Foden's Motorworks

The Foden Motor Waggon Works Band

Banding wise at Elworth, things in 1902 were in a bit of a mess. The village band had been dissolved; all the instruments had been sold, and the few funds gifted. 

Much of this predicament was caused by 62 years old industrialist, Edwin Foden, who had stepped in between the players and the management of the former village band. It was now up to him to rescue the situation, and he did.

Through his two sons, William, (Billy) born 1868 and Edwin Richard (ERF) born 1870, he funded a set of instruments, found a rehearsal room and looked for banding success.  

But it wasn’t as simple as that; the playing standard was still poor, and this in spite of hiring various top class conductors. 

Towards the end of 1907, Edwin had had enough, so charged his sons with going to all the solo competitions and recruiting the finest players. It was easy as they offered the chosen ones a Company house, a skilled man’s rate of pay, a new instrument and the potential of the finest band in England.

The first recruit was Fred Sowood who was the solo tenor horn of Wyke Temperance Band in Yorkshire. Then followed Herbert Harrison and Teddy Jenkins; one after another.

The ultimate recruit was nineteen years old Edwin Firth, the finest cornet player in the Country, as Principal Cornet.

Such was the recruitment success that the Band won the Double, the British Open and National contests, 1910. Within the next year Edwin Foden had died, aged 70.

Allan Littlemore    March 2018