1991 Tour - HeilbronnIn May 1991 the band undertook its first overseas trip to Heilbronn, Stockport's twin town in southern Germany. 48 band members and friends left Manchester Airport on Saturday 25th May to spend four days in Heilbronn where they were hosted by the Big-Band der Politzeidirektion Heilbronn - the Heilbronn Police Big Band.
Four concerts were given in and around Heilbronn, the most memorable being on the day of arrival. This concert was held in Heilbronn's magnificent concert hall, the Kungsthalle Harmonic. Both bands took part, each playing their own very different type of music but ending with a joint rendition of the Old Comrades March. This concert set the tone for the remainder of a very enjoyable visit which included giving a concert at the Heilbronn festival which was broadcast on local radio.
The district which includes Heilbronn is famous for its vineyards. At various times of the year several of the winegrowers homes are open to invited groups of the public for wine tasting. On our last day the band were invited to one such evening together with the Big-Band der Politzeidirektion Heilbronn. All the wine is provided free and the winegrower tells stories about the wine and where each glass come from, helped by an interpreter. As you can imagine this leads to a convivial evening. Fortunately the police wanted to practise talking English, so we didn't have to drink wine and talk German at the same time.
During the evening members of the two bands presented each other with mementoes of the visit (our Chairman got a Policeman's hat) and our first overseas tour ended very happily that evening.