Ravenhill Temperance Flute Band

Ravenhill Temperance Flute Band in 1937

In 1902 a group of young men from the area of South East Belfast, had an idea of forming a group in which they could have an outlet to fill their spare time and give them an interest thus Ravenhill Temperance Flute Band was formed.

Mr Samuel Moore was the band’s first conductor and held the post for three years before succeeded by Mr John Galbraith who remained with the “Ravens” as they are popularly known for a period of twenty three years. Under his leadership the band grew in stature from a Melody Flute combination through Junior Part Flute to Senior Grade by 1910. With many successes along the way the band had to wait until 1920 for their first Senior honour, the Windsor Park March Contest.

Conductor: George Hawthorn (Senior)

The band’s most prosperous period coincided with the appointment of Mr George Hawthorn (Senior) as conductor in 1944. Under his leadership the bands name and reputation was made, with the remarkable achievement of winning the N.I.B.A. Senior Flute Championship nine years in succession from 1949-1957. This legacy has been a hard act to follow for the band in the modern era, and although the band never reached such heights again, its reputation through good times and band as one of the provinces leading Flute Bands, whether it was on Parade, in concert or on the Contest platform.

Some band members pictured at a 12th Parade in the 1960s

After Mr George Hawthorn’s retirement in 1980, Mr Laurie Johnston was appointed Conductor, with considerable success including winning the Belfast and Dublin Music Festivals. Laurie was also responsible for introducing many new arrangements into the band’s repertoire.

George Hawthorn (Junior) conducting the band at a open air concert in Enniskillen

The band’s last conductor appointed was Mr George Hawthorn (Junior) in 1984, he was well aware of the reputation of his father but he enjoyed considerable success by winning the F.B.L. Own Choice Contest in 1991 and also achieving, what his father could not do by winning the Own Choice Spring Contest in Scotland in 1993.

Unfortunately, it became increasingly hard to recruit new members in Belfast in the 2000s and it was decided to fold the band in 2010.

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