The Doncaster Waits

The Doncaster Waites come from a small city in Yorkshire in the north of England, once noted for its coal mines and railway industry. However it has a rich history and pre dates York as a Roman settlement. In earlier times it was famous for its inns and the racecourse, where the oldest flat race in the world is still held each year.

The Waites (or Stadspijpers) were first recorded in 1457 and they continued until 1832 when they were disbanded. Employed by the town council their duties were to provide music for the city and to keep watch during the winter months. Doncaster is famous for its Mansion House one of only three in England and this is where many of these entertainments would have taken place.

The present Waites are all volunteers and aim to show the group as it would have looked in 1617. The men wear copies of the red livery coats given to them then and the ladies wear costume of the period. Of course there would have been no female Waites at that time! All the instruments they use are copies of musical instruments from the 17th century.

The group has been playing together now for many years and performed in ’s-Hertogenbosch in 2004, 2010 & 2016. So they are very much looking forward to returning to the City once more!