Kirkbymoorside’S historic brass band is hoping to hit the big time at the weekend when it takes part in the prestigious North of England Brass Band Championships at Darlington’s Dolphin Centre.

Band secretary Alan Martin said they had been rehearsing hard for several months under the baton of John Woodward, and is now recognised as being in the “premier league”of bands. “We have even beaten the Brighouse and Rastrick on one occasion,” he said.

The band, which dates back to the Battle of Waterloo, has a great reputation for encouraging youngsters and children from Kirkbymoorside, Nawton and Gillamoor currently take part.

One of the latest initiatives is a community band where people who have never played, or who haven’t done so since they were at school, are urged to take up playing at the headquarters at Manor Vale.

A large contingent of Kirkbymoorside supporters will be heading to Darlington for the two-day championships, when more than 40 bands from North Yorkshire, Cumbria, Northumberland, Humberside, Cleveland and County Durham compete.