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The Black Dyke Mills Band

The Black Dyke Mills Band — the most famous brass ensemble in the world — was founded in 1855 by one John Foster, and was named for the textile mill he built in the Black Dyke area of Queensbury, a village near Bradford in West Yorkshire. A French horn player, Foster formed his band from employees who worked at the mill that his family firm, John Foster & Son Ltd., went on to own for the next 146 years.

Paul McCartney was commissioned to write the theme tune for Thingumybob and hired the Black Dyke Mills Band to record it. In July 1968, together with a retinue of Apple staff and his sheepdog Martha, he travelled to Saltaire, near Shipley in Bradford, where the 30 musicians were gathered in the local Victoria Hall. The arranger and conductor was the Black Dyke Mills Band’s own Geoffrey Brand.

Facts