HUNDREDS of people swarmed to the recreation ground to help their town’s brass band celebrate an incredible 150 years.

Verwood Concert Brass was launched in 1864, going on to notch up huge successes, even reaching the then premier league in the 1930s.

These days its A band is approaching the top league once again, as it’s topping the first division now, and looks likely to join the brass elite next year.

To mark its big birthday the band organised a musical knees-up for the whole town to enjoy, including face painting, a bouncy castle, raffle, stalls and of course, entertainment throughout the afternoon, drawing on the talents of its 90 members and bands from Ferndown and Emmanuel Middle School.

Chairman Helen Dunnings said: “It was an absolutely perfect day.

“Lots of people were there, the weather was lovely and it was just what we wanted for the day.”

Publicity officer Robert Graves said: “The weather certainly helped. We had a great day.

“I think what makes Verwood Concert Brass so popular is that we have bands for all abilities, from the A Band, to the Town Band, Training Band and we’ve now got an Acorns group for people who’ve never picked up an instrument before. Several of our A Band members have risen through the ranks and unusually, because brass bands are still fairly male-dominated, we have a 50/50 split, so age or gender doesn’t matter.”

The band is also holding a 150th anniversary concert this Saturday at the Hub, with souvenir brochures of pictures and history.

Tickets are £8 from 01202 828740.