A History of Ballyclare Victoria Flute Band

Monday, 08 August 2016

A History of Ballyclare Victoria Flute Band

Ballyclare Victoria Flute Band was formed in early Spring 1919 around about the same time as Sammy Murray, Arthur McGuigan and Bob Grange were talking about setting up a football club at the Ballyclare branch of the Comrades of the Great War Association.

When they started, no one in the band could play a flute but they set themselves a target to be ready to perform by the Summer. The brainchild of Robert McFarlane and James Simms, the band’s first rehearsal march a few months later set off from its first bandroom in Coleman’s Barn at Le Ballyclare and went up through Millvale and then along the Back Walks on to the Green Road, up past the Dandy Row and back to the Barn. 

10648303 593977160730478 8193162986494239309 o

The first public appearance of 'McFarlane's Band' was on 9th May 1919 when it accompanied electoral candidate George Hanna into town for a rally outside the Town Hall. In 1931 the band joined the Northern Ireland Bands Association and appointed Robert Meharg as conductor. The photograph below was taken in 1932 and shows the band with the NIBA’s Junior Section, Grade II Championship Trophy.

1658689 593977307397130 994194113966257730 oThey won their first World Championship in 1960 and from 1971 to 1990, led by Arthur Fleming, they won a further 16 outright victories and were runners up on the other four occasions. This included 10 consecutive successes from 1975 to 1984! They recorded their 23rd victory in 2004.

12484585 814244115370447 3442365954333049918 o

These are some of our favourite images of the band over the years.

1912038 593977260730468 4296716958471543496 o

1939492 962935713729040 869414530803593163 o

10353703 789925554363391 8555439927352904084 n 1

11313104 962936580395620 2086208157408980845 o

11896123 990428090979802 131155763319760414 n

10872990 962936983728913 2041246986055989169 o


Tagged with: Ballyclare History Ballyclare Victoria Flute Band

History Categories

Share This

Copyright © LoveBallyclare 2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

Website by Elm House Creative