Stephen Bartles

Stephen Bartles   2nd Cornet / Flugel Horn  1910 - 1912

Stephen Bartles was born on the 4 March 1881 in Patricroft near Manchester.

At the age of eight years old he was learning to play the soprano cornet with the Swinton Schools Band whose bandmaster was a Mr R Kirk.

At the age of 12 Stephen won his first competition in September 1893 when he played the test piece a Set of Waltzes beating many older and experienced players.

When he reached the age of fourteen Stephen was drafted into the army and affiliated to the 10th Royal Hussars and their famous cavalry band where he played the French Horn, an instrument chosen for him by Mr R Wade of the 5th Lancers and Band Master of the 10th Hussars. He soon reached the position of Solo Horn and held this seat from 1899 to 1901 when he left the army gaining a marble clock from the band with an illuminated “Roll Call” on his departure n 1902.

Stephen’s first musical job after leaving the army was with the Eccles Borough Band but after eighteen months he decided to move on to the Pendleton Old Band where he had to swap from the Flugel to the Soprano Cornet where he stayed for five years. Their first contest promoted by the Oldham Rifles Band gained Stephen Bartles his first Gold Medal for the best Soprano player out of the twenty-five bands competing that day.

On leaving the Pendleton Old Band, Stephen moved to the Wingate’s Band on Soprano and was soon head hunted by other bands including the South Wales Band “Cyfathefa and Merthyr Municipal Band”. While in South Wales he also assisted the Ferndale Band but he wanted more success in competitions and in 1910 he joined the Foden Motor Works Band on 2nd Cornet and according to a “British Bandsman” feature on the 24 February 1912, soon became a first cornet player before William Halliwell decided to move him to Flugel.

At a competition at Gainsborough he was awarded first prize and cornet medal while at a Heanor Competition he was awarded fifth prize. His performance was even more remarkable as he had to play his part from memory as he had lost his copy of the music.

Stewart Green

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