Archived Extracts

the nottinghamshire FREE PRESS

a weeks news dated - February 22nd 1935


AN interesting sketch of the musical career of Mr. Charles. A. Cooper, conductor of the Huthwaite Silver Prize Band, appears in an article contributed by "C.M." in Wright and Round's Brass Band News, which we publish below.
  Mr. Charles A. Cooper was born in Huthwaite, and it is only natural that very early he was identified with musical work. At eight years of age he joined the Free Church Choir; the lad had a fine alto voice which changed to a rich tenor after the "break" and, as a tenor soloist, Mr. Cooper gained many admirers at different concerts and oratorio performances where he appeared.
  As well as vocal work his father encouraged his son's partiality for brass instruments, particularly the cornet, and Charles became a member of the Huthwaite Band, then known as Hucknall Huthwaite. Starting on the second cornet he soon climbed to take possession of the soloist's chair, and at the first contest which he attended with the band (Crystal Palace, 1900) had the satisfaction of helping them win first prize. The late Mr. Edwin Swift was the band's professional teacher at that time.

Duty Rewarded.

Being enthusiastic and ambitious young Cooper spent a lot of his time studying harmony and kindred subjects, and in 1911 he was duly rewarded by being appointed bandmaster of Huthwaite Band. He is still their leader and during his long connection with them this combination has had numberous successes. In 1912 he widened his sphere of activities by becoming the conductor of the Huthwaite Symphonic Orchestral Society. He held this position for nine years and greatly benefitted by the experience.
  As a cornet soloist Mr. Cooper played with the Notts. Sherwood Ranges Military Band; with this regiment he served during the war, but, being discharged after a short time, he services were in great demand for theatre, music hall and trumpet oratorio work.
  During the war period he also seriously set to work studying advanced harmony, counter point, etc., under the tuition of the late Mr. J.G. Jubb, and in 1918 he was successful in winning the Associate Diploma of the Victoria College of Music. Later on he further studied under Lt. Adkin, a Kneller Hall professor of music, orchestrating, arranging, etc.
  As a teacher, apart from the many victories with his own band, he has been engaged by, and successful with, many others, particularly in the Bristol area, where his abilities are well known and appreciated. Lister's Works, Bristol N.U.R., Fishpond's Argyle, Midsomer Norton Town, are some of the bands he has taught. Several Midland bands have also engaged him.

"Knows His Business."

He commenced adjudicating in 1920, and since that time over 3,000 performances have passed his jurisdiction at different contests in all parts of England and Wales. Last summer in the South of England, Sir Dan Godfrey, who was the chairman of the contest, remarked in his speech that "Bandsmen can rely on Mr. Cooper's sound judgement for he is a musician who knows his business from A to Z."
  In 1927 the authorities of the Nottingham University College engaged Mr. Cooper to give a series of lectures in their area on various musical subjects: "Brass Instruments, Brass Band Music, The Orchestra," etc. The series proved a decided success and were continued during the following session.
  One of Mr. Cooper's most cherished possessions is an organ, and he is seldom away from the instrument when at home; he is an organist of no mean ability and he uses this instrument a great deal when trying over his band scores and for analysis work.
  A good deal of Mr. Cooper's time is taken up with scoring and arranging for orchestras and military and brass bands. He does quite a lot of this work for overseas' bands as well as for clients in this country.
  The writer thinks that very few band teachers have had a more interesting and varied musical experience than Mr. Cooper. Mr. Cooper is modest and unassuming, but his past record should commend him to all who need a reliable teacher or adjudicator. That long life, good health and continued success be his are the sincere desires of his numerous friends.

Work to be Expedited

BELOW are extracts from the minutes of the various Committees of the Huthwaite Urban District Council which were confirmed at the monthly meeting.
  Gas, Lighting and Water Committee:- A letter was read from the Derbyshire and Notts. Electric Power Co. enclosing a plan showing the position of the proposed three electric lamps in Beech Avenue and one in Common Road, and quoting their usual terms for provision and maintenance.
  The plan and terms were approved, and it was agreed that an additional electric lamp be erected in a suitable position in Little Lane.

Lighting at Library.

Complaint was made respecting the defective public lamp in Newcastle Street, and the Gas Manager was instructed to give the matter his attention.
  The Committee's attention was drawn to the insufficient lighting of the Library, and the Gas Manager was instructed to investigate the matter and effect an improvement.
  Roads and Buildings Committee:- The progress with the pail closet conversion scheme was considered. It was resolved that the work be expedited, and that Mr. G. Brailsford be engaged to assist in the brick and pipe work and that other workmen be engaged when deemed necessary.
  Complaint was received respecting the condition of Back Lane, which was regarded as a nuisance, and the Surveyor was instructed to have this remedied.
  A letter was read from the Notts. and Derbys. Radio Relays. Ltd., again requesting permission to erect wires for the purpose of rediffusion in the area, but no action was taken in the matter.
  The Architect reported upon the progress of the Beech Avenue bungalows scheme, and the Clerk reported that the loan of £4,268 had been received.

The Proposed Boating Lake.

The Clerk submitted a circular from the Ministry of Transport dealing with the establishment of pedestrian crossings on roads, etc., and this was referred to the Surveyor for consideration and report.
  The differential rates in wagers of various wordmen were discussed, but no action was taken.
  Cemetery Pleasure Grounds and Allotments Committee:- The Surveyor submitted an estimate for the construction of the proposed boating lake in the Park, lay-out of the ground and planting of trees and shrubs. After consideration the matter was referred to the Sub-Committee for further consideration and report.
  Health and Hospital Committee:- The Medical Officer of Health reported that three deaths (equivalent to an annual mortality of seven per 1,000), had been notified during the month. The mortality of the preceding month was sever per 1,000 and of the corresponding month last year 14.3. Eight births - four males and four females - were registered during the month.
  Further complaint of the alleged smoke nuisance in Lime Avenue was received, and the Surveyor was instructed to again approach Mr. Groom in order that an immediate remedy might be effected.

No Action Taken.

The provision of porches to the Council houses in Chesterfield Road was further considered, but no action was taken in the matter.
  Finance and General Purposes Committee:- The Gas Manager submitted an account of his professional fees in connection with the Gas Order amounting to £156 15s. 4.   It was resolved that this be deferred pending submission by the Clerk of a detailed statement of expenditure already incurred and Parliamentary and legal costs outstanding.
  Councillor F. C. Sowter was re-appointed the Council's representative upon the Assessment Committee for another year.
  Public Library Committee:- The Caretaker reported that 1,107 books had been issued during the past month as compared with 1,472 during the corresponding month last year.
  A deputation from the Huthwaite U.D.C. Bowling Club attended the meeting and requested the same privilege as in previous years and the purchase of new sets of bowls.
  It was resolved that the privileges be granted but that the question of the purchase of bowls be deferred until the next meeting of the Pleasure Grounds Committee.


The funeral took place on Wednesday of Mr. Samuel Henry Boot of 106, Blackwell Road. He was a well known Huthwaite figure being a native of the parish, and was 58 years of age. He had been employed at local Collieries, New Hucknall and B Winning, up to two years ago, when his health began to fail. In earlier life he was a chorister at the Parish Church, the family having been church people for many years. He leaves two sons, and two married daughter, his wife having pre-deceased him by 17 years.

The Rev. W.L. Boulton conducted the funeral service in the Parish Church, the mourners being Willie and Wilfred ; May and Bob ; Emma and Tom ; Maggie and Harry ; Maggie and Leonard ; Hannah Walter and family ; Will, Lily and Jack ; and Mr. and Mrs. Woolley.
All the foregoing brought wreaths, and in addition there were floral tributes from mr. and Mrs. Hill, Len and Lena ; Miners' Arms Football Sweep ; Friends and Neighbours.
  The bearers were Messrs. Leonard, Jack and Harold Boot and George Marshall.


Mr. Herbert Littlewood, of Shirebrook, was re-elected President of the Nation Association of Colliery Deputies, when the annual meeting of that organisation was held in the Albert Hall Institue, Nottingham on Saturday.
Other officers elected for 1935 were Vice-President, Mr. F.W. Burrows (Loscoe) ; Auditors, Mr. E. Williams (Pinxton) and Mr. R.W. Lambert (Nottingham) ; Delegates to Federation, Mr Rowlan Price (Nottingham) and Mr. H. Asher (Ripley) ; Executive Committee, Mr S. E. Baxter (Pinxton), Mr. C. Roper (Ilkeston), Mr. J. Percival (Swadlincote) and Mt. T. Hammersley (Coventry), representing Notts. Derbyshire, South Derbyshire and Warwickshire respectively.

Increased Membership

Mr. Rowlan Price, the Compensation Agent of the Association, in his annual report, stated that the year 1934 had held more pleasing features both financially and in regard to membership than any year for the past two or three. Whilst some branches had declined in membership owing to closing down of sections of mines in the area which they cover, others had developed and increased membership has resulted, two new branches having been formed. Financially the Association was sound, a pleasing feature being the reduction of out-of-work pay. Death claimed ten members.
  In the near future, stated the report, many things would be introduced which would affect the deputy and shotfirer, and increase his responsibility. The Board of Trade proposed to make general regulations to apply to all mines to which the Coal Mines Act, 1911, applies for the compulsory use of gas detectors, which may be an automatic detector or flame safety lamp, in proportion to the number of men employed at the working faces. It will certainly increase the responsibility of the deputy and aim at preventing such disasters which occurred during 1934.

Custodian of Safety.

"The deputy and shotfirer is the custodian of safety in the mine. Let nothing deter him from his duty of safeguarding the lives of those placed under his charge. One life lost in the mines brings pain and suffering to many which nothing can alleviate, leave alone the meagre pittance as provided for by the Compensation Act."

In some accidents, proceeded the report, deputies have been prematurely blamed for conditions as seen after the accident, but after the evidence as to the conditions prior the accident has been given, it has removed the idea from mind that the deputy could have done more than he had already done, and so left him free from blame.
  Finally the report appealed to members of the Association if they should meet with an accident to report the same, no matter how slight it may appear to be. What appears to be a slight accident may often prove to be a serious one, and owing to the apparent trivial nature of the accident it is not reported, and difficulty is encountered in establishing a claim for compensation.
  Much work on behalf of the deputy and shotfirer was being done by the Federation, which intended to press forward for a Board of Appeal for the deputy to prevent unjust dismissals.
  The report was accepted and later the meeting proceeded to discuss Mr. J. F. Felton's report as H.M. Inspector of Mines, on the Bilsthorpe disaster, and also a recent Government paper on the detection of gas in mines.

Written 28 Jan 12 Revised 10 Feb 12 © by Gary Elliott