Press and Media




In a fascinating echo of the early decades of the 20th century, when Wingates Band regularly featured a resident female vocalist in their concert performances, the internationally-renowned brass ensemble is once again to be accompanied on stage by a young lady whose superb soprano voice is rapidly gaining for her a great reputation on the local entertainments scene.

Eighteen years old Caitlin Wineyard, of Atherton, will join Wingates when, together with their great friends and neighbours The Houghton Weavers, the two Westhoughton ensembles will present their traditional and ever-popular Christmas Folk and Brass concert at Bolton’s Victoria Hall on Saturday 12th December (7:30pm). This will be Caitlin’s third appearance with Wingates in recent months, and in September her performances with the band at a sell-out concert during the 2015 Ribble Valley Music Festival resulted in band and soloist receiving a most enthusiastic standing ovation.

Following her secondary education at Atherton’s Fred Longworth High School, Caitlin is currently taking a year out – although keeping busy as a peripatetic music teacher – prior to embarking upon her ambition of taking a university degree course in Musical Theatre. Throughout her young life to date, Caitlin has shown a great passion and talent in all the performing arts, which also embraces brass bands, where she has currently has somewhat divided loyalties. Having learnt to play the cornet at a young age, Caitlin is now a member of Whitefield-based Besses o’th’ Barn band, whilst her boyfriend Connor Gingell is a talented young tuba player who is a key member of the Wingates line-up.

As well as featuring Caitlin’s singing talents, at the Victoria Hall concert Wingates will also be profiling their newly-released CD album, Sounds of a Century, which has been produced to commemorate a remarkable milestone in the band’s long history – namely that of 100 years of recorded music, a landmark previously reached by only three brass bands in the world.
The new album, and its companion souvenir item, a publication outlining the band’s fascinating recording history from the early years of World War I to date, and including a comprehensive discography, has featured prominently in the brass band print media recently, and also on the airwaves.
Tracks from the new album were broadcast on national radio when Frank Renton, the presenter of the long-running BBC Radio 2 programme,Listen to the Band, profiled the Wingates special centenary in the transmission on Thursday, November 26, which can be heard for the next month via iPlayerRadio. Further exposure for the famed local band also came on Manx Radio, when, on Monday 30th November, presenter Ian Cottier devoted an hour-long special edition of his Time for Brass programme to the Wingates Sounds of a Century album.

Tickets for Christmas Folk and Brass can be purchased by callers at the new Victoria Hall box office facility (limited opening hours – call 01204 522569 for details), or by calling 01204 696984 / 07970 131460.





Tickets have now gone on sale for one of the most popular annual concerts on the calendar of the Bolton music scene. For the 15th consecutive year, Westhoughton’s two famous musical ensembles, the internationally-renowned Wingates Band, and the enduringly-popular folk group, The Houghton Weavers, will be performing their traditional festive concert, Christmas Folk and Brass, at Bolton’s Victoria Hall on Saturday, 12 December (7:30 pm)

Over the years,  successive concerts in this series have become ever more popular, and another bumper audience is anticipated, eager to enjoy a great evening of music and mirth, which heralds the advent of the festive season.

The joint concert will be the climax of a particularly successful and memorable year for the two ensembles, as both Wingates and the Weavers have been commemorating special milestones throughout 2015. Having been formed in humble fashion in Westhoughton in 1975, the folk group have been celebrating their 40th Anniversary, with their four decades of unremitting success having embraced their own series on both television and radio, as well as performing regularly throughout the length and breadth of the land. The group has enjoyed its busiest year yet, having played a record number of gigs.

For Wingates, the current year has seen the band reach a particularly notable milestone, namely that of 100 years of recording their music, a landmark previously reached by only three brass bands in the world. This achievement has been celebrated with the launch of two commemorative souvenir items, a new CD album, and a fully illustrated brochure/discography, both carrying the label ‘Sounds of a Century’, with the latter chronicling the full story of Wingates recordings spanning the century since the first shellac discs were made during the early months of World War I.

Tickets for the Victoria Hall concert can be ordered via 01204 696984 or 07570 131460.




Although it will not be officially ‘launched’ until Saturday, October 24, the latest CD album from Wingates Band is now available for immediate sale.  The album, entitled ‘Sounds of a Century’, has been produced to celebrate a remarkable achievement by the band – namely 100 years of recording their magnificent music – a landmark previously reached by only three bands in the world.

The album features 12 tracks, 10 of which are re-recordings of favourite pieces of music across the decades, with the playlist being completed by two superb newly-commissioned pieces by Lucy Pankhurst and Adam Taylor, both of whom have close links with the band.

A ‘companion souvenir’ to the CD is a new publication, fully illustrated in colour – also now available for sale – under the same title as the disc, which tells the fascinating story of the band’s recording history, and which incorporates the first-ever detailed Discography of all Wingates recordings since 1915.

The two items will be launched at a special celebratory concert, to be held at St Bartholomew’s Parish Church, Westhoughton, on Saturday, October 24, commencing at 7:30pm, but can be ordered with immediate effect via the band’s website, or by calling 01204 696984/07970 131460.  The CD album costs £10, and the illustrated publication costs £5. (For orders by post, add £1.35 for the CD, £1.25 for the publication, or £1.75 for both items.)

Tickets for the centenary celebration concert – price £10 – are still available, and can be ordered via the above numbers.





Wingates Band have pulled off something of a coup ahead of their ‘An Evening With Wingates Band’ concert at Bolton’s Octagon Theatre on Friday, May 29th.  Professional actor Andrew Roberts-Palmer, who was one of the stars of last year’s stage version of the hit film ‘Brassed Off’, performed by the Touring Consortium Theatre Company, which concluded its 2014 nationwide tour with a 31-performance sell-out run at the Octagon, is to make a guest cameo appearance with the band at the concert. Mr Roberts-Palmer, who played the character of Harry in the show, will be fondly remembered by the many thousands of local folk who enjoyed a truly remarkable theatrical production as the ultra-energetic stand-in conductor who led the Grimley Colliery Band to victory in the National Championship finals at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Wingates’s musical director, Paul Andrews, is keeping the precise role of Mr Roberts-Palmer somewhat under wraps, but he will feature in a segment of a wide-ranging musical programme which will incorporate an innovatively-choreographed reprise of the hit show, featuring five of the best-loved musical numbers from ‘Brassed Off’.  Throughout the evening, the emphasis will be on pure entertainment, with the programme of music selected to demonstrate the extreme versatility of an elite brass band, with items ranging from opera to Queen.

A limited number of tickets for the concert, which commences at 7:30pm, is still available, and can be booked via the Octagon Theatre box office on 01204 520661.

For anyone unable to attend this concert, a second opportunity to hear the Bolton area’s premier brass band in action comes at the historic and atmospheric venue of Rivington Hall Barn on Wednesday, 3rd June, when the band will be performing together with their great friends and Westhoughton neighbours, The Houghton Weavers, in the 27th concert in the enduringly-popular ‘Folk and Brass’ series.  This concert also commences at 7:30pm and ticket enquiries can be made on 01204 696984.


For further information about this Press Release, or Wingates Band in general, please contact:

David Kaye, President and Trustee:   e-mail:     Tel: 01204 696984  Mob: 07970 131460







One of the most successful and enduring musical partnerships in the North West is that between Westhoughton’s two ‘musical legends’, the internationally-renowned Wingates Band, and the ever-popular folk trio, The Horton Weavers.  The Weavers are celebrating their 40th anniversary, having begun life playing in Westhoughton pubs back in 1975, before progressing to a hugely successful career, involving extensive TV and radio  broadcasts, and a prolific recording schedule.

Wingates Band has just passed its 142nd birthday, having been founded in April 1873, but its special milestone in 2015 is that of a century of recording its magnificent music. Somewhat surprisingly, given the strictures of the dark days of World War I, the band’s first recordings were made in the bandroom at Wingates Square, Westhoughton, in 1915. Four 10″ shellac discs were recorded, on the most primitive of acoustic equipment, by a team from London-based Regal Records, who recorded for posterity the music of one of the most successful and best-known bands in the land at that time. Ever since, the renowned band has regularly recorded at venues throughout the country, embracing all successive technologies, including vinyl, cassette tape and compact discs. Only three brass bands in the world have a longer recording pedigree than Wingates, who now have over 200 exclusive recordings in their catalogue, as well as having featured on numerous other recordings, such as massed band concerts, together with choirs and diverse musical ensembles, and providing the backing music for solo performers.

The Houghton Weavers have produced a commemorative brochure telling the story of their four decades, as well as a souvenir album, and later in 2015, Wingates Band will do likewise. Plans are now well in hand for a celebratory concert by the band in October, at St Bartholomew’s Parish Church, Westhoughton, at which the band will launch an illustrated brochure telling the fascinating history of their recording story, complete with comprehensive discography. A souvenir album will be recorded in the town in June, which will feature a wide-ranging programme of music, with an item selected from each of the 10 decades of recordings, augmented by two brand-new pieces specially commissioned for the centenary.

Whilst implementing their own plans for celebrating these special anniversaries, the two ensembles will also join together on several occasions throughout the year, as they have done for many years. The first such collaboration comes at the historic and atmospheric venue of Rivington Hall Barn, when, on Wednesday, 3rd June, the band and folk group combine to present ‘Folk and Brass’, which is the 27th concert in the hugely successful series which regularly attracts capacity audiences for wonderful evenings of music and mirth.  The concert commences at 7:30pm, tickets are £9 (all classes) and can be purchased by callers at Rivington Hall Barn, or by calling 01204 696984.


For further information about this Press Release, or Wingates Band in general, please contact:

David Kaye, President and Trustee:   e-mail:     Tel: 01204 696984  Mob: 07970 131460






One of the most exciting chapters in the long and colourful history of the internationally-renowned Wingates Band came in May/June last year, when the Westhoughton-based ensemble was privileged to be one of three bands performing in rotation for the 31-performance sell-out run of the stage version of the hit film ‘Brassed Off’, when it concluded a nationwide tour at Bolton’s Octagon Theatre, marking the 30th anniversary of the 1984 miners’ strike. Over 10,000 people witnessed a superbly-staged production, with most performances culminating in standing ovations for the talented cast of actors and the brass bands who provided the rousing musical numbers.

In the wake of the hugely-successful run, Wingates were delighted to receive an invitation from the Octagon management team to return to the theatre once again to perform a full-length concert, the result being ‘An Evening with Wingates Band’, which will take place on Friday, 29th May, commencing at 7:30pm.

The band’s musical director, Paul Andrews, has selected a  programme of music designed to emphasise the remarkable versatility of an elite brass band, but with the emphasis on entertainment throughout. Music as diverse as Shostakovich and Queen will feature in a musical spectacular, which promises to be an evening to be savoured.  One segment of the concert which should prove particularly popular with the audience will be a reprise of some of the familiar and much-loved music from ‘Brassed Off’,  comprising five numbers, imaginatively linked and choreographed to evoke memories of a wonderful theatrical experience which so many local people enjoyed at the Octagon last year.

Tickets for the concert can be booked online at, at the theatre’s box office in Howell Croft South, or on 01204 520661.


For further details about this Press Release, or about Wingates Band in general, please contact:

David Kaye, President and Trustee, Wingates Band:  Tel: 01204 696984  Mob: 07970 131460   e-mail:




To those unfamiliar with the fascinating world of brass bands – a quintessentially British phenomenon which has woven a golden thread in the fabric of our cultural heritage for almost 200 years – it frequently comes as as a surprise to learn that brass band contests embody competitive elements as fierce as any found in the world of sport. The similarities between football and banding, for example, are particularly striking, with both employing a ‘pyramid system’, involving annual promotion and relegation battles, dependent upon results in key encounters. As with English football, the structure of brass banding in Britain involves five ‘tiers’, and it is the proud boast of Westhoughton-based Wingates Band that it has enjoyed unbroken membership of banding’s ‘Premier League’ – known as the Championship Section – since 1900, a record matched by very few bands in the land.

Adding some considerable spice to the competitive scenario, for the past 25 years, British bands have featured in a ‘rankings’ system, with the periodic publication of these being anxiously awaited, to see how individual bands are faring in the league table, the positions being entirely contingent upon contest successes. With the spread of the British brass band culture to many overseas countries over recent decades, these ‘barometers’ of a band’s status & prevailing successes have metamorphosed into World Rankings, and the latest list issued by the magazine Brass Band World – in conjunction with – features bands from no less than 13 different countries amongst the world’s top 100 bands, which includes the leading bands in Australia and the USA.

With its proud history of long being amongst Britain’s elite brass bands, Wingates has regularly featured prominently in these rankings, although in recent years, just like its near-neighbour Bolton Wanderers, it suffered a slump in its fortunes, with its place in the rankings falling to a somewhat depressing 65th. However, with the arrival of Paul Andrews as the band’s new musical director almost 2 years ago,  new focus and energy was brought to the all-important business of band contesting, and as a result of a sequence of impressive wins in key contests, coupled with some ‘near misses’ in others, Wingates has improved its position dramatically, and in the latest rankings issued by BBW/brasstats, the Bolton area’s premier brass band now sits in a much more acceptable 24th place in the global listing. Discounting the non-English bands ahead of them in the list, Wingates is in 14th position nationwide, which, whilst reflecting an exciting journey up the table, still represents ‘work in progress’, as all concerned with the band are committed to becoming one of the world’s top 10 bands again, a position it enjoyed for a number of years during the 1990s.   The next major challenge on the contest stage comes next month at Blackpool, when Wingates will be one of over 70 bands featuring in the Spring Brass Band Festival at the Winter Gardens, and pursuit of the prestigious Grand Shield, success in which will win a coveted place in the British Open Championships at Birmingham in September, a competition which the band has won on 7 previous occasions. With a total of 13 national titles on its Honours Board, Wingates is the 6th most successful British band of all time, and as national band contests started as far back as the 1850s, this represents a most powerful statement.

Meanwhile, away from the white-hot atmosphere of the contest platform, Wingates is enjoying one of its busiest concert diaries for some years, with a number of prestigious engagements both locally and regionally scheduled for the coming months. The band can next be heard ‘on its own doorstep’, when it performs a concert at St James’s Church, Daisy Hill, Westhoughton, on Saturday, 25th April, commencing at 7:30pm. This will be followed by other local concerts, including performances at Bolton’s Octagon Theatre, and then at Rivington Hall Barn, when the band will join together again with its great friends and Westhoughton neighbours, The Houghton Weavers, for the 27th concert in the ever-popular ‘Folk & Brass’ series. Ticket enquiries for all these concerts can be made on 01204 696984/07970 131460.


For more information about this Press Release, or Wingates Band in general, please contact:

David Kaye, President and Trustee:    Tel: 01204 696984  Mob: 07970 131460  e-mail: