Skelmersdale Prize Band

Registered charity number 508535

Blackburn and Darwen Hymn and March Contest

The band had a great afternoon playing at the Blackburn and Darwen Hymn and March Contest. It was the band's first engagement with our new Musical Director, Ben Coulson and we're looking forward to exciting times ahead!

New MD Returns to Home Roots

Skelmersdale Prize Band are thrilled to announce the appointment of Ben Coulson as their new Musical Director.


Influenced by his parents, who have both played in various brass bands in the local area, Ben first started to learn the cornet at Skelmersdale Prize Band. After a successful four years of contesting and performing in events in the local area with the band, Ben left the principal cornet seat to play for the acclaimed Blackburn and Darwen Band.


Here, he settled on the flugel seat, before moving to Huddersfield after his A Levels to study for his degree in Music, where he studied under the expert tutorship of Phillip McCann. Upon his move to Huddersfield, Ben was invited to join the Hammonds Band. Here, Ben enjoyed qualifying out of the Grand Shield on two occasions, along with taking part in many competitions including the British Open, the National Finals and Brass in Concert. 

Ben has recently qualified as a music teacher and is returning to his hometown of Wigan after successfully securing a job in Warrington. With this brings the opportunity for Ben to look to the future and begin his conducting career at home with Skelmersdale Prize Band – the band who helped him take his first tentative steps into brass musicianship.

Through the years, Ben has been a regular visitor and friend to the band, so all members are happy to welcome him back. As a band, we look forward to the exciting changes and challenges that a new MD brings, and we are confident that there is much success on the horizon with Ben at the helm. Ben's first engagement as MD will be the Blackburn and Darwen March and Hymn Contest on Sunday 16th September.

“With the Hammonds Band, I have been very fortunate to enjoy years of playing at the best contests in some amazing venues, and also some brilliant concerts around the country. The best part for me though was the amazing team spirit within the band. I think it’s too rare now to find a band where every player has total commitment, whilst also enjoying a great social time as a group of 25 good friends. This attitude is something that I would now like to bring home. I am looking forward to taking Skelmersdale through this next chapter in the band’s amazing history; it’s great to conduct William Rimmer’s former band.” – Ben Coulson

Band Social Meal

We enjoyed a Sunday Carvery and drinks together. The band enjoy regular social events both at the bar in our bandroom and out and about. Our next one will be announced soon...keep an eye out on our events page and join us!

Welcome to Liam and Wendy!

The band are very pleased to welcome Liam and Wendy to the ranks. Liam, son of EEb bass player Andy, started playing tenor horn with our Youth Band.  He now joins the percussion section of Skem Band. Wendy Thorpe, wife of cornet player Chris, returns to the band on tenor horn after a few years away from brass banding.

Great to have both on board!

Ainsdale Show

The band enjoyed leading the procession at Ainsdale Show.  

Band walk

Sunday 24th June

Members of the band had a great day out walking around Rydal water in the Lake District with a welcome break at Rydal Hall coffee shop for some light refreshment. Thanks to Ellen and J-P for organising it.

Happy 70th Birthday Penky!

The band wish a very happy 70th birthday to our percussionist and chief barman Alan Penk 🎉🎈

Churchtown Rose Queen

We enjoyed a great day at Churchtown Rose Queen.

Bickerstaffe Treat Day

The band enjoyed performing at Bickerstaffe Treat Day. It was a great day and we were well looked after by the organisers...look forward to seeing you again next year!

Southport Botanic Gardens

The band enjoyed playing to an amazing audience at Southport Botanic Gardens.

Ainsdale Fun Day

The band thoroughly enjoyed performing at Ainsdale Fun Day.

Bank Holiday Social

Members of the band enjoyed a well earned drink and a meal together at Ormskirk on Spring Bank Holiday Monday.

Royal Wedding Garden Party

We had a great day playing at The Millstone's Garden Party in celebration of the Royal Wedding.

Pink Ribbon Walk

Members of the band, Sarah, Ellen and J-P along with Sarah's family walked in the Peak District to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. 

Please sponsor them here.

Cake Sale

As part of the band's fundraising efforts, we held a cake sale. It was a great event enjoyed by all and lots of funds were raised. It was great to have a chat over a cuppa and there were some very yummy bakes! Thank you to everyone who helped and all who supported us by coming along and having tea and cake with us.

Band Curry

Another great band social...prize goes to Phil 'vindaloo' Staples for hottest curry
Millstone Rocks!

The band had a great day performing at Millstone Rocks.
 We're proud to have been part of the event which is raising money for Sepsis UK.

New Signing

The Band would like to welcome Darren Fawcett who joins on Euphonium. We hope you enjoy your stay with us. 

Happy Birthday!

The band had the pleasure of playing Happy Birthday to West Lancashire's Town Crier Don Evans. We surprised Don at his home to wish him a happy 80th birthday.

Spring Clean

Band room looking good after a weekend of work, painting the outside, gardening and sorting out old music. A great big thank you to all who put the effort in.


Members of the band enjoyed watching Wicked at Liverpool Empire with members of Maghull Wind Orchestra.

Congratulations to our Diamond Players!

Congratulations to our 6 players who received long service awards today. Gordon Hatton, Colin Knowles, Alan Penk, Evan Mawdsley and Dave Lyon all received medals for 60 years service. Bass player Dave Lyon has spent all of this time committed to one band. Ste Gordon received a certificate of service for 25 years. We congratulate them all on their great achievements

North West Regionals 

And we're off to sunny Blackpool for the North West Regionals!

Contest Success

A great result for our principal cornet James Ball, winning the "best soloist" award at the Brass at the Guild contest 2018. The band were placed 5th.

Changes in Personnel

Sadly Rhiana Blakely Travis has  decided to leave the Band due to work commitments at university. We wish her well for the future.