1970's to 1990's
In the early seventies the band changed its name to Darwen band, and under this name had its greatest success. In 1979 the band won the 4th Section National Finals in London and quickly progressed through the 3rd and 2nd sections to achieve Championship status in 1984. All this was under the musical direction of Gordon Clough who conducted the band from 1977 - 1985. Our finest result under Gordon was a magnificent 4th place in the Championship Section of the North West Area National Qualifying Contest.
Alec Evans, the resident conductor at Besses o'th Barn band at that time, then joined us and led us to our finest victory to date: 1987 Grand Shield Winners, beating Swinton under renowned conductor David King by 3 clear points!
In 1986 the band secured support from Blackburn council and was consequently renamed the Blackburn & Darwen Band. In 1991 under conductor John Anderson, the band won three contests on the trot and qualified for the National Finals in London (2nd section), finishing in 6th place.
In 1994 under the direction of Paul Dalton the band once again qualified for the National Finals, achieving 6th place.
Into the 1900s
In 1901 the band changed from the Darwen Temperance Band to Darwen Borough Prize Band. However, the exact reason is unknown. The band struggled to survive due to the effects of World War I. Local rivals Pickup Bank (formerly Hoddlesden Shepherds Brass band) gained the upper hand, partly due to backing from local firm Carus mills. Following World War II Hoddlesden also struggled to find players. In 1950 It was requested that both bands have a joint committee meeting to discuss the shortage of players. The conclusion was that both bands amalgamated to form the Darwen and Hoddlesden Silver band. In 1965 the Darwen British Legion offered the band the use of its premises for rehearsals. The band therefore became Darwen British Legion band.
Mike Cotter conducted in 1969 when the band went to the National Finals.