Early Days

The Band was formed in 1996 by Ron Hodey, a Dodington parish councillor, and Kevin Robbins, who owned a music shop in Chipping Sodbury. The purpose was to benefit the local community and develop musical opportunities within the area. From the beginning the initiative had strong support from Dodington Parish Council including providing premises for a practice room and storage. This was a lock up garage in Kelston Close.

Kevin was the initial conductor. There was a wide range of players of differing ages and abilities. Early engagements included school fetes, and entertainment for the Rotary Club at their classic car run and their beer festival. Regular pieces included Pink Panther and Over the Rainbow.

Kevin, who was previously a principal cornet player for the Sun Life- Stanshawe Band, played some notable solos, including Flight of the Bumble Bee at a Dodington Parish Hall concert, and “Two tunes at Once” at the Keynsham British Legion.

The band’s next conductor was Ian Green. Various engagements continued, including the annual Duck Race as part of Chipping Sodbury Festival. Band favourites at this time included Young Amadeus and Instant Concert.

After Ian Green left due to a move over the bridge to Wales, Colin Cunliffe, a military bandsman, became conductor. In 2001 there were plans to redevelop the area in Kelston Close so the council allowed the Band to move their practices to the much more spacious Dodington Parish Hall. The acoustics were greatly improved!

Colin set up the first band website and Jenni Moorhouse was a very hard-working and influential secretary at that time

A Sponsors concert was held in March 2003 to celebrate the Band’s new performance jackets purchased via a a grant from South Gloucestershire Council. The jackets helped establish a more professional appearance and improved the Band’s identity.

An autumn concert in 2004 was held jointly with Sharpness and District Silver Band.


The 2005 concert, also with Sharpness, was dedicated to the memory of Len Hope who had recently passed away. Len was the band’s President and a founder member. He is on the far left in the above photo. A few months previously the band had joined Len at his daughter’s wedding, playing one of his favourite pieces, Aces High along with The Old Rugged Cross amongst others.

For several years, band members assisted Sharpness at some of their venues, notably the Berkeley show, shown below. The band maintains associations with various bands in the area.

In 2006 Percy Mann, also ex-military, joined the band initially as temporary conductor although already conducting Avon Fire Brigade band. In the event, Percy stayed for 3 years. He introduced the band to Sherston C of E Primary School to celebrate the first Maasai to receive a British university degree. This started a long successful relationship with Sherston village. The band plays there several times a year for various events including the International Boules competition and Mangold Hurling.


In October 2006 there was a 10th anniversary charity concert at the Parish Hall and a donation was made to the Princess Royal Trust for Carers.

2007 brought a successful lottery grant application and the band were able to boost their range of instruments in association with a recruitment drive. Shown below is the band at a St George’s Day celebration at Yate Heritage Centre, and in unusual formation on the back of a lorry at Chipping Sodbury Victorian Evening.

During 2009 on Percy’s retirement, Colin Harriman, a player with the band of many years’ standing, took the baton. Colin is a previous Drum Major and is very versatile. He returned to playing in 2010 when Peter Cornford became conductor. Peter previously conducted Wotton Silver Band and Marshfield Band.

In 2012 the band has grown in size and players continue to be enthusiastic and challenged by more demanding music.

From its earliest roots the band has been community orientated and this continues with the support of Dodington Parish Council and other sponsors.

See the gallery for more pictures of the band’s activities!