The village of Banks lies on the estuary of the River Ribble in an area of Lancashire called North Meols. The area is referred to in the Doomsday book of 1086 - "Thanes held the manor of Otegrimeless (later North Meols) paying tithes of calves, hogs, corn and cheese to the monks of Lancaster."
At this time the settlement was isolated to the north and west by the mud flats of the Ribble estuary, to the south by a chain of barren sand hills, to the east by a wilderness of lake, marsh and forest called Martin Mere - which at the time was the largest lake in England covering 3,132 acres.
The rich black soil around Banks was found to be excellent for growing potatoes and they became the main crop grown by the locals.
The census of 1851 shows that the population of the village had grown to 475 and by the time Banks Brass Band was formed in 1875 the village primary school had 93 pupils.
Precise details and records of the Band's formation are very sketchy, but we believe that Banks Brass Band was formed in 1875, The first available records of the Band are the rules made by the members on August 28th 1876. The original document was hand written on paper purchased from the Post Office in Southport. The official stamp of the Post Office is clearly embossed and bears the date 1-7-76.
At one time, we understand that the Band was known as Banks Rechabite Band - what is a Rechabite? - a title that is not used very much these days - well, a dictionary definition says "One who abstains from intoxicating liquors, especially a member of The Independent Order of Rechabites, a benefit society founded in 1835." We have no records to show that the Band was ever officially called Banks Rechabite Band, so we assume that it was some sort of `gift' name, considering that most of the members were connected to the Methodist Chapel in the early years of the Band.
This page has been compiled with help from the following publications (now sadly out of print);
"Gradely Bonksers" by C.Wareing
"Banks Brass Band The First 125 Years" by Bert Johnson