The Fairey Band is one of the most successful contesting brass bands in the world. Founded in 1937 by employees at the Fairey Aviation Works in Stockport, the band achieved many musical successes under the brilliant direction of Harry Mortimer, their Musical Director for over thirty years. Since those early days, the band has won every elite band event on the contest calendar, including the National Championships of Great Britain on nine occasions and the British Open an incredible 16 times.
With impressive versatility, the band has welcomed innovation and enjoyed further recognition outside the confines of the Brass Band movement, with its involvement in the ‘Acid Brass’ project. Under this banner, they’ve adapted to a very different musical concept, performing at various rock and pop festivals around the UK and overseas, bringing brass bands to new audiences.
The band has always maintained its association with the ‘Fairey’ company, which has operated on the same site since 1915 with the band still rehearsing at the original factory here in Heaton Chapel. With several name changes over the course of its existence, reflecting the evolution of the company – Williams Fairey, Williams Holdings and most recently WFEL Limited – the band is proud to take on the new name of the company and will now be known as The KNDS Fairey Band, as well as (historically used in banding circles) Faireys.
“This evolution marks a thrilling chapter in our band’s rich history,” says Nigel Beasley of the KNDS Fairey Band. “We are grateful for the ongoing support and this new alignment strengthens our shared commitment to musical excellence and community engagement.”
As Ian Anderton says: “We’re proud to support The KNDS Fairey Band, music bridges cultures and brings people together. This partnership is about investing in our community, preserving our heritage and promoting the talent of tomorrow’s artists.”