Brass band members old and young have been reunited after the grand opening of a revamped base for their historic group.
Young players in the training squad of Sheffield’s Oughtibridge Brass Band had to practise separately from the senior band because their rehearsal space was a ‘shell’ of a building without a toilet or running water.
But now they can hit the high notes together with guidance from older members following a £90,000 upgrade to the site on Station Lane.
It also has disabled access, kitchen facilities and a small tutoring room.
Margaret Molan, chairman of Oughtibridge Brass Band, said; “We are thrilled to bits with the building and after the opening we had a really well supported concert in Coronation Park.
“Our training members haven’t been able to use the building because of health and safety reasons – it was just a shell – so they have been rehearsing in the church for the past 10 years.
“What they need is for more experienced and mature players to sit alongside, support and encourage them and that’s not been able to happen until now.”
The brass band, which dates back to 1890, has owned the former telephone exchange building since 1960.
Members came up with a plan to transform the building about a decade ago and were supported with grant funding from various organisations, as well as donations from the community.
Margaret added: “We also used some of our own savings, did a massive amount of busking over Christmas and also ran a buy a brick campaign so local people bought a brick for £5.
“We have 24 playing members and then about 18 junior members who are in the training band.
“Now we are hoping that the opening will encourage more new players to both of the teams.
“Some of our players will be going into local schools this term to speak about playing in a band.”
The revamped building was officially opened on Sunday by Lord Mayor of Sheffield Coun Vickie Priestley.