William Halliwell

When the band was nearly assembled the last piece of the jigsaw still had to be fitted - a conductor for what was to be the best band in Britain.

Fred Felton took the obvious step of hiring one of the best band trainers of the time and a man who could compete on equal terms with the top conductors of the day, the legendary Mr. William Halliwell.

Mr. Halliwell was a giant of the brass band world with a considerable string of contest successes to his credit. He was conductor of the National Champion Band nine times between 1910 and 1928. He was quite a capture for the unknowns from Kettering, and they knew it.

Stanley Boddington, the band's resident Musical Director said of Halliwell: "I worshipped the ground he walked on. He was a wonderful band trainer with the ability to make players want to do well for him".

The band's euphonium player, Bert Sullivan, remembers him as "...a quiet and unassuming man - outside the band room - but in rehearsal he was in charge and would fix a particular player with a stare and take his music stand in front of him to make sure he got what he wanted". Small wonder then that within two and a half years of its creation, the band under the direction of William Halliwell won the 1935 National Championship at Crystal Palace.