The Dalkeith Trades Band played at a brass band contest in Alloa on 31st May 1890. It’s not known exactly when the band was formed, but earliest records show the band’s predecessor - The Westfield Brass Band – was in existence in 1876, and most likely associated with the workers at a local Carpet Factory.
In 1892 the band led a parade in Dalkeith to welcome William Gladstone to the town. In 1904 the band name changed to Dalkeith and Westfield Trades Band so as to attract wider support. This manifested in a grant from the town council in 1905.
After WW1, another name change saw the formation of The Dalkeith Burgh Band and records show that the band led the town gala day parade in 1929. The Dalkeith Burgh Band took part in a brass band contest on 4th December 1926 in the Dalkeith corn exchange playing “The Magic Flute”. Latterly the band became Dalkeith and Bilston Glen Colliery Band.
In 1918 the miners at the Prestonlinks Colliery near Prestonpans formed a silver band and registered as a competing band in 1921.
The Colliery Band thrived and first contested in the Albert Halls in Stirling on 3rd December 1932 through to the closure of the pit. The bands’ last contest was in Edinburgh in 1964.
After the eventual closure of the Colliery, the band took on the name Prestonpans and District Silver Band until sponsorship from the new Monktonhall Colliery was secured and the band name changed accordingly. First competing at the Scottish Miners Gala Day in Edinburgh on 7th June 1965 under the baton of Jim Fleming, the band continued through to the mid 1980’s, rehearsing in Prestonpans.
The 1980s were, of course, turbulent times for the coal industry and both bands' membership and funding dwindled rapidl.
In 1989 the Dalkeith and Monktonhall bands merged in an effort to avoid complete disbandment. The Monktonhall band had rehearsal premises in Prestonpans, but the Dalkeith band did not have that luxury so the new band – Dalkeith and Monktonhall Colliery – moved lock-stock-and-tuba to Prestonpans, where they remain to the present day.
The amalgamated band first contested in Falkirk on 3rd March 1990 and competed in the National Brass Band Championships in Kensington, London in October of the following year.
The band has competed at and represented the town, East Lothian and Scotland at National and regional contest every year since. The band supports local communities by playing full concert programmes and supporting community and other events throughout the year.
The band has played on TV and radio and has appeared twice in Edinburgh in major stage shows The band is presently financially independent with no major sponsors and operates a training band which is open to all from 9 years and upwards.
We are all amateur musicians and everything we earn goes back into the welfare and structure of the band.