History of the Band
On the 13th of September 1842 Queen Victoria and her entourage wended their way from Drummond Castle to Dalkeith Palace, stopping at Stirling Castle and Falkirk. The royal party was welcomed with flowers, banners, and music as folks from as far away as Glasgow turned out to see the Queen on her historic visit to Scotland that year. One of the bands asked to play for Her Majesty on her visit to Linlithgow that day was the Bathgate Band, which can trace its roots to the early part of the nineteenth century. This was the Band’s first high-profile engagement, for which they received the princely sum of one guinea! From these origins the Band appears to be the oldest musical organization in West Lothian and Scotland.
The Band continued to flourish with the help of the ever-growing town of Bathgate, receiving support from the local hand and loom weaving industry and also from local mining and steel foundry concerns. The Band even spent a few years in the 1870's in the guise of the local Volunteer Militia Band. In the 1890's the prosperous town council took an interest in the Band, supporting it by public subscription, which prompted a name change to the Bathgate Public Band.
Following the formation of the Scottish Amateur Brass Band Association the Band competed in the inaugural Scottish Championship in 1895 and have participated ever since. Our most successful period in the competition was during the 1930's, when the Band consistently appeared in the first three places with the Clydebank and CWS (Glasgow) Bands. Two early wins for the Band were in 1901 when they placed first in the Scottish Championships (Second Section) and did so again in 1934.
The Band continued to perform for Royalty, having played for the King on a local visit in 1910 and for the present Queen during a visit to Bathgate in 1955. The Band has continued to compete in local and national contests and has the distinction of winning the National Championship of Great Britain (Second Section) in 1989 and again in 1997.