Contact Us

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service


146 Bolton Road

Swinton, Manchester

M27 8US

Tel: 0161 736 5866

For a FREE Safe and Well visit please call:

0800 555 815

GMFRS Pipe Band

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service adopted a Pipe Band in 1998. Since then the band has competed in all major pipe band championships and at local and national events to raise the brigade's profile.

History of Pipe Band

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Pipe Band has been a feature on the English pipe band scene since 1998, however the history of the band goes back much further than that, with the band's origins going back to 1950's Salford.

The band started life as a church band called St. Sebastian's Pipe Band. After 21 years in existence this band disbanded in November 1971. After a couple of months the bandsmen reformed, and renamed the band City of Manchester Pipe Band.

In 1998, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service offered new practice premises and help with transport for the Pipe Band and in return the band became affiliated with the Fire Service and adopted their name.

About the Band

The band is made up of:
- Pipe Major - responsible for music and management of the band;
- Leading Drummer - works in partnership with the Pipe Major on the musical score;
- Bagpipers
- Snare Drummers
- Tenor Drummers
- Bass Drummer
- Several children and adults undergoing tuition in pipes or drums;
- 8 back room staff who help with organisation, finances etc.

The band competes in major championships involving up to 200 bands from across the globe. Following a very successful season in 2007 the band was promotion to a higher Grade within the structure of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association. Achievements that year included:-
- 2nd Place at the European Pipe Band Championships - Inverness
- 2nd Place at the World Pipe Band Championships - Glasgow
- 1st Place at the Cowal Championships - Dunoon

In addition, in 2009 the drum corps were crowned Grade 3A World Champions, a feat not previously achieved by any Mancunian pipe band.
The band is currently in Grade 3A, which is only potentially two successful seasons away from the most prestigious Grade 1.

Our Goals

The band's goals are to represent Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service in a fitting manner, and to fulfil the musical ambitions of the band's members. This means competing in pipe band contests all over the UK, aiming to win as many of these as possible and progress upwards through the RSPBA grade structure, and playing in parades throughout Manchester and the surrounding area.

Join the Band

The band is always looking to recruit members of all ages and backgrounds. Fire Service personnel are especially welcome, but as it is a community based organisation affiliated to GMFRS, the band also recruit both experienced musicians and learners from outside the Fire Service.

The band can provide tuition on bagpipes or drums. At present there is generally no charge for lessons, although learners are asked to pay the same membership subscriptions as full members.

If you are interested in joining the band please contact

Private Functions

The band can be hired to play at private functions and parades, and this is one of the ways in which the band funds itself. If you are interested in hiring the band please contact

Last update: 23/03/2016 08:19:47