Reaching a peak of over two million in 1921, the numbers out of work never fell below a million between the wars. Depressed post war conditions were made worse by the slump of 1929-33. Some industrial towns faced growing hardship as coal, cotton, shipbuilding, iron and steel went into sharp decline. A huge proportion of the working population sought employment in more affluent areas. The Government’s ‘Special Areas Policy’ helped workers move away to find work – leaving broken communities behind. Lone bandsmen played on, finding new opportunities to perform for example in their new ‘works’ bands, big bands or tourist resorts.