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Final plea to save town’s traditional marching band

PUBLISHED: 13:21 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:21 30 June 2020

The fairytale parade in Lowestoft town centre on December 10, 2016. The Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums lead the parade. Picture: MICK HOWES

The fairytale parade in Lowestoft town centre on December 10, 2016. The Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums lead the parade. Picture: MICK HOWES

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It was a popular tradition that saw a community-based marching band regularly perform to thousands of people at community events across the region.

The Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums lead a parade in Southwold in 2015 to celebrate the Town Mayor's appointment. Picture: Nick ButcherThe Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums lead a parade in Southwold in 2015 to celebrate the Town Mayor's appointment. Picture: Nick Butcher

The Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums was founded in 1981, but the band fell silent three years ago after finding it increasingly difficult to recruit new members.

Having closed in 2017, the band is now aproaching the end of the three-year period required by the group’s constitution before the instruments and uniforms are disposed of.

A scene from a previous Halesworth Christmas lights switch-on event as the Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums parade through the town centre. Picture: Nick ButcherA scene from a previous Halesworth Christmas lights switch-on event as the Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums parade through the town centre. Picture: Nick Butcher

And it has launched a final call for support to “take on the running of the band” and revive one of “Southwold’s traditions.”

A spokesman for the military-style marching band said: “As many people will know, sadly the Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums closed back in 2017.

The Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums band at Halesworth Train Station in 2016 to mark the Queen's official 90th birthday.  Picture: James BassThe Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums band at Halesworth Train Station in 2016 to mark the Queen's official 90th birthday. Picture: James Bass

“The decision was taken by the committee following a number of public appeals over the years to garner support from the wider community.

“Financial support for the band had always been forthcoming from generous local organisations, individuals and Southwold Town Council, but money was never the problem. A lack of people to run and perform in the band has plagued it for years.

The Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums band at Halesworth Train Station in 2016 to mark the Queen's official 90th birthday. Picture: James BassThe Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums band at Halesworth Train Station in 2016 to mark the Queen's official 90th birthday. Picture: James Bass

“Since it’s official closure in 2017, members of the band have had a number of requests to perform at a variety of functions and also people commenting it was such a shame to lose the band, it was one of Southwold’s traditions.

“But without people, no instruments can be played, no uniforms can be worn and no traditions can be upheld.

“So the Remembrance and Civic parades, Christmas lights switch-ons and Lions Fete, to name just a few, will never be quite the same.

“So it with great sadness that we have to give formal notice to the people of the district that if no persons come forward to take on the running of the band by July 31, 2020, the processes under the constitution will be moved forward and the assets of the band will be sold and the funds distributed to other local organisations.”

Anyone wishing to make contact with the trustees and committee can do so by writing to Southwold Town Hall, Southwold Town Council, Town Hall, Market Place, Southwold, IP18 6EF. Alternatively, call 01502 722576 or email admin@southwoldtowncouncil.com


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