A CELEBRATED and historic Whitefield band is marking a very special birthday with an anniversary concert and exhibition.

The Besses Boys' Band, which this year turns 75, will host the commemorative event at the Victoria Halls in Bolton, on October 13.

The concert will feature the 2018 Besses Boys' Band, alongside a re-union band of ex-players, who have gone on to become some of the country's best brass players.

It is hoped that, in addition to celebrating the band's heritage and achievements, the concert will allow younger players to gain experience performing to a large audience in an auditorium, as well as encourage youngsters to pick up an instrument and keep the tradition of brass bands alive.

There will also be exhibition featuring images, memorabilia, trophies and regalia that have been hidden for decades.

Formed in 1943, Besses Boys' Band was created as a feeder to its parent band, the Besses o' th' Barn Band ­— which is this year celebrating its own 200th anniversary.

Over an astonishing career the band has enjoyed worldwide success winning innumerable competitions, as well as representing Whitefield, Manchester, Lancashire and The UK in national championships and European and Australian tours.

The band has also entertained celebrities, political figures and royalty, and made numerous TV and radio appearances.

Over the decades members of Besses Boys' Band have gone on to enjoy success with bands including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Halle Orchestra, National Youth Brass band of Great Britain and her Majesty's Band of the Irish, Welsh and Coldstream Guards.

Bradley Hirst, from Besses Boys' Band, said: "The band is extremely proud to be celebrating its 75th birthday this year.

"The band's rich heritage and successes are a result of our member’s commitment, and to all who have supported the band, and donated their time to this great organisation over the years.

"The band has such a good rapport, and the bond between players within the organisation is amazing.

"Everyone is proud to be a part of the organisation, and we are all proud to represent Whitefield and the surrounding area, both on and off the contest stage.

"We are looking forward to many more years of music making and to continue supporting the development of young talent in music and performance skills."

For tickets to the anniversary concert visit the Victoria Hall box office on Knowsley Street, Bolton; call 01204 522569; or visit bessesboysband.com/Tickets