THE world’s oldest civilian pipe band are to represent East Lancashire on the streets of New York.

Accrington Pipe Band have been invited to parade in Manhattan next month, and also lead remembrances to British victims of September 11.

The band, which was formed in 1885, will be wearing full ‘Number Ones’ uniform dress regalia as they take part in New York’s Tartan Week, which features parades and events during the first week of April.

Accrington Pipe Band will be Lancashire’s sole representative in the event, which will see tartan-clad bands from around the world march through the centre of Manhattan.

The group, led by Pipe Major Trevor Stokes, have also been asked to lead moving remembrances to victims of terrorism, with a very special performance on Friday, April 5.

Tartan Week organisers have asked Accrington Pipe Band to perform a special concert in the memorial garden to the 67 British victims of the September 11 attacks. Dignitaries will watch as Accrington Pipe Band play in the Queen Elizabeth II Garden, in the heart of Lower Manhattan.

Band secretary Val Stokes said: “Performing in memory of the September 11 victims will be so moving and it is an honour for us.

“I am sure there will be many tears shed, and we intend for it to be an event everyone can be proud of.”

The following day the group will march with tartan-clad bands from ar-ound the gl-obe along 6th Avenue, on Saturday, April 6.

Val said: “We’re so excited to be flying the flag for Accrington, Lancashire and England right in the heart of Manhattan.

“We are the world’s oldest civilian pipe band and the history we are bringing to the event has the Americans very excited.

“We already feel like we are old friends after many exchanges with the organisers.

“Marching through the centre of New York is not something we do every day.

“Everyone is buzzing with excitement and we can’t wait to show our banner bearing ‘Accringon’ for the world to see.

“My husband is the Pipe Major and I know he will be so proud to lead our incredible band in this event.”