Blantyre Silver Band at Douglas, 1905

1905 Blantyre Silver Band wm

What about this for a crystal clear, corker of a photo! From around 1905, this is Blantyre Silver Band. The photo is already over 115 years old and was taken by David Ritchie.

Previously unseen online, I’ve been able to identify the location as being the former back stairway of Douglas Castle, near Douglas, Lanarkshire. (Some of my family live in Douglas)

The band was formed in 1877. Mr. Maxwell Sneddon was known as “the father of the band” and played in it for 55 years until his retirement in April 1932. The band took part in the Scottish Amateur Band Associations competitive seasons.

In November 1921 the Silver Band was suspended for 12 months for having unregistered players in competitions.

In 1931, the band playing season ended at a finale in Burntisland, with Blantyre Silver Band taking part, 1 of 20 bands on the day. They were known to march around the streets at Hogmanay and were a popular sight at many concerts and venues.

From “Blantyre Explained”, a forthcoming series of books by Paul Veverka (c) 2020

The picture is in such high resolution, I can easily zoom in on faces and detail. These are all Blantyre men, perhaps even YOUR own forebearers. Just one of many dozens of remarkable Blantyre related photos coming here in 2020.


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  1. I love to imagine that at least one of my ancestors was in this band, what an awesome shot or two, so clear, ah days gone by eh!

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