Barrow Steelworks Brass Band celebrated 125 years of existence in 2009.

Brass bands began their lives in the industrial heartlands of the country - and Barrow was no exception.

For 125 years previously the Rising Star Life Boat Crew Temperance Brass Band, later to be known as the Barrow Steelworks Brass Band, was born.

In 2009, the band was anticipating its big celebration, due to take place in October at the Trinity Church Centre at Warwick Street, Barrow.

The band had invited a host of celebrities, including trumpet player Brian Judge, who started his musical career with them. He would be guest soloist.

Other invited to play included Manchester police band bass trombonist John Deakin and Jeff Blenkharn, principal cornet for Vickers band. The conductor on the night would be Doug Smith.

Jim Jefferson, 70, a trombone player, joined the band at 17, when an apprentice at Vickers (BAE Systems), staying with them until he went to college at Battersea, London, and later returning after he was married.

The band treasurer was excited about the celebration, saying: “It is a milestone for the band.”

The band started life in 1884. Nimrod Wood, an organist at St James’ Church, was the conductor. In 1889 the band was renamed the Iron and Steelworks Band and in the following year it began winning trophies.

Perhaps its crowning achievement was in 1933 at the annual championship festival for brass bands, held in Belle Vue, Manchester.

Conductor Arthur Baker, of Dalton, took a very young band to the competition with two members, Jack Bassett, 11, and Stanley Goodall, 12, still at school.

The solo cornet player was 19-year-old H McEnemy with the euphonium player being H Basset, 18.

The bandsmen were up against top brass bands from all over the country, but played the test piece, Coriolanus, so well they won first prize, taking the gold championship challenge cup back to Barrow.