Track: Barnard Castle, Goff Richards (Downshire Brass, Horizons)

YouTube Link

Spotify Link


Also feat:*

  • Doyen, Goff Richards
  • The Celt of Glencoe, Goff Richards
  • Yorkshire Fantasy, Goff Richards
  • Saddleworth Festival Overture, Goff Richards
  • Camberley, Goff Richards
  • Newstead, Goff Richards
  • Nottingham, arr. Goff Richards
  • Kirkby Lonsdale, Goff Richards
  • Royal Duchy, Goff Richards
  • Calling Cornwall, Goff Richards
  • Pendennis!, Goff Richards

*Too many tracks to post links individually - you can find some of them on this Spotify playlist if of interest. Otherwise, try searching on YouTube. 

The Goff Richards Tour of Britain

I’m sure that many readers of Track of the Week are now sick of lockdown and are keen to get out of the house and visit a local beauty spot or two, if only for the purposes of testing their eyesight. The attractive northern market town of Barnard Castle certainly fits the bill, celebrated not only for its historical architecture and museums but also for its namesake march, composed by brass band enthusiast and Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd Goff Richards. As many a band will no doubt corroborate, Goff’s output for the medium is both enjoyable and highly prolific, spanning original works as well as arrangements across multiple genres. In fact, it turns out that Goff has written so many pieces for brass band that it’s actually more than possible to put together a UK travel itinerary for the stressed executive (working in, say, a high pressure public role advising key decision-makers) based entirely on his oeuvre.

Any tour, needless to say, needs a good tour bus first and foremost. No problem, says Goff, I’ve written a piece all about one - so good a bus they even named it Doyen. Thrill to its brassy evocations of the sounds of the start of a road trip: the bus coming out of the garage, the climbing aboard, the eating of the packed lunch, the arguing with the driver over whether or not to open the toilet. Then it’s off we go, inevitably starting very early in the idyllic Highland surrounds of Glencoe (The Celt of Glencoe), before heading south via Carlisle, stopping off in County Durham before a sharp right towards Kirkby Lonsdale, where we can take in picturesque views of the River Lune as well as enjoying an eponymous march written by Goff for the local band. 

From there the route crosses the Dales into God’s Own County, immortalised by Goff in his Yorkshire Fantasy, before moving into the disputed border territory of the Northern Peak District for the fiesta of binge-marching depicted in the Saddleworth Festival Overture. Entering the Midlands, we detour via the Wirral, where the local patrons of the arts in the School’s Parent Association hired Goff to write a suite celebrating the area’s landscape and heritage (Newstead), before pushing south past one of Goff’s very fine hymn-tune arrangements (Nottingham). We finally hit the M1 just as delirium sets in, but Goff is having none of it, insisting we press on to Camberley for another specially-commissioned march. Then it’s time for the home straight - literally for Goff - as we head to his beloved Cornwall for a trio of finale items inspired by the West Country (Calling Cornwall, Royal Duchy, Pendennis!). Catch sight of Henry VIII’s imposing coastal fortress in Falmouth harbour and we’ve arrived: after 1,602km, 19 hours, 52 minutes later, and not a lockdown breach in sight, officer.