Heritage Open Days 2 - Music
In September the Heritage Centre volunteers will be joining in England’s largest festival of history and culture. Continuing the theme of the national event , ‘Creativity Unwrapped’, this month we look at the musical heritage of Longridge
The Longridge Band is one of the oldest brass bands in the country, the first known reference to it being in the Preston Chronicle in 1845 when it was reported to have played at the Goosnargh Club Day on Whit Tuesday. Over nearly 180 years it has grown in size and reputation and continues to play a significant role in the life of our community. The Band gives concerts and plays for processions, field days and the Christmas Eve carol singing round the tree. Open air concerts on Tootle Heights were a regular Sunday afternoon event in the early 1900s and this tradition has been happily revived with a September concert in Towneley Gardens, this year on 10th September – the day after the Heritage Centre ‘Open Days’ exhibition. The Band has been successful in competitions since gaining 2nd place at a contest in Crystal Palace in 1904. Following an outstanding year, Longridge Band now competes in the Champion Section and is ranked in the top 200 bands in the world.
Our archive holds a photo of ‘The Longridge Orchestral Band’ dated 1900, shown here. Sadly, we know little about this group of mixed instrumentalists.
A resident of Longridge for many years, Ernest Tomlinson was an important figure in the world of light music. His many compositions included Little Serenade and Elizabethan Serenade. He founded several orchestras and choirs, one of which was the predecessor of the Valley Singers, still meeting and performing in Longridge today. His lasting legacy is the Library of Light Orchestral Music, formed when he rescued the BBC’s light music archive from dispersal. He held this vast collection of music in his own barn until his death in 2015; it is now housed by the Light Music Society in Long Preston, Yorkshire.
Look out for more on the cultural heritage of Longridge and district at our special ‘Heritage Open Days’ exhibition on Saturday 9th September, when artefacts not normally on display can be seen.
Our corridor display through July and August will be on ‘Lancashire Summer’, featuring the seaside, summer activities and local festivals and shows. On 15th August, a model train layout will be on show in the Heritage Centre office.
We are usually open between 10 and 2, Monday to Friday. We sell a selection of cards, books, maps, local photographs and small gifts. Our corridor displays can be seen during Station opening times of 9 to 4, Monday to Saturday.
The Old Station, Berry Lane, Longridge PR3 3JP