Some Highlights of
Tickhill’s Musical Past
A Summary of the Attached Paper by Philip L. Scowcroft
While we know little or nothing about the beginnings of music
in Tickhill, we can imagine, bearing in mind the town’s
importance in medieval times, that minstrels entertained the
Castle garrison, the villagers amused themselves with folk
dancing, and hymns were sung in the Parish Church of St Mary’s.
The documented scene down the years affords rich variety
with visiting instrumentalists, choral music, church music,
brass bands and a thriving concert society.
St. Mary’s Church hosted the first notable music event,
of which we have a record, with a performance of the Messiah
||By the 1830s important
secular concerts were taking place in
Tickhill, most of them perhaps in the Concert Room used
for the Festival of 1818 and whose location is not clear,
but may be in Northgate. In March 1858 at Tickhill Institute,
two noted singers of the day, Henry Phillips and Mrs Susan
Sunderland (‘Yorkshire’s Queen of Song’),
||Tickhill had its own Choral
Society at least as early as 1832. We hear of
the Tickhill Harmonic Society in 1849 (same organisation,
new name?) and the Tickhill Choral Society (1880) with
many concerts by them noted. They remained active until
1968. In the 1960s, Tickhill and District Male Voice Choir
came into prominence. The Choir of Tickhill Parish Church
has existed on a formal basis for well over a century.
|The late Victorian period
saw the establishment of a brass band,
or bands, in Tickhill. The Tickhill Victoria Brass Band
was probably formed at the end of 1865, launched in the
wake of a considerable surge of enthusiasm for brass bands
in the Doncaster area from the 1850s. Later known as the
Tickhill Victoria Silver Jubilee band, it continued until
Visits by brass bands were enjoyed in Tickhill after the
Second World War. Perhaps the most prestigious visitors were
a Band of the Royal Marines who performed in the grounds of
Tickhill Castle as part of the 1990 Tickhill Extravaganza.
The Castle venue was used periodically for outdoor performances
over the previous century thanks to the generosity of successive
tenants at Castle House.
||St Mary’s acquired
a pipe organ in 1831 following several
decades when instrumentalists installed on a wooden gallery
at the west end of the Church accompanied the singing.
The present organ of St Mary’s dates originally
from 1857 and was rebuilt and updated in 1965. As well
as a series of long-serving organists accompanying worship
at St Mary’s, visiting organists have played in
a variety of concerts.
|The Church bells
of St Mary’s have been part of community life at
least since the 17th Century. Six bells were cast in 1726
and a ‘Tinker Bell’ added the following year.
Two new bells were installed in 1897 when a device was
also added to ring out tunes at four-hourly intervals
from midnight. The tunes change each day on a weekly rota.
Over the years, teams of bell ringers have rung peals
of bells to call people to worship and to mark local and
In 1977, the Tickhill and District Music Society
was launched to foster the appreciation of music through concerts,
talks and musical evenings. Its 300th concert was given in
October 2005 and the Society continues to attract a wide variety
of visiting musicians performing to the highest standards.
For fuller details, please see attached article which also
credits the photographs used: Highlights
of Tickhill's Musical Past