One of the best-loved colliery (coal mine) bands in England, the GCB has entertained many and inspired some -- the movie Brassed Off owes some of its inspiration to the existence of the GCB, while its musical track is provided by enthusiastic GCB playing.
The Grimethorpe Colliery Band was formed in 1917 as a recreational activity by a group of colliery workers. Quickly proving its mettle and gaining success, it received sponsorship from the colliery management. Later, when the British coal mines were nationalized, the sponsorship came from the National Coal Board. Currently, the GCB is sponsored by RJB Mining, plc, who took over the financing after the closure of Grimethorpe Colliery in 1995.
The GCB has been noted for its association with pianist Peter Skellern, who began a collaboration with the band in 1977. They have also been noted for their commissioning of original material, as well as the ability to tackle complex compositions rarely attempted by a brass band.