Buckhaven & Methil Miners Brass Band - Copyright 2001 - LT~d - http://www.lewisthomson.com

Below is the most recent band news - listed with most up-to-date first:
Saturday 21st April 2018

Band had a good result at the Fife Brass Band Festival Contest held in Lochgelly Centre coming second in their section. Many thanks to our conductor on the day, Andy Shaw. Andy stepped in to take the Band to this contest as our resident Musical Director was unavailable. See results below...........


Saturday 9th September 2017

Band playing at the Michael Colliery Disaster 50th Anniversary Service

Below a commemorative piece of coal to mark the occasion.

Saturday 24th June 2017

Players just before the start of Dunfermline Children's Gala Parade. Jim Cameron taking photograph.

Sunday 21st May 2017

Here is a photo of Dr Giles Harris completing the Stirling Marathon! He ran in band uniform and he carried a plastic cornet!!
See more below.

This is a fantastic achievement and has managed to raise around 1200 in order to boost the regeneration of the Band's junior section "Buckhaven Brass Beginnings". Everyone connected to the band would like to say a massive thank you to Giles, and also wish him good luck for all events in the future. With the money raised by Giles' sponsored marathon we intend to provide instruments and music for anyone who is wanting to learn a brass instrument! Junior Band is on a Wednesday night at 6:00pm

If you want to learn how to play or if you have children or grandchildren who would like to learn, please get in touch either through the Facebook page or via the contact details on this Website.

Saturday 13th May 2017

The Band were invited to play at the wedding of our horn plaver Adam to Vicki. The ceremony was held in Lochore Meadows and the Band was set up to play under the winding gear pulley wheels of the old pit.
We played a varied selection of music for the guests arriving and Wild Mountain Thyme when the bride arrived. After the ceremony everyone moved to the Miners Institute and club where a great time was had by all celebrating into the evening.



Sunday 19th February 2017

Buckhaven & Methil Miners Band were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Bruce Fraser who had a long association with the band as a conductor, instructor to many young players in the band and a friend.
The band played Bruce's composition Ground Pavan at tonight's rehearsal as a mark of respect to a true gentleman who will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

Personal Tributes

Jim Cameron - I first met Bruce as a pupil at Kennoway primary school when he took over the brass tuition in the mid 1970\'92s. Lessons were very different to the traditionalist brass teaching that I had been receiving up till then and in many ways he kept the music alive & modern. He was also the Brass tutor at Buckhaven High school, so it was great to have a welcome face when I moved up to the "Big School". Playing in the wind band, we would be the testing ground his side career of arranging and composition. School trips to Trelleborg in Sweden and Holzminden in Germany let us see the family side of Bruce with Pat always by his side keeping us all in check....(No easy task!!) They were our formative years and indeed the best days of our lives. I had been a member of the Brass band since 1973 so it was a welcome surprise when one day in 1980 Bruce stood before us as our new conductor. Many of my school wind band collegues were persuaded to join by Bruce, so we had a young but ever improving band. Having known Bruce man & boy for over 40 years, I can only thank Bruce for being such a huge part of my life and thanks for keeping the music alive. Jim

Brian McCabe - My first recollection of Bruce Fraser was at Kennoway Primary school, around 1975, when Bruce visited the school once a week to take over the brass tuition. When I started at Buckhaven High School our lessons continued as did our participation in the school wind band, which Bruce conducted. This was a great learning experience in many ways and we had 2 fantastic trips to Sweden and one to Germany in my time at high school. In my third year at high school Bruce suggested I move from the French Horn to the Tenor Horn as it was more suited to my style of playing! Little did I know I had just been conned by Mr Fraser for the first time! At that time Bruce had just taken over the baton at Buckhaven & Methil Miners Brass Band and they just happened to need a Solo Tenor Horn player! I have never looked back! This was probably the best opportunity Bruce could have given me, as the band has been a massive part of my life since then. Throughout his time with the band Bruce took us to two British Championships, annual qualification to the Miners contest in Blackpool and a memorable trip to Isle of Man in 1988, as well as so many other experiences, too many to mention. He was a wonderful musician, conductor and a true gent and friend. I will always be indebted to him!

Brian Hutchison - My first encounter with Bruce Fraser was in 1978 when he arrived at Kennoway primary school to test pupils for potential brass players, I was fortunate enough to pass the test and was presented with a battered and dented euphonium in a Freeman Hardy Willis catalogue bag and a pillow case. I had lessons once a week with Bruce and this continued until I moved up to Buckhaven High School in August 1981. At this time Bruce's teaching schedule was very busy and he had less time for brass tuition so James Miller took over my lessons. I went on to play in the school wind band under Bruce's direction and enjoyed a successful trip to Sweden in summer 1983. It was after that trip that Bruce encouraged me to join Buckhaven & Methil Brass Band, which I did and sat in the second baritone seat absolutely terrified. I played my first contest at the Winter Gardens Blackpool that November and Bruce's advice to me was as long as I played the first note and the last note he would be happy. Bruce moved on from conducting the band and i had a break when I got married and had a family, I returned to banding a few years ago when my son started playing and was fortunate enough to catch up with Bruce again at contests etc. Lastly I am glad I was able to participate in the musician's day last year to mark the closure of Buckhaven High School where Bruce led the assembled group in one final performance. I could go on all day and speak highly of this truly inspirational figure in my brass playing journey but will end by saying he will always be remembered as a true gentleman and a friend.

Jim Hyslop - I remember the day when I first introduced Bruce Fraser to brass band conducting. I asked him along to the horsa hut for a try out then afterwards we went to the Buck and Hynd for a pint. We remained friends ever since.  He introduced a conveyor belt of players, now a considerable number of whom are professional players. He helped the band gain a London qualification not long after he arrived in 1982 and continuous mine workers final qualifications in Blackpool, always with a very young band with a continuous stream of young players. He also had a unique laid back conducting style which kept a young band relaxed on stage. He then progressed to conduct numerous bands and adjudicated at any number of high profile contests throughout Europe. Greatly missed. - Jim 


23rd to 25th January 2015

Another successful weekend away at Fisher's Hotel in Pitlochry. This year we were honoured to be joined by Richard Evans, known to everyone in the brass band world. From Friday to Sunday we had four sessions of rehearsals with Richard taking charge and giving the band the benefit of his years of experience. Everyone worked hard and the band really enjoyed Richard's anecdotes which helped break the ice and put everyone at ease. Many thanks to Mr Evans for his professionalism, dedication and patience taking time to tutor a lower section band. Obviously no weekend away would be complete without the social activities away from the rehearsal room and this year was even better than ever. Many of the bandsmen were in highland dress and even Mr Evans had tartan trews and black tie and tunic for the Burn's Supper on the Saturday evening. The band played Hoots Mon and 500 Miles to entertain the hotel guests after the meal. Everybody took part in the country dancing and Brian Hutchison gave us a few Rabbie Burns songs as well as winding the evening up with Auld Lang Syne. A late night for some followed but I am pleased to report that everybody made the 10:00am rehearsal the next morning. Jim Hyslop and Dave Neil gave a speech of thanks to Mr Evans and invited him back in the future if that can be arranged. Richard said that he too had enjoyed the weekend and that he would be happy to join us again if his diary allows. After loading instruments, cars, vans and minibus headed for home just after 11:15, with most people arriving home before 1:00pm. Below are some photos from the weekend.


22nd September 2014

The band has just returned from a successful weekend playing at Beamish Agricultural Fair on Saturday 20th. After we played for an appeciative audience the band had a couple of hours in Beamish to enjoy all that's on offer. After Beamish we were bussed back to our hotel in the Jesmond area of Newcastle where we spent a very enjoyable evening sampling the hostelries of the area. I 'm pleased to report everyone survived and after an early breakfast on Sunday morning we headed back up the A1 and arrived home around lunchtime.

25th May 2014

Following on from our win at Dunfermline, yesterday 24th May, the Band won the 4th Section at the Northern Counties Brass Band Contest in the Kinross Community Campus. Two wins in succession rolls of the tongue quite sweetly after our recent barren spell as far as results go. Our resident conductor David Neil deserves all the accolades for this upturn in form resulting in these two victories. The Band played the same programme as the last time with the addition of the march "Millfield" composed by Alan Fernie in memory of Andy McKinlay who sadly passed away suddenly a couple of years ago. The march was especially well received by members of other bands on the day, who heard the performance, and Alan Fernie is considering publishing the march professionally after several enquiries about the march. A fine tribute indeed to a fine bandsman sorely missed.


20th April 2014

The Band won the 4th Section at the recent Fife Brass Band Festival Contest in the Carnegie Hall Dunfermline yesterday, Saturday 19th April. Under the baton of Andy Shaw, deputising for our regular conductor David Neil who was on holiday. The band played a four piece entertainment programme as follows....Island Whirl, Let Me Try Again, Lass With The Golden Hair and Everlasting Love, and the result and the remarks from adjudicator Alan Fernie suggest that the band is moving in the right direction after a couple of years of poor results on the contesting circuit. Special mention goes to Solo Cornet Bryan Hynd to whom Alan awarded the Best Instrumentalist prize for the 4th section. Gavin Thomson, euphonium also played well in the rendition of Let Me Try Again. Special thanks to our conductor David Neil and Andy, his deputy on the day, who have been very supportive and encouraging as we try to reach higher stadards of playing and performance. I'm sure this result will give us the confidence we need to carry on this improvement.


24th to 26th January 2014

Band were in Fishers Hotel for the weekend rehearsing this year's test piece under the bato of Archie Hutchison. Below are some pictures from the weekend.

Adam Ottiwell becomes a true Scotsman at the Burns Supper.



12th January 2014

Alan Fernie putting the players through their paces during his visit to go through this year's test piece, "Three Spanish Impressions", which he composed a few years ago and was chosen as the 4th section test piece for 2014. The contest will be held in Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 8th March.




1st January 2014

Happy New Year to all our readers. 2013 was a very busy year for the Band. We attended 18 events which included contests, gala parades, bandstands, and concerts in various venues locally. Special thanks go to CLEAR for their continuing support by sponsoring two concerts in Buckhaven Theatre, one in May then a Christmas concert in December. The Band love to play in the intimate surroundings of the small theatre in Buckhaven and as always it is a sell-out. The band were also at the Dedication of the Buckhaven Heritage Trail, pictured below.

Earlier in the year several players appeared in the film, The Happy Lands, a feature film by Theatre Workshop Scotland developed along with members of the mining communities of Fife. Small groups of players are regularly visiting primary schools throughout Fife promoting brass banding to the younger generations who we are trying to recruit to secure the future and heritage of brass bands.


26th May 2013

CLEAR Concert in Buckhaven Theatre


4th May 2013

Sad News..... Roy Perrie passes away.

The Band have just received word that former Euphonium player has died in tragic circumstances. Roy was 58 and a member of our band for may years prior to moving up to the Aberdeen area. Our thoughts are with Roy's family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time.

28th January 2013

Masterclass with Archie Hutchison.

The Band have just completed a weekend of intensive rehearsals under the baton of Archie Hutchison. This is the second year that Archie has been with us to prepare the Scottish Test Piece, which this year is 'Hollywood' by Goff Richards. After Saturday afternoon in the bandhall we all moved to Lundin Links Hotel for a lovely meal and a few drinks with Archie. Sunday morning it was back to the bandhall for another full session rehearsal to complete this year's event. The band would like to thank Archie for his time and experience over the weekend and hope we can reward him with a good result in Perth. Here are some pictures from the weekend.


9th December 2012

Christmas Concert in Buckhaven Theatre.

Our annual Christmas Concert was held in front of a sell-out audience. The packed house enjoyed a varied programme of music which consisted of recent additions to our entertainment repertoire. After the interval we were all entertained by Rebeka and her dad, Stuart playing some traditional and seasonal music on their accordions. The second half of the concert was all Christmas music with carols interspersed in between many popular arrangements of music for this time of year.

Today we had a special guest in the audience. Betty James, mum of Andy McKinlay, our Bb Bass player who sadly and suddenly passed away at the start of the year. Betty was invited along today as a special march was being performed by the Band for the first time. Following Andy's passing the Band approached prolific composer and arranger Alan Fernie with a view to commemorate Andy in some way. Alan kindly offered to compose a piece of music in Andy's memory. The resulting march called "Millfield" was played today and well received by all. Alan had incorporated several themes throughout the piece reflecting Andy's nick-name, Superman, and his passion for football, East Fife and the march was named after Andy's favourite hostelry The Millfield!!

Following the performance Jim Hyslop, Chairman, and John Barclay, Honorary President, both gave emotional tributes to Big Andy and then presented Betty with a framed score of the march Millfield and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. See below for a few pictures from the event.....

16th June 2012

New waterproof jackets come in handy at Cowdenbeath Gala.

Dawn & Louise model new jackets for Band thanks to grant from The Coalfields Regeneration Trust

14th May 2012

Pictured below is the logo from our new wet-weather jackets which were funded thanks to a grant from The Caolfields Regeneration
Trust. I'm sure it won't be too long before we gwet to try them out in the rain!!!!!

1st April 2012

New gas fired central heating has been installed in the bandhall with funding provided by Fife Council Community Grant Scheme. Many thanks to the awarding committe for this award.

10th March 2012

Principal Cornet, Roz Neil wins best soloist in 3rd Section at Scottish Region Championships in Glenrothes, despite Band coming 7th!! Eb Bass player, Ross Hutchison receiving Roz Neil's Best Soloist award from Adjudicator, David Thornton.

5th February 2012

The Band has just completed a successful Masterclass under the capable hands of Archie Hutchison. Yesterday a full day of rehearsals was held in the bandhall followed by an evening meal in the Lundin Links Hotel. A few, who shall remain nameless, spent time with Archie sampling the hospitality on offer in the hotel! This morning and afternoon another two sessions of rehearsal were taken by Archie, as he gave us and our conductor David Reid his guidance in our preparations of this year's 3rd Section test piece, Olympus.

24th January 2012

Today, Kirkcaldy Crematorium was "standing room only" as Big Andy's loved ones, family and friends gathered to say good-bye.

The Band
was positioned in the foyer of the Crematorium as the funeral service was relayed through speakers to the many mourners who were unable to be seated in the building. The Band played an arrangement of "Gresford" (The Miners Hymn) during the service, and also accompanied the congregation in the singing of "The Day Though Gavest" to the tune of St Clement.

Afterwards many band members returned to New Bayview, home of Andy's beloved East Fife, to reminisce and savour fond memories of the Big Man

10th January 2012

Buckhaven and Methil Miners Band pay tribute to a “Super Man”

Andy McKinlay 44 years (1st Feb 1967 –  9th Jan 2012).

It is with great sadness that the Band announces the unexpected death of long-serving Bb Bass player Andy McKinlay after a short and sudden illness. Our thoughts are with Andy's family and loved ones at this time.

Big Andy joined the band in 1980. As a young lad he was both big for his age and he unfortunately wore the standard issue NHS (Clark Kent) glasses. He was immediately given the nicknames of Big Andy and Superman.

Superman was a nickname that only the brave (or the quick) would use in his early years. In Adulthood, He may not have been able to “leap tall buildings in a single bound”. But as a Bass player and as a man he was truly worthy of the “Super” tag. 

For years he played  (single handed) the  Bb Bass in the Band. Various conductors such as Alan Fernie & Bob McDonald would ask him to play down a bit and give the rest of the Band a chance!!  Not only a big sound, but tone and technique to match.

He was a Super man who had a passion for Brass Bands and as well as his beloved East Fife. Big Andy was the Band oracle. He was the one who once we had played would be straight back into the hall to listen to the other bands. He could name any piece, year, contest location, who conducted, who adjudicated and where the Band were placed. Not only that, he could hum the tune......

It was Andy’s life long dream to become a Scottish Champion with the Band.  This dream was realised in 2007, under the baton of Bob McDonald, when the Band won the 4th Section Scottish Championship at Dundee’s Caird Hall.  There could have been no happier man alive that day than Andy.

He had many friends in the Brass Band world as his friendly nature and passion for brass bands gained him respect of whoever had the pleasure of his company.

Many of the Band grew up with Big Andy, and held him as a brother/ son. He will be sorely missed.

Funeral to be held at 10:15am on Tuesday 24th January at Kirkcaldy Crematorium.

12th August 2011

Young members excel at National Youth Band

During the first week of August two young members of Buckhaven and Methil Band attended the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland annual course in St. Andrews. Catriona Boardman, on baritone, succeeded in becoming a full member of the senior band under the direction of Richard Evans. At the conclusion of the week their concert program included musical works such as Pageantry, Rienzi, Oceans and a special guest appearance of the renowned trumpet player, Rex Richardson.

Percussion player Ruaridh Neil attended his first ever NYBBS course and was placed in the reserve band under conductor John Boax. Their concert included such items as Strike up the Band, and a mammoth piece by Paul Lovall-Cooper entitled "Wall of Sound". When introducing this piece Mr Boax stated to listen for the drums as they are the driving force of this music. Indeed they were, as several drum solos then followed. Ruaridh also won the best student award as voted on by all of the course tutors to the young person who had both given and received the most from the week. We are very proud of them both.

2nd August 2011


Buckhaven & Methil Miners Brass Band are back from Durham Miners Gala. This is the third consecutive year that the Band have marched at the famous Miners Gala. The Band travelled down on Friday 8th July and spent an enjoyable evening at their hotel for the weekend, The Copthorne Millenium on the banks of the River Tyne, right in the centre of Newcastle. It was an early start on the Saturday. At 8:00am the Band marched through the mining village of Thornley in County Durham picking up the residents who were going to the Gala for the day, stopping at both the War Memorial and Mining Memorial to play 2 verses from the Miners Hymn, Gresford. Then, onto the coaches for the trip into Durham where the Band mustered at the University. From there it was a March into the centre of Durham to the Royal County Hotel. This is where all the bands stop and play an entertainment piece for the dignitaries on the balcony of the hotel and the thousands of people congregated around. This year the Band played 'Hoots Mon', an Alan Fernie arrangement of a 1958 hit by Lord Rockingham. As the Band were the only Scottish brass band in attendance, this piece went down really well with the crowds. From there it was marching and playing to the Old Racecourse playing fields where the 'Big Event', as the locals call it, took place. 
During the Gala on the Racecourse two of our younger players, percussionist Ruaridh Neil and cornet player Adam Cowan met someone famous. He is Carlos Bugueno Alfara, one of the Chilean Miners trapped underground for seventy days. Carlos and one of his colleagues were guests of honour at this year's Gala. The two boys were pleased to have their photographs taken with Carlos......

Ruaridh                                                              Adam

Boys meeting Carlos.

After a couple of hours free time, allowing for lunch and refreshments, it was onto Durham Cathedral to march and escort the Thornley Mine Banner following a dedication service in the famous church. Following a meal in a local hostelry it was then back onto the coach back into Newcastle, where there was plenty of different entertainments available for all the varied age groups in the party. 
On Sunday morning, after a leisurely late breakfast, the Band said farewell to Newcastle and headed to Beamish Open Air Museum. It is also the Band's third year back here to play on the Victorian bandstand, and this year the audience seemed larger than before, probably due to the beautiful sunny weather. When a band accepts a booking to play in Beamish it is stipulated that the music played should be from the period reflected in the surrounding 'living museum', the early 1900's. This year our conductor, Dave Neil, managed to slip in a few more modern pieces that sounded like they were from that era, and no-one seemed to notice!! After the concert it was back on the bus and back up to Scotland after another successful trip.

2nd September 2010

New Musical Director Appointed

Buckhaven & Methil Miners Brass Band are pleased to announce the appointment of David Neil as their new Musical Director and look forward to working with David. The Band has a busy schedule of engagements in the run up to Christmas and also hope to compete in the Borders Entertainment Contest in November under David's baton for the first time.

David Neil started his banding with Peebles Burgh Silver Band at the age of 11 years. Later on he moved to Bathgate Band where he met his wife Roslyn. David then moved to Yorkshire and continued playing with Harworth Colliery Band and South Yorkshire Police Band before moving on to the Ransome Band under the baton of David James, and then to Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band. David started conducting at this time and took Thurcroft Welfare Band, Barrow Concert and the Horbury Victoria Bands. A short time with Chapeltown Band followed before moving back to Scotland in the year 2000, where he conducted Tullis Russell Band until March 2005 then Dunfermline Town Band till recently and now David is very pleased to be associated with the Buckhaven & Methil Miners Brass Band.Band.

1st September 2010

Junior Band Tutor Appointed

Buckhaven & Methil Miners Brass Band are pleased to announce the appointment of Ellen Bogie as Tutor and Conductor of Buckhaven Brass Beginnings, our junior section. Ellen is well known in brass-banding in this area and, having previously played in the main band, has returned to help in the musical education of our youngsters. We welcome Ellen into this position and wish her well in continuing the work started by the previous two leaders in this post.

2nd August 2010

Vacancy for new Musical Director

A vacancy now exists for Musical Director for both Senior Band and Junior Band as Gordon Evans MBE intimated he wished to leave his position at the end of August. Gordon will finish after conducting the Band at the bandstand on The Scores, St Andrews on 22nd August. The Band would like to thank Gordon for his committment and efforts over the past 3 years, especially the time he has spent training and developing the Junior Band. Any interested parties for the position of MD for either Senior or Junior Bands, or both, please contact Band Secretary,
Alastair Maclean, Tel: 01592 870399 Mob: 07768 116954

24th May 2010

Recent adverts from our homepage about new CD.

Click here to listen!
Read more on News page.
See Sky News Report

11th May 2010

Change of Secretary for Band

Alastair MacLean (1st Trombone) has taken over the position of Band Secretary from Susan Davidson, who has held the position over the past few years. The Band would like to thank Susan for all her efforts in the position and are glad to hear that she will still be available to lend a hand in the future. I'm sure everyone wishes Alastair well as he takes up the reins.

22nd January 2010

Band Feature On New CD

A few month's ago the Band received an email regarding the possibility of a track from our CD, 'A Century of Coal & Brass', being included on a compilation CD featuring mining brass bands from all over the UK. I am pleased to announce that this new CD will be released on 1st March 2010. The title of the new CD is 'The Music Lives On Now The Mines Have Gone'. Read recent press release below.




Released: 1 March 2010 on Universal

London, 22 January 2010: Universal Music today announced that the best Colliery bands in the UK have come together for the very first time and will release 'The Music Lives on Now The Mines Have Gone' on 1 March 2010.

The release of the album will coincide with the 25 Anniversary of the end of the miners strike. The 3 March 1985 was a day that saw some of these legendary Colliery bands play as the miners went back to work - they became known as the 'loyalty parade'.

'The Music Lives on Now The Mines Have Gone' is an album featuring the UK's most historic Colliery Brass Bands including the award-winning Grimethorpe Colliery, Kent's Betteshanger Brass, Scotland's Buckhaven & Methil Miners Brass Band, Point of Ayr in North Wales, Carlton Main (Frickley) Colliery, Desford Colliery Band, Bearpark & Esh Colliery, Hatfield Powerfuel Colliery Band, Newbridge Celynen Brass Band, Northumbrain Water Ellington Colliery and Thoresby Colliery Band spanning the length and breadth of the UK. The album will be released on 1 March 2010 on Universal, some 25 years after the end of one of the country's bitterest and most divisive industrial disputes. The mines did close but the music stayed on thanks to the Colliery bands - today a potent symbol of a great heritage, the beating heart of many former mining communities.

The quality of the album is not only stunning proof that these historic colliery bands have deserved to survive for 25 years, but also with each of the bands on the album receiving a royalty from the sales, it will help the dwindling colliery bands of the UK survive for another 25 years to come.

'The Music Lived on Now The Mines Have Gone' will include tracks of classic songs, such as 'Largo from the New World Symphony' to 'Concerto de Aranjuez' as well as some unique choices including 'McArthur Park' and 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother'. As is evident on the album, the musicianship of the bands is of the highest order with many of them having toured overseas and reached the finals of the annual National Brass Band Championship held each October at London's Royal Albert Hall.

The Grimethorpe Colliery Band, formed in 1917 in South Yorkshire, achieved international fame from the film Brassed Off (1994), the plot of which was based on Grimethorpe's struggles against pit closures. The band provided the film soundtrack, which was later nominated for a BAFTA award. They have gone on to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest and have recently completed tours in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. In 1970 the band won the National Brass Band Championships and went onto win it a further three times in 1992, 2006 and 2007.

'The Music Lives On Now The Mines Have Gone' is released on 1st Rule Records via Universal on 1 March 2010.



For further information, please contact:

Doug Wright, Ali Castriotis or Emma Burgess

LD Communications - 020 7439 7222


Track Listing

  • 1 The Champions - Desford Colliery
  • 2 William Tell - Grimethorpe Colliery
  • 3 Russian Dance - Point of Ayr
  • 4 Concerto de Aranjuez - Betteshanger Brass
  • 5 Songs of the Tyne - Bearpark and Esh - Durham
  • 6 He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother - Hatfield (Powerfuel)
  • 7 New World Symphony - Grimethorpe Colliery
  • 8 The Day thou Gavest - Newbridge
  • 9 La Danza - Ellington
  • 10 Bayview - Buckhaven
  • 11 Jerusalem - Grimethorpe Colliery
  • 12 You Needed Me - Thoresby Colliery
  • 13 Lightwalk - Carlton Main (Frickley)
  • 14 Songs Of The Quay - Thoresby Colliery
  • 15 McArthur Park - Grimethorpe Colliery





15th July 2009

Durham Weekend

The Band left Buckhaven at 3:00pm on Friday 10th July on the coach for Gateshead where we arrived at our hotel in time for evening meal at 8 o'clock. We were met by Roy Lambeth from Durham Mining Museum, who contacted the Band and invited us to attend this week-end. Immediately after the meal the assembled Band and supporters were pleased to witness the presentation of a Life Membership Medal from The Scottish Brass Band Association to our Chairman Jim Hyslop in recogniton of Jim's continuous involvement in brass banding for 50 years. A silver quaich from the Band was also presented. The presentation was carried out by the Band's resident accountants, Bradford & Bingley (aka Brian McCabe and Jim Cameron) and the consensus from the audience was "Don't give up your day jobs boys!!!!". Jim's wife Liz, was presented with a bouquet of flowers and then joined Jim in telling a few anecdotes from both their past memories of the Band. Due to legal restrictions these stories cannot be put into print!! A few beers as a night-cap and then most people retired to bed to prepare for the busy schedule the following morning.

Saturday morning 6:45am breakfast and then on the bus to Thornley where the Band marched through the village at 8 o'clock collecting villagers who would be going into Durham for the day's main event, Durham Miners Gala. Back on the bus at 9:15 and then the drive into Durham where we led the Thornley villagers who were carrying their village's Mining Banner. The Band supporters were also parading the Banner of the Scottish Area of the National Union of Mineworkers as this was the 25th anniversary of the miner's strike as well as the 125th anniversary of the gala itself. After marching 1/2 a mile the Band stopped amid thousands of on-lookers and dignitaries on the balcony of The County Hotel and gave a rousing performance of "500 Miles" (made famous by The Proclaimers). The crowd went ballistic and the applause and cheering when we finished was tremendous. We then marched off to Alford's march "Holyrood" on our way to the Old Racecourse Ground, where the main gala takes place. From noon till 3:30 we were free in the park to enjoy all the activities that were taking place and then it was back into formation for the march back to the bus retracing the morning's route, only this time it was UPHILL. Back on the bus at 5 o'clock, (minus 1, Ron went AWOL) and then back to Thornley and, believe it or not, another march around the village. Then we had a couple of hours in the Thornley Working Men's Club to quench our thirst before returning to Gateshead for our evening meal. Following the meal, at 10 o'clock Darren presented the Awards at a prize-giving ceremony in the upstairs foyer. This was followed by the Alternative Awards. This year these awards were planned and presented by Kirsty and Gavin and they did not disappoint!!!! Off to bed after a few beers.

Sunday morning breakfast at a respectable hour but still all the Band was out the hotel and on the coach at 10:30am on our way to Tanfield Lea Working Mens Club where we gave a one hour's concert to the assembled locals. Then back on the bus and the short trip to Beamish where we played on the Bandstand from 2:00 till 4:00pm. Then, yes you've guessed it right, .........back on the bus for the journey back to Scotland. A pit stop in Berwick on Tweed for chips and refreshments for a few and then back to the Bandhall arriving home about 9:30pm. The whole week-end we were accompanied by Alec Harron who was recording our activities to produce a documentary DVD of the excursion. More details of this in the near future. A selection of photos from the week-end can be found by clicking here Picasa Web Albums Also searching on youtube for "Durham Miners Gala 2009" then sort by Newest and you will find some more videos of the Band from Durham and Beamish.

5th July 2009
Itinerary for Durham Weekend

Depart Bandhall 3:00pm on Friday June 10th on bus to
Swallow Hotel High West St Gateshead NE8 1PE Telephone: 01914787214

Saturday 11th July. Early Breakfast and board bus for travel to Thornley.
Arrive at Thornley. Post Code DH6 3HP as soon as possible after 08.00.
(The post code is a known house about 100yards from the start point).
March with banners down through village.
Coach to follow procession to Working Mens Club.
Anyone in Band Uniform can have free tea of coffee at the club. There will be bacon sandwiches available for sale.
Leave by bus ASAP after 09.00 for Durham.

March through Durham to racecourse. Free time from arrival at racecourse (could be any time between 10.00 and 12.30) until lift off for homeward march at 15.30.
On arrival at the morning's start point, march with banners through village again.
On arrival at Working Mens Club the bar will be open.
Prize draw to take place.
Return to Hotel for evening meal.

Sunday 12th July. Normal Breakfast and board bus to arrive at Tanfield Lea Working Mens Club Post Code DH9 9NA for 11.30 am.
One Hour's Concert starting at 12 noon.
Depart no later than 13.15 for Beamish
Arrive Visitor entrance at Beamish Museum.
Instruments by museum transport to bandstand.
Band follows by museum bus or tram
Concert to start at 2pm. To be played in 2 parts with short break. Finish by 16.15.

Board bus and return home!

30th November 2008 Negotiations are underway to have the Band participate in The 125th Durham Miners' Gala on Saturday 11th July 2009 followed by perhaps two concerts on Sunday 12th July. Most of the band are available and keen to attend this prestigious event next summer. I believe we will be the first Scottish Band to appear in over twenty years. One setback the Band will have to overcome is the loss of one of our main fundraising events (Christmas in The Mercat) which sadly was withdrawn at the last momemt due to a change in marketing policy by the management of The Mercat Shopping Centre. New ideas and initiatives from anyone will be welcome as we try to fill this hole in our funding. More information about Durham will be posted when we get it.

29th November 2008 On Frday night the band was the main performer at a St Andrews Day Concert held in Leven Parish Church. We opened the concert with the march 'Moray Firth' and played a further seven pieces during the evening, all with a Scottish flavour to the delight of the large audience. One slight variation from the programme was when our Musical director Gordon Evans tried to convince the audience that the next piece on the programme was 'The Pirates of Pittenweem' to keep the Scots theme going!!!! However it was soon revealed that it was indeed 'Pirates of the Caribbean' we were playing. This was a necessary change to the programme as one of the junior quartet had forgotten his music for the piece they were due to play....Isn't that right Nathaniel???? The audience again showed their appreciation by purchasing several CDs during the interval.

9th November 2008 Last night saw the Junior Band, Buckhaven Brass Beginnings, join the Senior Band in Cupar Old Parish Church performing a concert to help the church raise funds for a project in Peru. The audience were well entertained during the evening, and were especially impressed with the youngsters. It was obvious that the Senior Band was enjoyed as well as 12 CD's were sold to the admiring listeners. This morning saw the annual trek to Methil War Memorial for the Armistice Service and despite cold blustery weather Gordon Evans was pleased with the standard of play in difficult conditions. Thanks go to Jim Cameron for stepping in at short notice to do the necessary with The Last Post and Reveille. Well done, Jim.

4th November 2008 Following a good performance at the Borders Entertainment Contest on Saturday 1st November, the Band now looks forward to the busy period in the run up to Christmas. We start on Saturday evening (8th November) at Cupar Old Parish Church with a concert to raise funds for a project in Peru. The Junior Band BBB will perform in the first half of the concert. The next day as in previous years we will be in attendance at the Cenotaph in Methil for the Armistice Service, then we start preparing for the busy Christmas period.

6th August 2008 The band have been successful with a recent award of 4000 from the 'Awards for All' Lottery funding. This will be used to further the development of BBB, the junior arm of the band, culminating in a Masterclass week-end at the start of February under the baton of renowned flugel player, Stan Lipeat. More details coming soon about this exciting news.

8th June 2008 The band have just finished a run of concerts in the past few weeks. The first was held in Leven Parish Church for the Guild and the next was then Dairsie Parish Church with some of the proceeds raised going to help projects in Malawi which are being supported by Dairsie Guild. The final concert was held in the intimate Buckhaven Theatre just round the corner from our bandhall in Buckhaven. The audiences at all three venues enjoyed the music played by both the full band and the juniors who had their own slot to perform. These performances were so well received that already more people are contacting us with a view to booking the band for concerts in their own locality. Watch this space for more news of these events.

15th October 2007 As soon as Bob announced his impending departure the search was on for a replacement conductor and tonight saw his introduction to the Band. The new man in charge is Gordon Evans MBE. Gordon is well known in the brass band world and we are pleased to have him onboard for the forthcoming contest in Perth and the run up to the Scottish Championships in Glenrothes in early 2008.

13th October 2007 After gaining a creditable 11th place in the National Finals in Harrogate on September 30th, conductor Bob McDonald surprised the band by saying he wished to resign his position as Conductor and Junior Band Trainer. Bob explained his work commitments had increased and he needed to concentrate more on his full time job. The committee and band members had to respect Bob's decision and wished him well for the future. Bob wielded the baton at his last rehearsal on Friday10th October and Jim Hyslop, Chairman, presented Bob with a silver quaich to commemorate his time in charge. Bob then conducted the band on Sunday 12th in Falkirk Town Hall in the Fife Charities Open Contest.

21st March 2007 Article pubished in 4barsrest !!

Buckhaven Bounce Back

20th March 2007  Read what 4barsrest retrospective says about the band's success in Dundee.


17th March 2007 

Buckhaven Bounce Back

Buckhaven and Methil Miners Band were crowned the Fourth Section Champions at the Scottish Regional Championships last weekend in Dundee, which ensured that they had the briefest of stays in the Fourth section after their unfortunate relegation the previous year.
Buckhaven band, although having qualified for the Nationals in 1982, 87 , 93 and 10 years ago in 1997, these results have always been as the “Bumper Up”, qualifying as runners-up in every occasion. Last weekend the band made it to the “principal seat” and won the contest from Draw 1. The band was placed ahead of Dundee Instrumental and the pre-contest favourites Renfrew Burgh.

Well directed from the Middle.
The bands performance on the day was highly commended by both adjudicators, Richard Evans and Kevin Wadsworth with particular praise going to the conductor Bob McDonald for a “Fine Performance - Well Directed”. The star performance however was the Solo Horn Player, Brian McCabe who lifted the Best Instrumentalist award for his “most enjoyable” performance of the Horn solo, which is cleverly disguised as a second movement. Special mention was also given to the Soprano player, Jim Cameron, who gave a commendable performance throughout the test piece.

Proud Representatives.
Buckhaven & Methil haven’t had such a significant result since 1964 where, as Wellesley Colliery Band, they won the old Second Section British Championships. In fact one of the players in that winning band still plays with the band today, Jimmy Hyslop. Jimmy, the long suffering Chairman of the band, was also on duty throughout the entire weekend as Registrar for the SBBA. Resisting the chance to celebrate too much with the band, his beaming smile was self-evident to all bands as they passed through the registration room over the remainder of the weekend.The band still pride themselves in maintaining links with the mining community and will be proud representatives for Fife and Scotland when they take the stage in Harrogate. As the band are predominantly self funded, a series of activities to raise funds will now be the target of the committee to achieve the dream of playing in the finals. I’m sure Mr Hyslop will relish the opportunity of lifting a second British Championship 40 years apart!

14th March 2007 

Buckhaven Take the 4th Section Title

Buckhaven & Methil only have to endure a short stay in the 4th section as they are immediately promoted after winning the Scottish Championship contest in Dundee. The band conducted by Bob McDonald took the title by one point from local heroes Dundee Instrumental in second place.


The results of the Scottish Championships 2007

4th Section

Venue: Caird Hall, Dundee
Date: 10th March 2007
Adjudicator(s): Kevin Wadsworth, Richard Evans
Set Testpiece: The Seasons, Philip Wilby





1. Buckhaven & Methil Bob McDonald 1 180
2. Dundee Instrumental (St. Margaret's) John M Tonner 6 179
3. Renfrew Burgh David Hutchison 5 178
4. Queensferry Community Brass James Anderson 3 176
5. Brass Sounds Inverclyde Alistair G McCorkell 2 175
6. Penicuik Silver Frank Culross 4 173

Best Instrumentalist - Brian McCabe (Horn, Buckhaven & Methil)

Youngest Bass Player - Tommy Dennington Trophy - Graham Deacon (Renfrew Burgh Band)

4th July 2006  . The Band is still looking to attract a euphonium player since Roy's departure and perhaps we will have some good news soon. James Wylde (Eb Bass who is now studying in England) has been encouraging prospective St Andrews students for next year to come and have a blow. If there are any new players reading this page please be assured of a warm welcome at our friendly band if you come along.

2nd July 2006  Yesterday saw the Band marching at Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath Gala Parades. Our new polo shirts were very comfortable and well admired during the day, which was a scorcher. Thanks to all who attended this final engagement of the current season. The Band is now on holiday until Sunday 13th August. Conductor Bob McDonald asks if all players could keep their "lip in" during the break by having a look at the pieces we are rehearsing for the rest of the year. Remember, when we start back there is only two weeks until the next contest in Troon!!! Have a nice holiday.

18th June 2006  The Band has taken delivery of its new polo shirts thanks to a grant from Fife Charities Trust. More details on Support page.

10th June 2006  This Saturday saw the Band participating at East Calder Gala Day. The weather was scorching and everyone enjoyed the march and the picnic bags supplied by the Gala Committee!!! We were well applauded by the crowds on our way around the town as we made our way to the park where all the day's events took place. This was a well organised event and we are pleased to announce that we have already been booked to appear next year. Let's hope there are no delays at the Forth Bridge next time!!!

13th May 2006  Several band members went along to the Caledonian Hotel in Leven to say good-bye to Roy Perrie (Principal Euphonium), who is moving on to pastures new in Aberdeen. The Band would like to thank Roy for his services to the Band over the years and wish him well in the Granite City. Needless to say we are eager to find a replacement for Roy's seat in the Band.

3rd January 2006  Following a very busy November and December for the band, with engagements and carol services in the run up to Christmas, we now look forward to preparing the test piece for the forthcoming Scottish Championships. Bob McDonald (conductor) and mangement committee would ask all players to attend as many rehearsals as possible in the next two months. This year we again are having an intensive rehearsal weekend in Pitlochry. This proved very successful last year, and Bob would like the opportunity to have the band together for a whole weekend to get to grips with the very demanding piece of music, Entertainments.

1st November 2005  Last Saturday the band had a welcome boost following a good result in the Fifie Charities Contest held in the Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline. Drawn to play fourth, the March, Hymn and Test Piece played were Brass Ablaze, Meditation on Slane and Alan Fernie's Royal Mile Suite. The adjudicator's points gave the band 1st position in Section 3 and an overall contest position of 6th. We also managed to finish above a pair of first and second section bands which is really encouraging as we look forward to preparations for the Scottish Finals at the start of next year.

In the run-up to Christmas the band has several engagements to fulfill and we would ask all players to try to attend as many of the events as possible as a full band always gives a good impression to our audiences.

20th February 2005  Last weekend the band had an eventful and successful two days in Pitlochry rehearsing the "Scottish" Test Piece.........Tam O'Shanter's Ride. With three weeks to go we are now getting to grips with this technically challenging work, and I'm sure the band will give a good account of itself in the Caird Hall.

9th February 2005  This year sees the long awaited arrival of the band's centenary year. The band has been successful in receiving lottery funding from "Awards for All" and kicks off the celebrations with a weekend Masterclass of intensive rehearsals in Pitlochry. Later on in the year a similar event will be held in Troon prior to the Land o' Burns contest.

5th February 2005  Following the recent Lottery Grant, all players in the main band now are playing relatively new instruments, with their previous instruments being cascaded down to the youngsters in the Junior Band. The percussion section has also acquired lots of new toys to play with!!!!!

4th April 2004  The band has just heard that it has been successful in its latest bid for lottery funding. Congratulations to the team who submitted the application on behalf on the band. More details about this coming soon.

27th March 2004  The band took part in an event in the Glen Pavilion, Dunfermline. The Apple Blossom Time Concert was compered by Alastair McDonald and the band played two slots during the first half of the evening's show. More details to be found on the 'Pictures' page on this web-site.

21st March 2004  Last weekend the Band came a commendable 4th place in the Scottish Championships. This result has consolidated our position in the 3rd section under the capable hands of Bob McDonald our new conductor. Bob has made a huge improvement to the sound of the Band and we're sure this will continue over the coming contest season.

31st January  The band travels to Dunkeld this month to hold a band  master class where we will get to know not only the new scottish test piece but the new band members also.

Changes A new conductor brings a breath of fresh air to the band and 2004 kicks off with a hopeful outlook. Robert McDonald is the bands new conductor and has led a successful Tayport from third section to first section, hopefully he can bring a new life to the band. Plenty of hard work and a few tallented new players mean the band is sounding good. Fingers crossed and we will have a good year this year.

Uniforms The band will see an image change early this year as new uniforms are to be issued by the end of January, giving yet another morale lift into the new year, plans to have a master class with the new conductor are going ahead and this will be the event at which the uniforms will be issued.

David Hynd A Bandsman/conductor who has been with the band many years and has put allot of hard work into the band will be presented with an honorary position on the 31st January when the band travels to Dunkeld for a Master class with the new conductor.

100 YEARS  2005 Is the bands 100th year in existence and we are inviting ideas to mark the occasion, so if anybody has any thoughts on what the band might do please contact by e-mail.







Copyright 2006