SLIDESHOW: Shining stars of brass

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Dozens of bands took over the Winter Gardens as the venue played host to a prestigious competition.

More than 2,000 people turned up to support the North West Regional Brass Band Championships yesterday, which saw teams from the Fylde coast battle it out with the best Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire have to offer.

Pilling Jubilee Silver Band brings the Winter Gardens to a halt Pictures PAUL CURRIE

Pilling Jubilee Silver Band brings the Winter Gardens to a halt Pictures PAUL CURRIE

Musicians of all ages took to the stage to showcase their skills.

There was success for some of the local talent with Blackpool Brass Band and Freckleton Brass Band both making it through to the national finals in September.

Freckleton took second place in the first section, which saw 13 bands competing, before Blackpool placed third out of 19, which was enough to see them through.

Both will now travel to Cheltenham in the summer to stake their claim for best in the country.

There is a lot of work involved in putting the competition together

Organiser Peter Bates, regional secretary for the North West Regional Brass Bands Championships Committee, said he was delighted with how the day had gone.

He said: “I am very pleased with the turnout.

“We had an entry of 75 bands.

“I have had people coming up to me and saying it was another fabulous day.

“By mid-afternoon we had sold out of programmes – I couldn’t believe it.

“Last year we printed 800 and had more than 140 left so this time we printed 750 and we sold out.”

Mr Bates estimated more than 2,400 people had turned up on the day, which he said he hoped was a welcome boost for businesses across the resort.

And he reserved special praise for his small army of volunteers who helped run the show.

Mr Bates said: “There is a lot of work involved in putting the competition together.

“You can do all the planning but without the team of stewards – we had something like 45 or 50 – we could not run it.

“They are all volunteers and it is them who make it work.”