Southwold marching band could face closure if new members are not found
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The drums of a popular community-based marching band look set to fall silent later this year.
Fears for the future of the Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums have been raised following numerous appeals for new members to join them so the band can march on.
But having played to thousands of people at community events in the region, the band is now facing up to the prospect of performing for the final time at Southwold's Civic Sunday parade next weekend and the Remembrance Day parade in November.
'It is with great sadness that we announce today the closure of the Southwold & Reydon Corps of Drums,' a spokesman for the military-style marching band said.
'After 36 years, the current membership of band is so small that continuing is simply not an option.'
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At the end of last year there were 11 members, but four stated their intention to leave at the end of the season. Of the seven members left, most have commitments throughout the year and could not commit to every performance.
'Not only do you need people to form a band, but you really need the right people, you need leaders of each section to guide others in the music and have the strength of performance to carry the tune and seven people would struggle to do this on their own,' the spokesman added.
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'Members of Southwold Town Council have assisted the committee over the past five years to try and rescue the band but unfortunately the necessary volunteers have not come forward to join the ranks.'
Graham Hillier, chairman, said: 'We have worked really hard over to past few years to retain the band and will still continue to do so throughout this year. If anyone does wish to come forward, this really is the last chance. I'm happy to be contacted any time to discuss what individuals can do to help rescue the band as losing it forever would be a terrible shame for the area.'
Steve Wright, trustee, said: 'It is such a sad position to be in. Having joined the band in 1988 it has been a huge part of my life. I retired in 2014 but remained a trustee and have helped where I can. Lesley and Graham have worked so hard to help keep the band running and the members who are still there love it but people do grow up and move on to jobs and higher education and have no choice but to leave.'