A CONCERT band is uncovering its roots as part of a town’s wartime past.

East Lancashire Concert band has been uncovering articles and photographs of its historical beginnings as ‘Accrington Old Band’, which played as the Accrington Pals battalion marched for the first time.

The band has also uncovered some original sheet music which dates from 1914 with a song entitled The Accrington Pals March.

Hyndburn Council’s leader Miles Parkinson described the discoveries as ‘extremely exciting’ additions for upcoming Accrington Pals centenary celebrations.

Band member Ian McGuiness said his research uncovered the sheet music, written by Ralph Sanders.

Old newspaper articles Ian has researched also tell of the Accrington Old Band playing ‘lively tunes’ as the Pals Battalion marches out, such as It’s A Long Way To Tipperary.

Ian said: “We are uncovering more and more about the part the band played in those dramatic days.

“When I joined the band, I took it upon myself to look into the band’s formation and beginnings and I couldn’t believe it had such a rich history.

“I’ve also been in touch with the local authority and told them that anything we can do to commemorate the Pals’ centenary we will absolutely help out and support that.

“What I have discovered is that the band has always been military in style, with the band dressed as soldiers even though civilians.

“We have discovered pictures, and newspaper articles from 1914 and even sheet music called the Accrington Pals March. It’s very jolly and upbeat to keep up the morale and everyone’s spirits.

“It doesn’t imply any of the tragedy that was about to happen when the Pals left for the Great War.”

Council leader Miles Parkinson said the council was working closely with the band to include it in plans for centenary celebrations throughout 2014-2016.

He said: “The links being uncovered with the past due to the band’s research is extremely exciting indeed. I feel that East Lancashire Concert Band is going to be very important to the Pals centenary celebrations.”