Book - Fodens Band – One Hundred Years of Musical Excellence30-Oct-2003
Author: Allan Littlemore
Published by Caron Publishers £14.95
This has been a labour of love by Allan Littlemore who was for over 14 years band manager at Fodens and who has had associations with brass bands almost all his life.
He lives in Sandbach – the home town of the famous band, and obviously has a deep love for the movement and banding in general as this is an affectionate history of the 1999 Champion Band of Great Britain.
Fodens are a works band, and Allan has highlighted the special bond between the owners – the dynastic Foden family, the employees and the town that was built to provide the workforce.
From humble beginnings through the giants of Rimmer, Gladney and Halliwell it reaches the era of the Mortimers – an era that lasted from 1925 to 1975. Fred and his talented sons, Harry, Alex and Rex were Fodens Band and their imprint is indelible. Allan records it all, although the lean years of contesting success are not as well covered as the excellent review he gives of the demise of the companies involvement and subsequent revival through sponsorship from the likes of Britannia Building Society and Courtois.
There is a lovely little section of quotes from people and players about Harry Mortimer and Howard Snell's immense contribution to the band is well documented. Although the book was published before the band won the 1999 National Championships – for the first time since 1958 it has been a successful money-spinner with excellent sales at the bands concerts.
It has been a labour of love for sure, but a most welcome one for that. Any band would be proud to have its history so well documented.
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BMus(Hons), Master of Arts, PhD in Ethnomusicology
Conductor, Performer, Teacher, Adjudicator, Musicologist, Composer, Journalist