A MAGICAL pageant of musical colour covered a Saddleworth village in a duvet of love when 35 of the nation’s finest military musicians brought their royal presence to town.

Thousands crowded Uppermill to see the legendary band of the grenadier guards produce a series of memorable performances.

The band, dressed in ultra smart red and gold uniforms topped by their distinctive bearskins, bought traffic to a halt as they marched down the village High Street to rapturous applause.

And to the watchers delight on the thronged King George V playing fields the band held a mesmerising 40-minute concert playing a medley of military marches to soundtracks from top films.

The crowd joined in when sporting Doris Lofthouse received a surprise 80th birthday treat and was offered the baton by the guards musical leader to conduct them.

Doris donned the guard’s famous busby and, encouraged by prompts from the bandsmen, waved the baton skywards.

To the audiences delight, the fun-loving band struck up ...but deliberately played off key.

Later, the bandsmen took time out to pose for pictures with admiring villagers and children, before hosting private instrumental performance workshops with brass, woodwind and percussion students from Saddleworth School and Salford University.

And the proud organiser of the band’s visit which had taken two meticulous years to organise, praised the community for their support.

Garrath Beckwith, curriculum leader of music at Saddleworth School, summarised the event after a sell out nighttime concert featuring the community’s great musical children and the guards.

He said: "It was a phenomenal evening of music making at Uppermill’s civic hall.

“The Saddleworth School Brass Band, our very good friends the University of Salford Symphonic Wind Ensemble and our very special guests the Band of the Grenadier Guards.

“The sell out audience enjoyed a truly superb celebration concert featuring fantastic soloists (Chiara Eckersley, Jack Pearson and Gavin Hall), the fanfare team of the Grenadier Guards and fantastic performances from all three ensembles.

“What a great day for the Saddleworth community! Thank you to everyone who attended todays very special events - we hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did.”