Nottinghamshire Police Band

The History of the Nottinghamshire Police Band

Nottinghamshire Police Band can trace its origins to the Nottingham Police Borough Band, formed in about 1887. The first recorded engagement was performed at the Mayor's annual garden party.

In those days the Police Service was very much run on military terms and the band was formed on the same basis. Players were serving and retired Police Officers and others were invited to assist. There were no female members; they did not appear on the scene until the 1960's

Very little music was written specifically for Military bands and the repertoire consisted mainly of arrangements of adapted orchestral works. Engagements took place throughout the year and during the summer months the band featured in many of the parks in and around Nottingham. Invited guests conducted the band but 1896 saw the first serving Police Officer appointed to the post of Director of Music. When Queen Victoria decreed in 1897 that Nottingham would become a City the band was renamed the Nottingham City Police Band

It was during this time that the then Chief Constable, Mr Cloy, regularly enjoyed conducting the band and took the baton at many of its functions

For many years the band continued to feature prominently in Nottingham's social calendar. There was a short break in continuity during the First World War, but the band reconvened and continued to function up until the start of the Second World War. As many Police Officers were drafted into the armed services at this time the band continued as the Nottingham City Special Constabulary Military Band.

After the war Captain Popkiss took the baton for a time and, after his retirement as Director of Music, was followed by a succession of retired Army Bandmasters.

The band played on into the 1950's, continuing to be a regular part of the Nottingham scene, taking part in radio broadcasts and annual charity concerts with guest compères such as Michael Aspel, Hughie Green and Shaw Taylor among others.

In 1968 the City and County Police Forces amalgamated and the band continued as the Nottingham Combined Constabulary Band, still with great demand for its services.

Another change of name in 1998 to the Nottinghamshire Police Wind Orchestra reflected the band's modern approach at that time. This year also saw the apointment of Gary Glover, ARCM, as Director of Music. A serving Police Officer with a talent for music, Gary joined the band playing his euphonium when he joined the Police in 1985 and his infectious enthusiasm has influenced the band ever since.

Now the Nottinghamshire Police Band, this 50 strong team of musicians continues a long tradition of musical support and service to the community under Gary's direction.

Band members come from all walks of life with the longest serving member now in his 60th year. The band supports the police and the wider community in Nottinghamshire, playing at a variety of events including medal ceremonies, dinner nights and concerts and is proud to support local and national charities by performing at fundraising events.

Nottingham is twinned with the city of Karlsruhe in Germany and the band has been hosted by the Karlsruhe Police Band on several occasions, attracting great interest and acclaim in that city as it performed to the delight of local people. The relationship with Karlsruhe Police Band led to many long-standing friendships and the band has made several return visits to Nottingham.

If you have any information, memories or memorabilia connected to the Nottinghamshire Police Band over the years we would love to hear from you.