History

History of Kinneil Band:

Kinneil Band was founded in 1858 by the miners of Kinneil Pit and the workers of Wilson’s Kinneil Iron Works in their home town of Bo’ness, West Lothian. The founder members decided to name their new band ‘Kinneil Band’, famously known since that day. The bands founding members each donated £ 5 each to enable the purchase of the bands first set of instruments.

Kinneil Band - 1858

Blydon Hall - Linlithgow Road Bo'ness

In 1894 Kinneil Band led a parade of striking miners to a meeting with miners from nearby collieries. The management of Kinneil Colliery did not look kindly upon the support the band showed and they duly notified the band that the lease of rehearsal facilities was cancelled. Undaunted, the band then began raising funds to build their own bandhall. Astonishingly, in just over one year enough money was raised to commence building. The ground for the Hall was granted to them by the Duke of Hamilton and the total cost of the hall was £ 350. The current bandhall exists in the same location today on Linlithgow Road Bo’ness.




The band steadily increased their reputation and continued to perform at major events around the country up until the First World War. During this time the band lost many of its members to the forces but the band still continued to practice during the Great War until the surviving members returned from the front line.

Bo'ness Fair Day - 1960's

In 1953 the band decided that a change to traditional brass should occur. The bands name then changed to ‘Kinneil Colliery Silver Band’ to reflect the support  the band received from the miners of Kinneil Colliery. The band’s most notable claims to fame came in 1959 when they won the 2nd Section National Championships and in 1965, they were placed 4th in the National Championships of Great Britain despite  a disastrous ending to the test piece Triumphant Rhapsody.

Kinneil maintained a strong link to the local mine workers, who subscribed to the band until the colliery closed in 1983. Shortly after the closure of the colliery, support was received from the National Union of Public Employees. In 1993, NUPE amalgamated with the other public sector unions to form UNISON and the band changed its name to UNISON Kinneil Band to mark their continued support. Contest success is no stranger for the band and they continue to set records the most recent being to complete a fourth successive win in 2004 at the Whitburn Contest. In addition to contest successes, the band has featured in radio and TV broadcasts and has toured Germany on two occasions and have recently complete a tour of Norway in 2006.

Kinneil Band Scottish Championships 2007

Unison Kinneil Band - Scottish Championship's 2007