The Story of Two County Durham Railwaymen and their Global Influence on the International Brass Band Movement


  1. To follow our latest discoveries – READ OUR BLOG
  2. To read a short account of George AllanREAD ABOUT GEORGE: ‘The Wizard’
  3. To read a short account of Thomas BulchREAD ABOUT THOMAS: ‘The Typhoon’
  4. To buy a copy of our new paperback book “The Wizard and The Typhoon: How Two County Durham Victorian Railwaymen Influenced the Global Brass Band Movement.” VISIT AMAZON.CO.UK or VISIT AMAZON.AU (NB: The book is available from this seller in several countries)
  5. To hear some of their music go to our – AUDIO COLLECTION
  6. 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 Wizard and The Typhoon is a website created by a group called the Friends of the Wizard and The Typhoon, formed in 2018; a group of individuals united by a common goal to rediscover, preserve and retell the stories of, and promote the music of, the legendary brass band composers and bandmasters, Thomas Edward Bulch and George Allan. The name comes from two pieces of music – “The Wizard” a stunning brass band contest march by Allan, and “The Typhoon”, the first published brass band march by Bulch.

In July 2022 the Friends of the Wizard and The Typhoon formally merged into a wider heritage organisation, the Shildon Heritage Alliance CIC, with whom they shared a common purpose.

Why Allan and Bulch? 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 much of their respective legacies, excepting a handful of key marches that still do well at contest today, has 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.

We endeavour to execute a number of related projects to:

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

2 – Collect the music they composed and make it available as an archive

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

If you’d be interested in working with us contact us using