Latest on our 2020 project to share the Tom Bulch and George Allan story with our young people

With support from Northern Heartlands, one of the sixteen Great Place Schemes in England backed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, we’ve been collaborating with Greenfield Community College, attended by many young students from Shildon and the surrounding area. The project enables them to explore the Wizard and Typhoon story and express their thoughts on it through art and music. Check out our latest progress here

An Opportunity to Hear Tom Bulch’s Piano Composition Style.

Eric Tomkins, T E Bulch’s grandson, found this recording of Tom Bulch’s piano march “Torchlight Parade” on the ‘Australian War Memorial’ site, who have kindly granted permission for us to include it here (below).

“Torchlight Parade (piano)” by Thomas E Bulch (perf. by Alan Hicks – prod. Chris Latham)

The Story of Tom Bulch and George Allan is just one of the great untold stories of Victorian New Shildon.

We maintain a Blog on the site setting out anything significant we’ve been learning about in understanding the lives of George Allan and T. E Bulch. In our latest post, added in November 2019, explores how life turned out for one of the other old Shildonians that emigrated to Australia in 1884 with Tom Bulch. Up to now we have no idea what cornetist James Scarff looked like – until we found this article from 1921 with a photograph – read James Scarff, Unmasked


A ‘Great Hunt’, to Find More Missing Compositions, has Begun

We got to hear the first selection of pieces from our collection at Ushaw College, Durham, on Saturday 4th August 2018. It was absolutely brilliant

Thank you so much to everyone who attended. We’ll be adding some great new content from that event to this site soon.

Now though, the researching and searching resumes as we attempt to track down more of the compositions and arrangements that are key to understanding George Allan and Thomas Edward Bulch. So, with this in mind, we’ll be launching a ‘Great Hunt’ to see if we can find more missing pieces with the help of brass bands around the banding community. If you can help please do get in touch.


    1. To follow our latest discoveries – READ OUR BLOG
    2. To read a short account of George Allan – READ ABOUT GEORGE: ‘The Wizard’
    3. To read a short account of Thomas Bulch – READ ABOUT THOMAS: ‘The Typhoon’
    4. To hear their music go to our – AUDIO COLLECTION
    5. If you want snippets on progress as they occur – OUR TWITTER FEED


Our mission: here is to gather, and share, as much as we can about the lives, and work, of these two remarkable Victorians (and in the case of T. E. Bulch that term applies in more than one sense) for the benefit of the people of the community from which they emerged, for the brass band fraternity as a whole, and for those who love a great story stuffed to the gills with coincidence, tragedy, triumph and magnificent music, some of which you can hear right here.


About Us

The Friends of the Wizard and Typhoon, formed in 2018, are a group of individuals united by a common goal to rediscover, preserving and retell the stories of, and promote the music of, the brass band composers and legendary bandmasters, Thomas Edward Bulch and George Allan.

Why these two gentlemen alone? Well, whilst it’s true that there have been a great many bandmasters and composers of brass music, what binds these two together is the unusual fact that they were born just fifteen months apart only a couple of streets away from each other in the young railway town of New Shildon. These days their respective legacies have sadly become a distant and vague memory despite the incredible things they achieved on a truly global stage. We’d like very much to change that.

Throughout the lifetime of this group we propose to execute a number of related projects to:

1 – Rediscover, and retell, the stories of the two composers

2 – Collect the music they composed

3 – Seek opportunities for the community to hear the music performed

4 – Preserve a record of the stories and music

5 – Create a lasting legacy in a way that will benefit, and perhaps inspire, the people of Shildon, of the North East of England and the brass banding fraternity and fans of brass music everywhere

Group members include bandsmen, former bandsmen, and non-bandsmen. We welcome anyone who would care to join us on this journey and who is happy to share in our goals and ambitions. If you’d be interested contact us using

Current officers of the Group

Hon. Patrons: – Mr. Eric Stanley Tomkins (grandson of Thomas E Bulch), Mr. Richard Evans

Chair: – Mr. Daniel Childs

Secretary: – Mr. Dave Reynolds

Treasurer: – Ms. Kelly Ambrosini