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History shows that Black Dyke bottled it...

A fantastic replica uniform from the earliest days of the Black Dyke Band has come up with a colourful surprise thanks to Centre Stage Uniforms and some historical research...

Black Dyke uniform
  The original Black Dyke uniform was in fact bottle green in colour

Black Dyke has just taken delivery of the latest item to be displayed in their Heritage Lottery funded Heritage Centre at their famous bandroom in Queensbury.

It is a wonderfully reproduced replica of their first ever uniform the band wore, and which was originally produced in the Black Dyke Mills by John Foster & Sons Ltd — the sponsors of the band.

Kindly manufactured and donated by Centre Stage Uniforms, it does however differ not just in style, but in colour from the famous black, scarlet and gold that the current band wears today. In fact it's bottle green.

Bottle green

In thanking Martin Gernon and Centre Stage Uniforms for their generous contribution to the Centre, Black Dyke Band Manager, David Hirst (above) explained why.

"Thanks to painstaking research done by former band member John Clay, a copy of a photo was discovered which showed the original uniforms being worn.

However, reference was also found to the ordering of bottle green cloth for their production. Black Dyke originally wore these uniforms and it wasn't until much later that the iconic band colours were used.

Our thanks go to Martin and his team at Centre Stage we can now show visitors just what those early players looked like — it is a very generous gesture and one that adds to the rich history on display at our Heritage Centre."

Great project

In response, Martin added: "This was a great project to be involved in, and to recreate the original uniform of the most famous band in the world was quite a responsibility.

We sourced what would have been a very similar type of military grade wool, called Cavalry Twill, which is very heavy and must have been incredibly hot to wear for any length of time. Original style brass buttons were also sourced and the uniform is finished with a white leather belt and silver and gold buckle."

However, reference was also found to the ordering of bottle green cloth for their production. Black Dyke originally wore these uniforms and it wasn't until much later that the iconic band colours were usedBand Manager, David Hirst


He added: "The uniform also had a peaked hat with a swan feather plume — an original example, minus the plume, is already on display. It was also fascinating to learn that the principal cornet wore a sergeant's stripe on the arm, whilst the other principal players had a corporal stripe.

Our huge thanks go to John Clay for uncovering the original style of the uniform, which previously had been lost and we hope it will be enjoyed by visitors to the Heritage Centre for many years to come!"


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