Marshside Brass Band is based at the northern end of Southport in the old fishing community of Marshside. The band owes its existence to the 19th century influences of the Temperance movement and to the spirit of the local shrimpers and fishers; indeed it was this community who originally, and for many years, made up the bulk of its players.

With a rise in the brass band movement around the late 1880 -1890's. Between 1800 and 2018 there are over 1000 brass bands in the northwest of England. Historically Marshside Brass Band has not been the only brass band in Southport. Previously there have been the following:- Southport A.S.C. Brass Band; Southport and District Youth Brass Band; Southport and Hindley Rifles Band; Southport Artillery Brass Band; Southport British Legion Band; Southport L.M.S. Railway Band; Southport Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Band; Southport Pier Brass Band; Southport Post Office Band; Southport Rifles Brass Band and Southport St John Ambulance Silver Band. 

Early Years.....

The exact date of the band's foundation remains unclear. The earliest known reference to Marshside Brass Band is in an 1892 edition of the Southport Visitor that heralds the opening of the northern section of Southport’s Marine Lake, where the band lead a procession of local traders. However, the band may in fact be older than this and possibly even dates back to 1864, the year the Temperance Hall was opened, which was then, and is still the band’s home.

Marshside Brass Band C1900.

The Band has historically  competed in brass band contests between 1893 - 1910. The results are show below. 

Date Contest Position Test Piece Draw Conductor
24 Sep 1910 Click to filter Southport Contest No record of result Robin Hood [MacFarren arr. Godfrey] 1907 20 J. Blundell
10 Sep 1910 Click to filter Frodsham Contest No record of result Robin Hood [MacFarren arr. Godfrey] 1907 6 J. Blundell
11 Sep 1909 Click to filter Morecambe Contest No record of result Old Favourites 1908   Unknown
25 Aug 1906 Click to filter Ellesmere Port Contest No record of result No record of test piece performed 9 Unknown
13 Jun 1896 Click to filter Bamber Bridge Contest No record of result Love in a Mist 1896 10 Robert Rimmer
15 Jun 1895 Click to filter Birkenhead Contest No record of result No record of test piece performed 13 Robert Rimmer
10 Jun 1893 Click to filter Tranmere Contest No record of result Night and Morning 4 Robert Rimmer

Marshside Brass First World War

A quote from the booklet of ‘Band Rules’ which included the statement that: ‘The Instruments, Uniform, Music etc. Are the property of the Marshside Teetotal Society and the committee of the Society shall have complete control of ‘The Marshside Teetotal Brass Band’.

Members were also required to pay 2/6d as an admission fee, and a 3d a week subscription, and a find of 1d for non-attendance at practice. The big thing however was that every member of the bad had to sign “The Total Abstinence Pledge” before joining


Over the years the Marshside Band has had several other names in its title including 'Teetotal', 'Total Abstinence' and 'Temperance', much to the amusement of some of the present players.


Marshside Brass Band’s most famous member is undoubtedly William Rimmer (1862-1936). A prolific composer (including 106 marches), arranger, conductor and teacher, Rimmer had a considerable influence on Marshside Brass Band by conducting the band and by teaching many of the original players. Bands throughout the world still play his music and it is an honour for our band to have been associated with this great man. In 2011 the bands recording of William Rimmer’s ‘Slaidburn’ was played on BBC Radio 2 ‘Good Morning Sunday’ Program with Aled Jones. 

Continuing The Tradition....

The outward sprawl of Southport and the decline of the Shrimping Industry have altered Marshside beyond recognition. Houses have replaced the fields where horses grazed and shrimpers tended their allotments. In spite of these changes Marshside Brass Band is still an integral part of the local community and continues to rehearse at the Temperance Hall on Shellfield Road. Whilst the band now attracts players from well beyond the Southport area, several are the latest in a long line of generations that stretch back to those original members; one player is a descendant of William Rimmer himself.


Marshside Band had strong connections with the Temperance movement for many years and regularly played for annual Rechabite processions and picnics. Although its main connections were with Marshside Methodist Church, the band played at the laying of the foundation stone for Emmanuel Parish Church in 1895 and again at the closing concert for the church's centenary celebrations in 1998.

The band has enjoyed a quiet history and only courted controversy during the “Shrimp Strike” of 1913. The shrimpers were protesting about the importation of Dutch shrimps sold under the name of “Southport Superior Potted Shrimps” and formed a procession that Marshside Brass Band led into Southport Town Centre.

Marshside Brass Band Shrimpers Strike March


In June 2008 the Band played at the 140 years anniversary of the opening of Hesketh Park. It is thought that the band also played at the opening ceremony in 1868. We are currently trying to verify this from local historic records.


The Shrimpers may have slowly laid down their tools but their legacy continues to play on.

Currently the band has 14 regular players with conductor Steve Oldfield at the helm. New players are always welcome.

 Throughout the year the band enjoys a busy schedule playing at fetes, concerts, church services, Remembrance marches and parades. More recently the band has branched out by producing two CD Sands of Time and Band of Brothers. The Band has, played for the send-off of a cruise ship and playing on an open top bus tour of Manchester. We have also played at the St Georges Hall in Liverpool


For many years Marshside Brass Band has been a proud supporter of the Queenscourt Hospice in Southport and gives many fundraising concerts and carol services for their cause during the year. The band plays on Christmas Morning on the streets round the band room, come rain or shine. This is a long-standing tradition that cements the relationship between the band and the local community - a thoroughly enjoyable finale to the year.


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