Members, family and friends of Roses Lane Ends
Flute Band with Mayor Tinsley
THIS year is a very special one for the
members, families and friends of Roses Lane Ends, as the band
celebrates its 100th anniversary.
The first event to celebrate this very
special milestone in the band's history was a recent hosting by
the Mayor Councillor James Tinsley, in the Mayor's Parlour,
Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn.
Members, ex members and friends, whose ages
range from 8 years to late 80's, received a very warm welcome.
Band officers returned genuine and grateful thanks. After
guiding an enjoyable tour of the premises, the Mayor conducted a
very interesting 'questions and answers' session in the Council
After each member of the party had been
presented with a gift to mark the occasion, the evening
concluded with the serving of a delightful supper, which was
very much enjoyed and appreciated by everyone.
It is not easy to trace the early history of
Roses Lane Ends Flute Band, as all of the foundation members
have passed on, and only a few of those who came after, all now
in their retirement age, remain.
Younger members of the band with
A mixture of senior and past members
of the band with Mayor Tinsley.
Edward Stitt, who died some years ago at a
ripe old age, is the person credited with founding the band, in
1908. As there was then no Roses Lane Ends Hall the early
practices were carried out in Ballymacraven School with but few
instruments, and as little money. A drum could not be afforded
so time was kept by rhythmically beating on a table. Edward
Stitt, who on every Friday travelled to Belfast market to sell
farm produce for his employer, Mr A.A. Peel, purchased a single
flute on his weekly visit until all band members had one each.
At half-a-crown (12'h pence) each they were, for the time a
relatively dear commodity.
When fully equipped they engaged their first
instructor, James Henry Hazlett from Sand Hills on the shore of
Lough Neagh, whose wife taught in the local school. The
'uniform' consisted of little round tight-fitting caps, which
apparently looked so much like those worn by railway porters at
that time, that while on their first parade, band members were
asked, jokingly, when the next train was due.
Many years later, the band changed to 'part
music' and won first prize in the Ulster Hall, Belfast in 1938.
Quite a few successes were also achieved in the 1940's and
1950's, mainly in Portadown Town Hall and at Windsor Park march
contests. In more recent times, Roses Lane Ends were successful
in winning first prize in the Junior (Classical)
Section of the Irish Championships three years in succession
from 1999 -2001. Unfortunately, during the past two or three
years, membership has somewhat dwindled with some senior members
retiring and younger ones leaving the area due to work
commitments and college/university education.
The Band is now going through what could be
described as a transitional period. To redress the situation the
Band is now seeking new members, both flautists and
percussionists. There are no age limits, experienced players and
learners are all welcome. A learners' class is held weekly. For
further details telephone 94 452304.
To mark this Centenary year, different events
are being planned, beginning with a Band Parade to Ballinderry
Parish Church, where a Centenary Thanksgiving and Praise Service
will be held on Sunday June 1 at 7.00pm.