Primitive Methodist Brass Bands

Wroughton Primitive Methodist Band
provided by Neil Webb
Banbury Wesleyan Methodist Mission Band, c1905
Randle Knight
Manchester Wesley Hall, 1909
Randle Knight
a post card showing Macclesfield Newtown Primitive Methodist brass band, probably earlier than 1924,, and with ‘Newtown PM Band’ legible on the drum
Englesea Brook collection ENBPM.1998.050g
a mounted photograph of Macclesfield Newtown Primitive Methodist brass band to which someone has added the date c.1924
Englesea Brook collection ENBPM:2022.050f

Many Primitive Methodist chapels were associated with brass bands.  A band fitted well with the outgoing evangelism of the societies and the sorts of songs and music they made.  A band also had the great advantage that its music could be heard well in the open air at such as camp meetings and parades.  Some of them, such as those at Castleford and Swindon, were set up as a direct response to local Salvation Army bands.

In his research into the history of brass bands, Gavin Holman has identified over 100 Primitive Methodist brass bands.  Nine Prim bands, such as those at Hucknall and Enfield, also had a temperance focus.

Altogether Gavin records 1067 Temperance bands, of which 39 were associated with the different branches of Methodism.

His historical directory of British brass bands is available online as a PDF download from: The list in the document below is an updated and amended version, reproduced with permission.  Gavin is also responsible for the  Internet Bandsman’s Everything Within (IBEW) website which includes an earlier list of extinct bands.

Over time, many bands changed their name, merged or evolved; this is shown in the Links column where known.  The listing cites the conductor’s name where that is known.

If you can tell us more or add detail, please get in touch or add a comment .


an annotated list of Primitive Methodist bands in the UK, taken from Gavin Holman's Historical Directory

Comments about this page

  • Pictures of Macclesfield Newtown Primitive Methodist Brass Band have been added. They were unearthed in the Englesea Collection by archivist Randle Knight.

    By Christopher Hill (21/10/2022)
  • Re PM Brass Bands, I have a photo of either Frances or Rose Bradley Storr PM Girl preachers appearing with the Grimsby Mission Band . I’m afraid that I know nothing about the Grimsby Mission Band (apart from being told by a Methodist historian that there wasn’t one). It may have been a Primitive Methodist band, temperance or other denomination but I thought I would let someone who knows more than I do have a look.

    By Frank Carpenter (10/10/2022)
  • It’s taken over five years to do it, but we have at last been able to add a picture of a Primitive Methodist band to this page. Many thanks to current Bandmaster Neil Webb for the picture of Wroughton Primitive Methodist Band.

    Wroughton High Street chapel has recently (2021) closed, but the band lives on in its later form.

    By Christopher Hill (17/03/2022)
  • Two postcards showing Wesleyan Methodist Brass Bands have been added to this page, but we have been unable to find any images of Primitive Methodist Brass Bands. Can you help?

    By Jill Barber (08/09/2016)

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