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Community Engagement: Collaboration with We Are Local and the World’s Oldest Brass Band

Celebrating Stalybridge Old Band’s Storied Past

Stalybridge Old Band, established in 1809, stands as a testament to the rich cultural tapestry of Stalybridge, Cheshire (now Greater Manchester). As the world’s oldest brass band, its history is interwoven with the industrial revolution, community spirit, and a deep-seated passion for music. From its beginnings as a woodwind ensemble formed by local weavers to its evolution into a prominent brass band, the band’s journey mirrors the transformations of its community.


Facing Modern Challenges

Despite its impressive legacy and continued success in competitions, recent years have seen a decline in community support for the band. The support of citizens and community groups is crucial in revitalizing the band’s presence and ensuring its future success. Engaging communities in this project is essential to foster a deeper connection and promote sustainable involvement. This is where our project, Stalybridge: Heritage of Craft and Skills, in partnership with We Are Local, steps in. Our mission is to rekindle the community’s connection to the band and celebrate its enduring significance


Engaging the Community Through Community Workshops

A key component of our initiative involves hosting two interactive community workshops on July 20th, featuring the Lazerian mobile studio. Participants will have the opportunity to speak and share their thoughts during these interactive sessions. The focus of these workshops will be on gathering ideas, memories, and stories about the brass band to shape a unique creative piece by Lazerian.

  • Workshop 1: Portland Basin, 10 AM – 12 PM
  • Workshop 2: Academy HQ, Stalybridge, 1 PM – 3 PM

These workshops are an invitation to everyone in the community to actively participate in honoring the band’s legacy. Different groups, including those with personal anecdotes from band performances, family stories, or creative suggestions, are invited to contribute their invaluable input.

Crafting a Collective Masterpiece

The culmination of this project will be a creative work that encapsulates the spirit and history of Stalybridge Old Band, informed by the community’s contributions, with expected outcomes including fostering community pride and preserving local heritage. The idea behind this collective masterpiece is to promote mutual decision-making, recognising the needs and aspirations of all participants, and encouraging intentional interactions between the band and the community. This piece aims to serve as a tribute to the band’s past, a reflection of its present, and an inspiration for its future.


Reigniting Community Passion

Our goal is not just to create a piece of art but to engage the community and spark a renewed sense of pride and support for Stalybridge Old Band. By involving the community in this creative process, we aim to provide services that support and enhance community engagement. We hope to foster a deeper connection and ensure that the band’s music continues to resonate with people of all ages.

Join Us in Making History

Your stories, ideas, and memories will help us create something truly special that honors the band’s heritage and revitalises its place in the community.

Together, through this collaboration with We Are Local, we can celebrate the rich legacy of Stalybridge Old Band and contribute to a vibrant future for this iconic institution. Let’s come together, share our love for music, and ensure that the world’s oldest brass band continues to thrive and inspire.