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By David Middlehurst

John Mayor was born at Much Hoole in 1859. In 1901, he lived at Hall Lane, Longton and was a schoolmaster at Walmer Bridge School.

There are number of references to the Walmer Bridge String Band in the Preston Guardian.  On November 21st 1908, the newspaper reports “The ‘annual social’ connected to the Longton and District Agricultural Society was held in the Longton School-rooms. In the evening, Mr. Mayor’s String Band from Walmer Bridge played for dancing”.

On February 20th 1909 “A Rose Social and Dance was held at Longton Parish Church School-rooms. The dance music was provided by Mr. Mayor’s String band”

On February 27th 1909 “The Longton Football Club, held a dance at St. Andrew’s School-room. Mr. Mayor’s String Band played for dancing”.

On November 20th 1909 “The Walmer Bridge String Band, gave its first winter soiree in the Walmer Bridge Schoolroom on Saturday. There was a good attendance and a very pleasant evening was enjoyed”.

On December 14th 1912 “A social and dance in aid of the Church Missionary Society, was held at the Hoole C.of E. School on Saturday. Dancing was later indulged in to the strains of the Walmer Bridge String Band under the direction of Mr. Mayor

On December 21st 1912 “An enjoyable social was held in the Walmer Bridge Schoolroom on Saturday evening. The event was to raise funds for a screen for the schoolroom and was organised by Mr. Mayor (schoolmaster). A large number of people indulged in dancing to the music of the Walmer Bridge String Band, conducted by Mr. Mayor”.

On February 7th 1914 “A concert was held in the Primitive Methodist School in Walmer Bridge. Mr. P. Mayor gave a violin solo”.

The article printed in the Preston Guardian on February 22nd 1911, shows the relationship between the village dance band and the Brass Band. “Walmer Bridge is probably unique for a township of its size in the possession of two local bands, a string band and a brass band. The former has been in existence for nearly 20 years. During the past four years both bands have been in great demand by neighbouring townships in connection with efforts on behalf of the war. In this way they have rendered much useful service. In appreciation of this work the ladies of Walmer Bridge, Hoole and Longton organised a social and dance on Saturday evening on behalf of the two bands. The schoolroom had been lent for the night by Messrs. Crowden and Grierson. There was a very large gathering, charabancs having brought people from Leyland, Penwortham, Bretherton and Tarleton. The bands were in attendance and played for dancing. They raised almost £20”.

Finally on November 5th 1919 “A fund- raising dance in aid of St. Mark’s football team was held in Longton. Mr. J. Mayor’s String Band (Walmer Bridge) played for dancing”.

I am researching village bands in Lancashire and have found the information about the Walmer Bridge String Band, in old newspapers. I am hoping that there may be a photograph of the band, does anybody know of one?

If you know of any more information please contact me at: d.middlehurst (at) btinternet.com

David Middlehurst, March 2011