenary, Thurrock Arts Council commissioned a special work entitled "Century", composed by Phillip Harper, a former band member. It was premiered by the Band in a prestigious concert at Thurrock Civic Hall.

Old Aveley Band

The Newham Band

The Newham Band began in the early 20th century as Grangewood Silver Band. Following the war in 1946 it became East Ham Silver Band based at the local Technical College which employed the Musical Director as lecturer.

east ham silver band

Renamed East Ham Borough Band in the 1950's players were attracted from further afield, leading to considerable improvement. By 1958 it was setting significantly new standards for the area and qualified for the N.B.B.C.G.B. Finals for the first time. Subsequently the band participated in the finals on numerous occasions twice finishing in the top six an outstanding achievement against bands such as Black Dyke, Fairey's and Grimethorpe Colliery. Reorganisation of the London Boroughs in 1965 led to the name being changed once more to the Newham Band.


The East Ham band at the area contest 1963 where they played “Symphony Of Marches” by Gilbert Vinter

East Ham plays Ball

(Eric Ball)

Recorded 1963

Conducted by Cyril Suckling

1. March - Roslyn

2. Second Rhapsody on Negro Spirituals

3. Call Of The Sea

4. The Long Day Closes


Listen to the Record

Brass Band Breakaway

Recorded 1964

Conducted by Cyril Suckling

1. Fandango (Perkins)

2. Symphony of Marches (Vinter)

3. Autumn Leaves (Kosna)

4. Theme from New World Symphony (Dvorak)


Listen to the Record (part one)

Listen to the Record (part two)

East Ham Band at Royal Albert Hall

East Ham Borough Band 1953

Brass Quartet and Solo Championships 1963 - Click to see inside

See inside programme

Listen to a recording of the East Ham Borough Brass Band playing a concert at Ware, Hertfordshire 1962

The Aveley and Newham Band

The Aveley and Newham Band was formed in 1995 from the merger of the Aveley Band and the Newham Band, two of the oldest and most successful brass bands in the South East of England. Since the amalgamation the newly titled Aveley and Newham band has maintained old traditions, enhanced its reputation for superb entertainment and forged many new friendships.


The Band has represented the London and Southern Counties Brass Band Association at eight of the last eleven N.B.B.C.G.B. Finals, as regional Champions in 1998, 2000, 2001 and again in 2006. In 2004 the Band received its first invitation to the Scottish Open Championship and in 2006 made it's tenth consecutive appearance in the prestigious English International Masters Championships. Also in 2006 the band won the Grand Shield competition at Blackpool, the band then went on to take part in the British Open Contest for the next two years. In 2008 the band took part in the French Open contest and also performed a gala concert at the event.

Aveley and Newham band

Apart from traditional competition, the Band has established an enviable record in the entertainment contest field with notable successes at Crawley(Champions 1995, 1995, 1997, 2000), Yeovil (Champions 2001, 2005, RU 2004, Entertainment 2000), Reading (Champions 1998) and Butlin's Mineworkers (Entertainment 2005).


On a wider front the Band performed at the National Theatre for four weeks in 1998 in the stage production of the critically acclaimed film "Brassed Off" and received glowing reviews in The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Daily Mail newspapers. Also that year the Band was engaged in a major TV. advertising campaign for Nike Sportswear. In 1999 the Band performed on the BBC TV. show "Families at War" with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.


In 2004 the band embarked on an annual concert series with the Enfield Citadel Band of the Salvation Army entitled "Cathedral Brass" which has proved to be a fantastic success. Then, early in 2005, the Band accompanied 'cellist Jonathan Kitchen on his debut recording "Camaraderie", which featured a ground breaking performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto. The band also performed with the internationally acclaimed euphonium soloist Glynn Williams of Foden's Richardson Band in a concert following the 2005 Finals at the Royal Albert Hall.

The band has made several broadcasts on “Listen to the band” which is broadcast on BBC Radio Two as part of “Friday Night Is Music Night”. It has regularly given concerts in concert halls, churches and bandstands in the Royal Parks.

In 2007 the band went on tour in Germany.

In 2012 the band made history by being the first brass band to perform at the newly built olympic stadium, the band also played at the Newham show which welcomed the olympic torch as it journeyed around the country. At the end of August 2012 the band performed at Wembley stadium to an audience of thirty one thousand people when it played at the opening ceremony of the Carnegie Rugby League Challenge Cup 2012 final. The performance was also broadcast around the world.

The Aveley and Newham band is an entirely self supporting non-profit organisation and acts as an ambassador, communicating the humanitarian message of peace, understanding and goodwill through music, whilst striving for the highest standards in this endeavour.

Aveley and Newham with the Grand Shield cup 2006

An Early picture of the Aveley band

Programme for Concert given on 23rd November 1963 - Click for larger image Inside Programme for concert given on 23rd November 1963 - Click for larger view


Recording of the Aveley Band Playing in 1979,

conducted by Cyril Suckling.

March Of The Pacemakers - Gordon Langford

Trumpeter’s Lullaby - Leroy Anderson

Soloist - Graham Cunningham

Cavatina - Stanley Myers (arr. Derek Broadbent)

Americana - Ronald Hanmer

Early One Morning - arr. Frank Seymour

Rag And Bone - Michael Brand

Soloist - Hadyn Green

Melody In F - Anton Rubenstein