WANTAGE Silver Band (WSB) has won a place in the national finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain for the first time in its 42-year history.

The 29-strong WSB A Band won first place in the London and Southern Counties Regional Final at Stevenage Leisure Centre on March 18.

Now they will perform at London’s Royal Albert Hall on October 11, with the top bands in the world.

Band master Eileen Sykes said: “We are absolutely delighted.

“This is the one thing we have wanted to do ever since the band started in 1972.

“We’ll show them what Wantage has got, and if we come in the top 10 that would be fantastic.”

At Stevenage, WSB B Band also won a place in the National Brass Band Second Section finals at Cheltenham in September, another first, and the WSB Academy Brass band won 12th place in the competition’s Fourth Section.

Mrs Sykes added: “We had a very good day, I don’t think there is another band with three bands that competed.

“It was a spectacular performance, the band worked extremely hard because it was such a difficult piece.”

Mrs Sykes said the band’s successes definitely had something to do with moving into its new £270,000 band hall in Tugwell Field, Wantage, last March, after more than a decade of fundraising.