Sailors Chapel Band
The Sailors Chapel Band
The Band has a long history. Today the band is still performing every Sunday and often play at engagements around Liverpool. The Band, as well as the Junior Band, practice every Thursday, playing in the Sunday evening service at the chapel. Christmas is their busiest time of the year when they travel around Liverpool playing Christmas carols and songs at various clubs and nursing homes.
History of The Band
The Sailors Chapel was known throughout the Dingle as a Church with strong Christian beliefs, and still is. It was situated at the corner of Wellington Road and Grafton Street. It was the first church seen by Dockers, seamen of the ships from all over the world, who came off the iron bridge, which is no longer there.
The Sunday School was well attended in those days. 250 children came at 2.00pm and 3.00pm.
In 1946, one year after the war ended, Mr Dean, who was an accomplished musician, decided to try and start a brass band as there were many boys in the Sunday School. He asked who would like to learn how to play a brass instrument. He recruited about 20 boys who lived locally and so this was the start of the Sailors Chapel Junior Band (1946).
Within 12 months the Band was able to play a few hymn tunes. The first one to be played publicly was ‘O God our Help in Ages Past’. We practiced every Tuesday and Thursday. Although a good musician, Mr Dean was very strict, but was loved by all the band members.
Eventually we were good enough to play during the services in the chapel and then into the open air every Sunday at 10.15 in Lavrock Bank and 8.15 at Harlow Street. This continued for many years.
Tom Hughes' Mission was in Mill Street and he had access to a cottage in Ballafesson, Isle of Man, to which he took children for a holiday. Obviously this took a lot of funding to carry out, so the Chapel Band was asked if they would go and play in the Isle of Man to collect funds for this purpose. This we did from 1949. We played on the crossing from Pierhead to Douglas and not always on calm seas, collecting on the boat and then on the island. This took place on Whit or Easter weekends and we were invited to the island to celebrate 40 years and received medals for the services we carried out all those years ago.
During the summer months we marched the Sailors Chapel around the streets to celebrate anniversaries and Harvest Festivals. We were then asked to lead the Sunday Schools on their marches and this was all over Liverpool, both north and south.
During the summer months we were out nearly every Sunday. We played in OAP homes, Special Needs schools and many other venues throughout Liverpool. It was all done freely, but for the Lord's name. Our signature tune is ‘I go in the Strength of the Lord’, and that is our aim.