The History of Flowers Band

 

Army Heritage

The Flowers Band, based in Gloucester, is now in its 51st year. It was formed as a result of the disbandment of the Royal Gloucester Hussars (Territorial Army) Brass Band. After negotiation with the Ministry of Defence, the instruments were purchased and most of the former R.G.H. bandsmen, together with other local players, formed the City of Gloucester Band. Since then the band has had a variety of sponsors including Whitbread in the Community and Flowers Brewery. Much success was gained under the ‘Flowers’ name in the contest field. The band rose rapidly up the Championship Section ladder in 1986 where it has since established itself in the top 20 of the Brass Band World Rankings table.

In 1998 the Flowers brewery closed. In the same year the band won the title of the Grand Shield which gained it a place at the British Open Championships held in the Symphony Hall, Birmingham. This is a feat the band repeated in 2007. In 2005 the band announced a new sponsorship deal with insulating concrete form manufacturers PolySteel UK Limited.

In January 2006 the band won the most lucrative prize in banding, The Butlins Mineworkers Open Championships which netted the band £6000 and the CISWO Championship trophy. The band was the 2007 ‘Champion Band of the West of England’, an accolade which it has previously held in 1991, 1994, 1997 and 2000. The continued success of the band has led to fifteen appearances at the ‘All England International Masters’ held at the Cambridge Corn Exchange where it maintained a consistent 5th position in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and took the runners up spot in 2006, beating the European and World champions in the process.

The Flowers Band records regularly for Radio 2’s ‘Listen To The Band’ and has appeared on BBC 1’s ‘Songs of Praise’. Flowers have recorded several CD’s, A Bouquet From Flowers (1992), Wonders Of The World (2004), The Incredible PolySteel Band (2007), plus numerous other recordings with Brett Baker (principal trombone, Black Dyke Band) and Aspirations with Shoichiro Hokazono. They have also appeared as guest artists with British electronica duo Goldfrapp on their Mercury Music Prize nominated album “Felt Mountain”.

In August 2008 the sponsorship with PolySteel UK Ltd came to an end and the band reverted back to the well known and respected Flowers name.

In 2009 the band won the Yeovil Entertainment title for the third consecutive year. In addition the band qualified to appear in the National Brass Band Championships at The Royal Albert Hall in October representing the West of England, gaining it’s highest ever position of 7th.

Flowers Band have been the most successful band at the West of England Areas over the past decade, with wins in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Conducted by Paul Holland, his 8-year tenure from 2009-2017 marked the most successful period in the band's history. Under his baton, Flowers achieved victories at the Grand Shield, French Open, five victories at Butlins Mineworkers Championships, a hat-trick of wins at Yeovil, six Area titles as well as their highest ever results at the National Championships, British Open and Brass in Concert Championships.

In 2018, Paul Holland returned to the helm, leading Flowers to victory at the West of England Championships and onwards.

Keep up to date with our Engagements to see where we’ll be and where you can see us!


A top drawer performance... It really got to the heart of the music...
— Major David Barringer MBE, West of England Championships, 2019

Achievements

  • Grand Shield Champions 1998, 2007 & 2014

  • West of England Champions 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019

  • National Finalists 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019

  • Yeovil Entertainment Champions 1990, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013 & 2014

  • Butlins Mineworkers Champions 2006, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018

  • French Open Champions 2013, 2016