The versatility of the Humberside Police Concert Band is known throughout the country and abroad. Originally known as the Kingston Upon Hull Police Band it has performed regularly at concerts and ceremonial occasions since its formation in 1861, with the exception of a break during the Second World War.
This year (2021) marks the bands 160th anniversary. In order to try and make this year feel a little more special, we have been keen to find out more about our initial roots within the Hull City Police Band. Through various sources, we have been able to find out the following information.
Before proceeding, the band would like to thank the Police History Society for putting us in touch with some very knowledgeable people - https://www.policehistorysociety.com/
Below is an extract from pages 128-129 of The Reform of Urban Policing in Victorian England: A Study of Kingston upon Hull from 1836 to 1866 by David Roy Welsh, BA (CNAA), MA (Kent), PGCE (Oxon.) https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/2731867.pdf
In September 1861 the committee unanimously resolved that the force should have a band and it created a sub-committee to direct the project. (36) A Mr Raynard was engaged as a music teacher for one quarter in the first instance at the rate of £30 per annum, to give two lessons per week for two hours each time. Five days later the band instruments were received from Manchester.(37) Nothing more is recorded about the police band until May 1865, when a Mr Sanar applied to the Watch Committee for the cost of repairing the damage that his horse and cart had done to the convent wall, the animal 'having taken fright at the police band, which was playing at the time.' The committee ordered that the necessary repairs should be done.(38)
In October of that year the Watch Committee consented to the band playing at Hengler's circus. (39) That same month the committee was only too pleased to approve the men's request that they be allowed, through Chief Constable McManus, to present a gift of a silver ink stand and gold pen and holder to the band master, Mr Smith, 'as testimony of their appreciation of his valuable services in that capacity.' (40)
36 KHRO, TCM 194, Watch Corn. MM., 18, 25, 28 Sep., 5, 7 Oct. 1861.
37 KHRO, TCM 194, Watch Corn. MM., 7, 12 Oct. 1861.
38 KHRO, TCM 196, Watch Corn. MM., 17 May 1865. Hopefully this was not a reflection of the band's musicianship.
39 KHRO, TCM 196, Watch Corn. MM., 18 Oct. 1865.
40 KHRO, TCM 196, Watch Corn. Min., 31 Oct. 1865.
Hull Daily News
Further to this, we have been able to locate a printed source of the bands existence at this time. Below you will see a clipping from the Hull Daily News from 28th September 1861.
In the last few years the Band has visited Germany on three occasions and in 1990 visited La Grande Motte in France and Hasselt in Belgium. All visits were immensely successful and the Band welcomed the opportunity to be at the forefront of developing relations with our European neighbours. In September 1993 the Band was invited to perform during the British Week in Luxembourg in the presence of The Princess of Wales. October 1996 saw the Band once again going abroad this time to Belgium where they undertook two concerts.
The band has also played for Her Majesty The Queen on a number of occasions, including the Silver Jubilee celebrations, the opening of The Humber Bridge and the Golden Jubilee celebrations of 2003. During the 1990’s the band performed as guest band on ‘The Rock’ at The Army School of Music, Kneller Hall. This followed a number of successful joint concerts with various military bands from the Army Band Service, including, the Blues and Royals, The Irish Rangers and The Royal Corps of Transport.
These memorable massed band concerts saw the band’s musicians performing at venues such as The Fairfield Halls, Croydon and The Guildhall, Preston. Sadly, the reduction in the number of army bands has meant an end to this type of concert but in more recent years the band has joined other Police Bands in a variety of performances, including a series of appearances with The West Yorkshire Police Band and an invitation to perform at the National Festival of Police Music which took place at National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.
Finally, in July of 2002 and 2003, members of the Humberside Police Band were joined by colleagues in The West Yorkshire Band to perform at the internationally famous 4-Day Marches in Nijmegen in The Netherlands. This five day walking festival is attended by over 40 000 participants and the bands are used at the opening ceremony and to support the walkers along their daily routes. It is very unusual for civilian bands to be invited for two consecutive years and this has to be to the band’s credit.
The Band has made several recordings titled: "Coppertones", "Humberside Police in Concert Volume 1", "Marches and Waltzes", "Humberside Police Salute 1992", "Humberside Police in Concert Volume 2", "A Night in December", "Off the Beat", “Beat Route” and most recently "Show Coppers". You can find more information about these recordings on our music page.
Yorkshire Film Archive
Tomorrow is Too Late (1952)
This is a road safety film made by Kingston upon Hull City Police which depicts a fictional family and illustrates how carelessness can lead to tragic accidents. The film also includes good footage of Hull and the surrounding area.
The opening credits run over an image of the Police Band playing the Teddy Bears picnic tune.
Hull Victory Celebrations (1945)
This is a recording of the victory celebrations within the City of Kingston upon Hull following the ending of World War II. The band lead a parade of 3000 children through the city streets.