History of the Band

Click All Our Yesterdays to view more photos of the band from yesteryear


The Band was first formed in 1952 as The Stockport Police band. In 1967 Police boundaries changed and the Band became the Band of the Cheshire Constabulary.

Mr Charles Holt, the Band's first Musical Director led the band for over 30 years leading it to many successes in the contest field. Sadly he passed away in 2006. A great loss to the band movement and to the Constabulary. He is sadly missed by all who knew him.

The band was initially based at Lee Street Police Station, and at that time consisted wholly of serving Police officers who were given time off from Police duties to attend band.

The Watch Committee of Stockport Police deemed the Band to be a valid public relations venture and this ethos continued as it became the Cheshire Constabulary band on amalgamation.

From 1971 the band became competetive and won minor prizes on BBC Manchester 'Blow For Blow' radio contests and Belle Vue contests. One of the memorable concerts with the band was in August 1971 when the band played with Fairey Engineering Band under Harry MORTIMER.

During the period from 1971 to 1973 the then Chief Constable, Bill KELSALL organised church services during the summer all around the old County of Cheshire including Birkenhead and Wallasey (Now Merseyside). Unlike recent times the summers were notably hot which was of particular s relevance as the band then wore the "old style " black 'dog-collar' tunic emblazoned with silver braid.

In 1973 the qualified for London in the 1973 finals, it was announced that a further amalgamation would take place and Stockport would be absorbed into what is now known as Greater Manchester Police. As there was already a Manchester Police Band which was a military style band it was decided that the brass band had to go. Fortunately thanks to the efforts of Charles HOLT permission was granted for a new Cheshire Police Band to be formed which would be based at the Force Training Centre, Crewe.

The first rehearsal of the " new " band was held in February 1974. Several players from the "old band" had transferred across to the new Cheshire band including Jim Genders, Geoff Hall, Mike Greaves, Ernie Nixon, Heather Kilshaw,Joyce HOLT,David Owen, Joe Moores and last but not least Colin lloyd on Bb bass. It also gained others such as a certain Cyril Grocott and Colin Stewart

Following the latest amalgamation Cheshire had lost Birkenhead, Wallasey, Stockport and most of Tameside. We did, however, gain Warrington and Widnes.

In 1977 the new Chief Constable, George Fenn offered the services of the band for any village celebrations between May and August to help mark the Queens Jubilee. That year over EIGHTY applications were received, and honoured with the band playing up to three venues per day in village squares, village halls etc.

It is a time remembered fondly by the bands' current MD Dave Woollam who had joined had the band on horn a couple of years earlier.

Shortly afterwars in the late early 80 Sgt Alan Critchly from Widnes had a brainchild entitled 'COPS and KIDS'. This involved the band playing alongside kids, usually secondary schools from a given area. The band mixed in with the kids firstly at rehearsal, then the actual performance usually at large venues such as the Queens Hall at Widnes and Winsford Civic Hall. It became apparrent to the kids that Bobbies were human after all!

Such was the popularity of the concerts that they sometimes spanned two or three nights. There was a remarkable reduction in juvenile crime over this period and was recorded in the HM Inspector of Constabularies report at the time.

This was also the time when theband was joined by principal cornet Graham SLINGER ( Ex Brighouse and Rastrick) and then then Cadet Gary BUTTERWORTH

From 1979 to 1982 the band fought its way up to the then 2nd section taking two London finals, one at the Royal Albert Hall. Each time the band qualified it did do by gaining 1st places by three points. It was also at this time we made our one and only LP recording. "Out of the Blue" which was recorded at Strawberry studios in Stockport.

In the mid 1980s the band continued it's community work, and in addition started to attend the famous Whit Friday March Contests. A tradition whic it maintains to this day. The band also attended the wonderful isle of Man Brass Band Festival on no less than 4 occasions winning its section on each visit.

Charlie Holt the MD of the band eventually hung up his baton in the late 1990s after over 30 years service as MD of the band. He was suceeded by several MDs such as the wonderful cornetist Jim Davis and the equally excellent trombone player, Nick Hudson. The longest serving MDs since Charlie Holt have been Granville Hanshall and the current MD, David Woollam but it is unlikely anyone will ever exceed the length of service and achievements of Charlie.

The band continues to thrive and is now established as a second section band. The current band are proud to carry on a tradition that has been maintained in Cheshire for so many years.


Musical Directors:

Charles Holt (1955-1997)
Jim Davies
Nick Hudson

Granville Henshall (2000-2007)
David Woollam ( 2007 -present)


Principal Cornets:

Nigel Birch
Ian Harpur
Steven Higham
Graham Slinger
Stuart Wright

Steve Pritchard-Jones

Paul Martin

Dave Thomas

Alison Andrews

David Mottershead

Jen Daniels

Rachel Woollam



Julain Ablett (Soprano Cornet)
Chris Ablett

Robert Bradshaw
Ken Brown
Garry Butterworth
Dennis Cooke
Howard Coppenhall
Bryan Ledson
Mike Gaffney
Jim Genders ( Soprano Cornet)
Mike Greaves
Cyril Grocott
Trevor Halliwell
Graham Hodgkinson
Joyce Holt
Ian Murray
Terry Newton
Dick Rogers
Eleanor Smith
Simon Taylor
Stuart Thompson
Steve White
Richard Hutton
Gillian Shaw
Francis Lawrence
Vicky Roe
Ken Turner
Tim Grindey
Clive Baty

Sreve Twemlow (Soprano Cornet)
Terry Shaw
Jack Meredith

Jen Bond

Richard Hutton

Gillian Shaw

Malcolm Cooke

Richard Hewit

Andrea Egginton


Albert Birchenough
Nichola Burnham
Clive Batey
Rhiannon Griffiths
Heather Kilshaw
Helen Morgan
Don Pennell
George Pragnall
Colin Stewart
Andrew Wood
Emma Woodward
Dave Woollam
Vicki Gardener
Alison Lund
Ralph Green
Imelda Slinger

Karen Griffiths



Sarah Bowker
Robin Bowles
Caroline Litherland
Denise De Witt
Roy Duke
Brian Jones
Liz Rankin
Stuart Gorse
Geoffrey Hall
Kenneth Hanks
Granville Henshall
Kenneth Hutton
Dave Lornie

Gerry Moylan
John Pickering
David Wood
David Graham
Rebecca Ogden
Anna Thompson
David Graham
Helen Morgan
Steve Heywood
Jen Willis

Amanda Harrison



Harold Sim Mutch
Dougie Moores
Geraint Davies
Phil Barker
Brian Harding
John Hughes
Andrew Silman
Syd Smith
Simon Woberts
John Hughes
David Jameson
Kathy Genders
Janice Lloyd

Ivor Perks
Stan Dobbins
Mike Holmes

Alan Woodward
Daniel Ashton
Lesley Quirk


Tim Ashbrook
Ronald Dean
Geoff Dooley
Colin Lloyd
Pete Mounsey
Peter Sharp
Ron Shawcross
Keith Wenlock
Gavin Wright
Kim Turner
Malcolm Glanister
Phil Tyler
Terry Newton
Dr. Andy Lund
Irvine McKee
Peter Hough

Kev Dale



Chris Haighton
Brian Heywood
John Woollam
Bob Heath
John Findlow
John Stretch

Drum Majors:

Adrian Lindop
John Stretch
Joe Kerr

Tony Jackson


Corps of Drums:

Phil Archer

Paul Dickinson
Bob Heath





Charlie Holt & the band at the Isle of Man circa 1988