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The Chesterfield Musketeers were formed following the disbandment in 1981 of the highly successful Chesterfield Toppers Carnival Band. They entered into the Contest world on July 5th 1981, at Hoyland Nether Barnsley and within one month collected their first, First Prize Major Award.

At present the marching membership consists of around 16 to 25 playing members, with instruments ranging from Percussion through to Saxophones and Trumpets. The main uniform is a copy of the 1994 epic film about the "Three Musketeers", with the second being based on Alexandre Dumas" novel of the legendary heroes.

Since 1981 the band have grown from strength to strength claiming most titles available. The most notable being crowned not once, but a historic, record three times Isle of Man World Champions Although all our members are Amateur, they try to maintain a very professional attitude. To a few of them it it a hobby, but to the rest, it is life.....

Just take your time and browse around, and should you require any more info or anything then just contact me.

Since 1981 the band have performed in front of and met H.R.H. The Queen Mother, H.R.H. The Prince of Wales and H.R.H. the Princess Royal.

After winning the World Championships in 1984 the band were invited back, all expenses paid, to perform before 400 delegates for the 30th Parliamentary Commonwealth Conference in Castletown I.O.M.

Apart from winning over 50 prizes in the United Kingdom, they have also gained notable successes in Troyes France, Seehiem Jugenheim, Alsbach, Germany and Callela, Salou and Pineda in Spain.

1993 saw the band perform at the Rugby League Regal Trophy Cup Final at Headingly and also at the Rugby League Cup Semi Final at Wigan.

To date the the Musketeers have amassed well over 6500 in prize money.

The Band have been invited to perform in the prestigious Festival of Carnival Groups in Toulouse in France during July.

The latest award received was the Lottery Grant to buy a full set of matching YAMAHA Brass and Woodwind Instruments along with PREMIER Percussion.

It has not always been glory for the Musketeers. For every trophy that has been won there has been many nights of hard work, blood, sweat and tears been given by many members. If anyone tells you it is a bed of roses then they are a liar.

The Band are available for all kinds of entertainment. Over the years we have performed at a variety of venues from Rugby League Cup Finals, Football matches, Shop Promotions and Grand Openings to Cabarets and Guard of Honour at Weddings, Funerals and Mayoral Parades throughout the Country.

For further information please feel free to contact us any way you choose. There is a free colour brochure available on request for your perusal. Pick the method that suits you and we will endeavour to meet your needs.

Over the last few years we have been fortunate to work and perform with stars of stage and screen like Cindy Beale, Lionel Blair, 

Curly Watts Twice, Reg Holdsworth twice Les Battersby and Don Brennon.

Other Soap stars through the years have included;

Ivy Brennon, Vera Duckworth, Maxine, Amos Brearley, Frazer Hynes, and numerous Gladiators and Sportstars. 

In 1980 with the old uniforms of the Chesterfield Toppers showing signs of wear and the lack of new ideas forthcoming. It was decided that a new and original attraction was required. So after months of research involving the local College the dream finally became reality in 1981. In less than twelve months the band not only gained their first victory in the competition field by winning the Midland Counties award and the F G Ward memorial Trophy at Derby, but they managed to break into Europe with a 8 day stay in Seehiem-Jugenheim and Alsbach in Germany. Performing outdoors and in Cabaret in front of a sell out 2000 people.  The "Musketeers" were first invited, in 1984, to attend and compete in the Isle of Man World Championship for Carnival Groups. This event sponsored by the Isle of Man Tourist Board and supported by the Speaker of the House of Keys, Sir Charles Kerruish who became the events patron.

During the week long activities the competitors in the various different groups, participated in other activities. These included The Douglas Carnival Parade, in which the best band/Troupe received a trophy. Following the completion of the competitions another parade of the promenade preceded the declaration of the results.

Competing in these championships on seven occasions the MUSKETEERS, won on three occasions. Were runners up on three times and were placed third, once.

During these seven visits the band also won the best band / Troupe on parade twice. Winning the best Illuminated Band and made other appearances around the island at the point of Ayre, Laxey, Castletown and Peel, over the seven appearances the Musketeers amassed over 5,500 pounds in prize money and appearance money.

Following the first success in 1984 the band were personally invited to participate during the Islands celebrations during the staging of the 30th Parliamentary Commonwealth Conference held on the Isle of Man for the first time. Funded by the Islands Government the Musketeers made a huge impact to the success of this event performing in the Town square as the Musketeers and then proving the Authentic Cavaliers in the story leading up to the bloodless coup at the Castle in 1635. Throughout the conference Many of the 400 delegates participating from across the world, when completely smitten with the originality and presentation from the bands involvement. This was highlighted by Sir Charles Kerruish in his speech to the members after, when he declared that the Island would forever adopt the Musketeers as Manxmen.

1991 saw the band embark on further overseas travel. This time the band competed in the Spanish resort of Salou. In the midday sun the band were successful in winning the "Sunrider Spanish Classic" and collecting the 750 first prize, together with the trophy for best overall entertainment programme.

This success was emulated the following year when the band participated in "Callella" another " Costa Dorada" resort and one year later the band appeared in Pineda-de-Mar a little further up the Spanish coast. Back on British soil the Musketeers have performed in several seaside resorts including Skegness, Lowestoft, Cleethorpes. Apart from the serious side of Banding the Musketeers relax and enjoy participating in other types of activities. To date they have successfully won Seven C.B.S.L. 5 a Side Football Tournaments, Runners Up at Netball. Numerous successes at Swimming, Tug of War, It's A Knockout, Superstar Challenge and even tried Indoor Cricket.

The Chesterfield Toppers were created from within the deep "West End" of Chesterfield in 1953. From the hard working class area with no experience and cash, to the deep rich suburbs of Germany and France.

The Band have proudly carried the name of Chesterfield, succeeding with over 150 major awards.

With nothing but determination, the Band grew from strength to strength and success to success. Still remembered by the Carnival Band Fraternity.

Never in their history have they let an organiser down or failed to turn up on time.

All the precise details and recollections can be found within the much heralded book, available now.

 

May sees the release of a founder members historical and memorable account of the times within the ranks from the rise to its demise.  The times, honours, traumas and all the local characters from 1953 to1981. Look out for :

"And The Band Played On"...

Over 80 photo's and 123 bumper packed pages including most of the band around during the last 5 decades.

All the accounts are guaranteed to bring smiles and tears, not only to the original members but anyone who has spent times with any kind of Carnival Bands alike.

Latest news on the publication of "And the Band Played On" a history of the formation, triumphs, traumas and characters involved in the years of the Chesterfield Toppers Carnival Band from 1953 -81. 

If anyone can remember the Toppers or wants anymore info about them then please E Mail me below.

The book is now out and you can order direct from the Manager or check local press to find out where the book can be purchased, - watch this website.

"AND THE BAND PLAYED ON"

Advance orders have now topped 200 copies in the first month.

Basically the hard work in the original design was a credit to the Chesterfield College of Art and Design. The original idea was put to the lecturer and was accepted as a Test project for the class of final year students. A full run down of the bands activities in the varying environments of the British climate was taken into consideration. Following the bands managements acceptance of the winning design, which was virtually the design they had in mind. The students then purchased the materials to make up one full costume which included, Trousers, Tabbard, Blouse, Cape, Collar and Crossbelt. From here the Band committee were asked to find for themselves the accessories to complete the full costume.

Australian Bush Hats were obtained from Dunn the London Hatters and real ostrich feathers were attached together with a gold buckle and red hat band. With trial and error the band manager designed the mock boots, these based on legging style gaiter cut from upholstery vinyl and sewn together. When pulled over black leather zip up casual boots the result is a Knee length boot with turnover. The same vinyl was used to make up a swordbelt the result with a few modifications is there for all to see.

In the last two years the band have taken to wearing a replica cover of the 1994 film starring Charlie Sheen, Keifer Sutherland and Chris O'Donnell. The design was created by a company called Stagewear Unlimited, who specialise in making copies of costumes etc, for film and theatre. The cross design was created by the Bandmaster and involved nearly two years of involvement before 'suitable materials' could be found with which the embroiderer could be satisfied. Finally the finished article was completed in 1996 and immediately became a big attraction with the public and the bandsmen too, being lighter and comfortable to wear.

 

Since 1981 three types of sword have been used. The first was cumbersome and heavy made up from adapted materials. The second was made up from Spanish souvenirs which were lighter and more acceptable to the users. These became obsolete following a break in, to our coach, leaving the band with insufficient to carry out our displays and we were unable to replace them. The one in present use was made by a local part-time engineer on similar lines to the last using Rod steel and Brass plate and appearing to look authentic to the crowds. These are shown to best effect when used by the swordfighters in simulated fights during our intricate displays.

 

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