A COMMUNITY brass band in north Durham is preparing to take part in a national competition.

The Reg Vardy Band, based in Stanley, is vying for success in the British Open Brass Band Championships in Blackpool on April 26.

The band began life as the Craghead Colliery Band more than 100 years ago.

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Recently, members reclaimed the North Of England Regional Brass Band Championships crown for a record 34th time at the Dolphin Centre in Darlington.

Now they are hoping for success against players from across the country.

Colin Dye, the band’s longest-serving band member notched up a record 29th championship win, a feat unrivalled by any other bandsman in Britain.

The band’s professional musical director, Russell Gray said: “There has been a lot of hard work and solid progress made by the whole band set up since I became involved in June 2012, and that was shown during our performance at the weekend. A great deal of credit goes to everyone for that.”

The band is proud to be the only County Durham band to be representing the area at the National Finals in any section.

Band manager Graeme Tindall said: “We are honoured to represent the county and the area at the highest level, and will be trying our utmost to bring home yet another trophy to Stanley.”