Wed 16 Jun 2021
Alan Lawton – MBE

It is with sadness that the band has learned of the passing of their former musical director and talisman, Alan Lawton on Monday 14 June 2021 aged 85.

Alan was a respected and revered figure within the brass band world.  A talented cornet player (with the Fairey band) he first came to conduct Poynton Band in 1974.  Alan’s dedication to brass bands was rewarded in 2007 when he received his MBE.  An award richly deserved.

Although his health was failing Alan remained an integral part of Poynton Band wanting to know what was happening at ‘his band’.  There are many players who owe their success to Alan.  On hearing of his passing, David Johnson, the band’s long serving percussionist said:

‘My banding heroes are all but gone now.’

A sentiment that will resound throughout the banding world. 

Alan’s passing will be mourned by many, but his memory and association with Poynton Band will live on forever. 


Mon 16 Mar 2020

Following current advice from the Government and Brass Band England the band has taken the difficult, but necessary, decision to postpone our forthcoming concerts at the Royal Northern College of Music and our Vice President's concert at Poynton Civic Hall.


Tue 10 Sep 2019
More contest success at Dr Martin Contest.

Yesterday the band played at the fantastic Dr Martin Contest in beautiful Yarm.

Playing the march The Cossack, the baritone solo Rule Britannia (played by the faultless Natsumi McDonald) and Philip Sparke's amazing test piece Music of the Spheres.

The band won the prize for the best march, 2nd place in the solo and finished in 2nd place overall.

Our congratulations go to the winners The Reg Vardy Band and all those who performed on the day.

Thank you maestro Stig Mærsk for all your hard work..


Wed 18 Jan 2017
Stig Maersk to Direct Band at North West Regional Championships

The Vernon Building Society (Poynton) Band are delighted to announce that they have secured the services of Stig Mærsk to direct them at the North West Regional Championships in February, following the departure of Neil Samuel to Blackburn and Darwen Band.

Born in Denmark, Stig was principal cornet with the Danish National Champion Band, Concord Brass, before concentrating on his studies and trumpet at the Danish Royal Academy. Since graduating he has played professionally with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and Band of the Danish Royal Guards and worked as Musical Director of The Aarhus Band and The Concord Band. In 2013 he was appointed as Musical Director of the National Youth Band of Denmark.

Since moving to the UK, Stig has conducted Hepworth, Pemberton Old Wigan, Wakefield Metropolitan and Yorkshire Imps. Stig conducts several bands in Scandinavia, and has shared the contest stage with Göta Brass and Christianshavn Brass Band, and is currently working on a project with the elite group, Danish Concert Brass, which is a band consisting of invited players from the leading bands in Denmark.

Stig was appointed to the position of Musical Director of the East Yorkshire Motor Services Band in February 2016. Conducting the band at the North of England areas when they qualified for London, Stig became the first Dane to conduct at the National Brass Band Championships, held at the Royal Albert Hall on October 8th, 2016.

The band would also like to offer sincere thanks to resident conductor Iain McKnight for stepping in over Christmas, leading rehearsals and fronting a fantastic Christmas concert to a packed Civic Hall in Poynton. Preparation ahead of the North West Regional Championships is in full swing and Iain is working the band hard ahead of Stig's arrival.


Wed 11 Jan 2017
New Faces to Boost our Ranks Ahead Of Regionals

We are pleased to announce the signing of Will Dakin (soprano cornet) and Sam Noden (solo euphonium) ahead of the North West Regional Brass Band Championships at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Will, currently in his final year at Sandbach School, starts at the RNCM in September and is also a member of Lions Youth Band. Will told us “I am absolutely delighted to begin my adult banding career with VBS Poynton. I’m excited to see what the future will bring!”

Sam, a first-year RNCM student, moves to Poynton from Dobcross Band. Sam told us “It’s an honour to be accepted by such a successful, progressive band. I am ready for the challenges that face me on solo euphonium at Poynton.”

We are especially pleased to welcome such fine, young players to our band.

On behalf of everyone at VBS Poynton Band, we wish a very warm welcome to both Will and Sam and hope they have a long and happy time with us. Their signings move us closer to securing a full team for Blackpool, with just a few cornet seats left to fill.

Both players will make their debut with band in concert at Boarshurst Band Club on 29th January before taking to the contest stage for the first time at the ‘area’ on 26th February.




Fri 17 Jun 2016
Floods Hit VBS Poynton Library

We suffered a major flood to the basement of our band room following the flash floods which caused such havoc in Poynton last Saturday (11th June).


The band’s library was badly affected with approximately 50% of it (over 800 sets of music) being lost to the floods. Percussionist, Dave Johnson who oversaw the clean-up operation said ‘It was soul destroying to have to throw away so many pieces of music including original handwritten music from the 1920’s.’ 

The band refuse to be down beat.  On 18th September the band will be representing the North West at the National Finals when we hope to be crowned National Champions of the 1st Section. 

We continue to be busy raising funds to help towards the cost of attending the Finals.


The band’s Chairman Gary White says: ‘We need to raise over £4000 and any donations from individuals or companies will help us achieve that target’. Donations can be made online through Golden Giving


Wed 25 May 2016
Ray Booth

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Ray Booth.

Ray had been associated with the band most of his life joining the band in 1948 - he used to play tenor horn. He was also on the committee and did lots of jobs when the band bought Clumber Road church. He was also a trustee before stepping down due to ill health. He was well known in the band world and also well known in Poynton. Ray will be greatly missed by all that knew him. 

Thanks for all the good times Ray!


Mon 07 Mar 2016
New EEb and Assistant MD

The Vernon Building Society (Poynton) Band has announced the appointment of Iain McKnight to the Solo Eb Bass chair and also as assistant MD, to work in conjunction with the Band's Musical Director, Neil Samuel.

Iain grew up in Cornwall as a member of the St Austell Band, but moved to the North West in 2003 to study at the University of Salford under, amongst others, Peter Graham and David King. He was the recipient of the Roy Newsome award for conducting in 2006. Following a ten-year career at Leyland Band, Iain was appointed Musical Director of the Stockport Schools Senior Band in September. He has previously held positions as MD at Lostock Hall and Flixton bands as well as guest conducting appearances with bands such as Hebden Bridge and St Austell.

Commenting on Iain's arrival, MD Neil Samuel told us: "I'm thrilled to welcome such an experienced player and conductor to the band. Iain was kind enough to fill in for me and take rehearsals leading up to the North West Area and the feedback from the band was excellent. When I returned the following rehearsal it was clear that the band had been worked hard".

"I am really pleased to be joining the band at this time," added Iain. "There is a great deal of talent at Poynton, as evidenced by our success at the recent North West Regional Championships. Neil is the driving force behind the band and I look forward to supporting him by fulfilling conducting duties when work calls him away from the bandroom. With appearances at the Spring Festival and National Finals in 2016 there is certainly much to look forward to, and I'm very excited by the opportunity to work with the band both as player and conductor."


Mon 07 Mar 2016
North West Area 1st Section Champions 2016

Courtesy of 4barsest 

The North West will send a brace of strong contenders to Cheltenham after Vernon Building Society Poynton and Rainford produced 'Essays' of technical and musical character to gain the qualification marks from judges Colin Hardy and David Hirst.

Edward Gregson's work proved a deceptively transparent ask of the fourteen contenders; each of its three sections requiring the mastery of contrasting styles and technical security - especially the central 'Soliloquy' with its tranquil echoes of Gilbert Vinter. 


As a result, by the time many gave a rousing 'Epigram' to close, qualification chances had long been lost, whilst others could not match execution to intent as nervousness and a litany of unforced errors proved fatal. 

The judges gave concise pre-results remarks - noting the challenges and pitfalls encountered, although they didn't mention the surprisingly poor levels of intonation which must have undermined a number of accounts.

Red letter Essay

However, for Vernon Building Society Poynton, 'Essay' proved to be a red letter day; with victory sending them to the Finals for the first time since 2004 as they captured a first Area title since 1975. 

"We're thrilled to have won such a hard fought contest," MD Neil Samuel told 4BR. "We put the hard work in to master the difficult basics - especially note lengths and tempos, and we were lucky to have such gifted players to pull off the difficult solos with ease." 

He added: "The piece appears easy, but it isn't. The tempos dictate the need for accuracy and clear, non-aggressive articulation. That's what we aimed to achieve. I'm a very proud conductor, as we have continued to move in the right direction and are making massive steps forward with every contest." 


Those steps also enabled Poynton to overcome an excellent number 1 draw marker from rivals Rainford.


Wed 19 Aug 2015
100 club - June/July Winners

June 2015 - 100 club draw:

1st   Marilyn Tan
2nd. Mike Hunt
3rd  Mrs Presswood

July 2015 - 100 club draw:

1st.  Mr A Baldwin
2nd. Jilly Hazlewood
3rd. Alan Lawton


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