Lurganure Silver Band

50th Anniversary Celebration

Lurganure Silver Band originated from Hull's Hill Accordian Band which met at Hull's Hill Mission Hall, Moira Road, Lisburn, in 1935. Some original members were the late Jack Farnesworth, S J Briggs, Sam Downey, and their conductor - the late George Halliday. After a rather uncertain start it moved, in 1936, to Lurganure Dart Hut, Lurganure Road, Lisburn. Under the guidance of Victor Quaile, Ernest Walker, the late Norman Topping, S J Briggs, S Downey, and J Farnesworth, they became known as Lurganure Accordian Band and were still under the conductorship of the late George Halliday. At this time they were a melody accordian Band. 


Shortly after their move to Lurganure Dart Hut, in 1937, the band made another move to Lurganure School only a few hundred yards up the road. During the war years of 1939 -1945 the band, like many other organisations, was suspended but re-opened again in approximately 1945. Their first parade was the 12th July 1945 to Derriaghy. In 1946 they moved to the Leslie Memorial LOL 206 Orange Hall, Lurganure Road, Lisburn where they became a part accordian Band and have remained there ever since. The Band gradually regained it's old members and, with the addition of some new ones, went from strength to strength. Much support was provided by local residents and organisations of Lurganure and surrounding areas of the Maze for which the band were deeply appreciative. This support was given through numerous fund-raising events which were orgainised by the members of the various Ladies Committees over the years. These events included occasions such as Variety Sales, Bring & Buy Sales, Guest Teas, Concerts etc. In the early 1950's Victor Quaile took over the chairmanship with the late Samuel Walker as his Vice Chairman. Mr Walker held this post until his retirement in the late 70's due to health reasons. In 1951 the members felt that a change was needed and the decision was taken to change from accordian to silver. The instigators of this were Matt McMinn, V Quaile, J Walker, E Walker, the late S Walker, N Walker and W Briggs. This was a big step for the band as it would inevitably require a large amount of money. However, the money was raised after even more fund-raising activities and a lot of hard work from the members. The change though, would not have been possible without the financial assistance of Mr R Jordan and the late Mr F Hall.

So, under the conductorship of Mr John Allen, Lurganure Accordian Band became known as Lurganure Silver Band. At this stage in the Band's History they did not possess a uniform. This was the next item they worked towards and in 1953 they acquired their first set of uniforms. These have been renewed on two occasions since then in 1964 and 1973. Plans are at present underway for the purchase of a further set. In 1957 the late Norman Walker, who had been a member since 1938 took over the conductorship after John Allen. During his first year in this role the Band won a Brass Band League Contest at Bellevue. Over the years the Band has entered various Northern Ireland Band Association and Brass Band League Music contests and have been placed on several occasions. Several young 'up and coming' members of the band were entered for Solo and Quartette Competitions winning the band some accolade in the Brass Band World. Perhaps one of the most memorable occasions was the Quartette of 1963 which consisted of James McDonald, Hamilton Topping, Ivan Houston and the late William McDonald(Junior). They went along to a Brass Band League Contest at Belfast and under the direction of Mr. Walker won first prize in the intermediate section with their rendition of Excerpts from Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. Another attempt was made at this same quartette in 1972, when John Walker, Rodney Walker, Trevor Dougherty and the late Leonard Walker went to Portadown Music Festival and gained another first for Lurganure. 

Around the early 1950's, at Christmas, the Band visited numerous homes in the locality to entertain them by playing carols. In so doing, money was raised which went to-wards presents for the children at Lissue Children's Hospital, Ballinderry Road, Lisburn. This was an event which started at Bradbury's Corner and continued, by foot, to Cockhill Corner. It took place for a number of years until road and traffic conditions endangered the safety of members. However, at Christmas 1985 the old tradition of Carol playing was revived when the Band Visited Lisburn Town Centre one evening to entertain shoppers. For the past 26 years the band have visited the staff and children of Lissue Children's Hospital, where a concert is presented with the help of various local artists. Other local events which have taken place over the years are Praise Services in St. Paul's Church, Lisburn, St Hilda's Church, Seymour Hill, and St Matthew's, Broomhedge. An annual event which has taken place for the past 12 years is the band's yearly visit to the Moravian Garden Fete, Hillsborough in June. Other Garden Fetes are also visited by the band when requested. It is well known that the band had an exclusively male membership, but in 1978 ladies were finally admitted after much discussion and deliberation among their male counterparts. Norman Walker carried out his duties as conductor right up to his death in 1984. His successor was Mr. Stanley Murphy who has been a member of the band for almost 40 years and is proving to be an equally loyal conductor. 

The Band recently marked the occasion of their 50th Anniversary by holding a Dinner and Concert in the Bradbury Memorial Hall, Broomhedge on the 25th June 1986. The event was well attended by past and present members, their wives, friends and guests together with officers etc of the local organisations. The Concert involved a number of artists - local Band, Broomhedge Pipe, Comedians Mr. Paul Bennington and Cohn Boyd. The compere for the evening was Mr. Tom Middleton and Lillian's Caterers of Saintfield provided an excellent meal. Members of the Ladies Committee provided well earned refreshments for the artists after the concert. Mr. Victor Quaile was Acting Chairman for the evening Four junior members of the Band, Liza Walker, Gordon McDonald, Keith Dickson, and Andrew Wilson featured strongly with their rendition of the favourite Hymn Tune, "Abide with Me" under the direction of Mr. Gordon Walker. Another Senior Quartette made up of Jennifer Walker, Gordon Walker, Ann McCracken and James McDonald entertained the audience with their performance of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nacht Musik. The full band provided a Grand Finalé to the evening by performing a few old favourites; the March "Aces High", Dear Old Donegal, Congratulations and Now is the Hour, under the direction of Stanley Murphy. A vote of thanks was delivered by the President Mr. Norman Jackson. At the end of the evening the band paid tribute to their two oldest serving members who have been members since the band's beginning in 1936. They are Mr. Victor Quaile and Mr. James Walker.

1985 saw the retirement of Mr. Victor Quaile as Chairman, a post he had held faithfully for 35 years. After so many years dedicated service, the Band showed it's appreciation by holding a Dinner Dance in his honour in June of that year. He was presented with a Silver Tray and Mrs Quaile received a bouquet of flowers. This then left a vacancy for the post of Chairman and it was unanimously agreed that the then Vice Chairman Mr. Tom McConnell should be elected Chairman and Miss Ann McCracken was elected as Vice Chairman. Jim Walker is the current Treasurer and has held this post for almost 20 years, having previously been a member of the committee. Mr. Quaile and Mr. Walker are to be congratulated most whole-heartedly for the unending interest and loyalty to the band over the past fifty years. Through thick and thin they have stood by the band and have missed very few, if any, engagements. The members of the Band paid tribute to these men by presenting them each with a Shield and a pen, and gifts of bouquets of flowers were made to Mrs V Quaile and Mrs J Walker. Another presentation of a bouquet of flowers was made to Mrs McCracken by Miss Leigh Walker for her splendid effort on the 50th Anniversary Cake and flower arrangements for the tables. Today the band consists of a total of 26 members, the majority of whom have been with the band between 10 and 50 years.

The junior members - Liza Walker, Gordon McDonald, Keith Dickson, Andrew Wilson, Neill Knox and their newest additions - Sharon McDonald, Leigh Walker and David Dickson are showing very good progress and it is hoped they will enjoy a long career with the band. 

The present officers are as follows:-

PRESIDENT                                     MR NORMAN JACKSON
CHAIRMAN                                     MR TOM MCCONNELL
VICE CHAIRMAN                           MISS ANN MCCRACKEN
TREASURER                                   MR JIM WALKER
SECRETARY                                    MR JIM CARGIN
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