Long Eaton brass band hits the right note after club closure
Latest News | January 13, 2015
Conductor Sharon Stansfield and other members of the Long Eaton Silver Prize Band Club who have moved to the Derby Road Trade Centre
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Posted By TomNorton | January 13, 2015
MEMBERS of one of the region’s oldest bands have found a new home after their old club house was shut.
The Long Eaton Silver Prize Band were offered sanctuary by the local community to practice once again after the closure earlier this month.
The group, whose origins date back to the late 19th century when they were a temperance band, had been based at Salisbury Street, Long Eaton, since 1929.
The venue was regularly used for concerts and performances, often for charity, as well as serving as a social club for the area.
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Originally set up as a working men’s club, the building was owned by more than 500 members including the band.
However, as takings began to drop and with rising overheads, the club’s members decided to close the venue before it fell into major debt.
The building will be auctioned on March 26 at the club by Wallace Jones of Long Eaton.
The money will be used to pay for debts and bills before being split among the members.
Members in the band have agreed to put their profits back into the group.
They are now renting the Derby Road Trade Centre in Sandiacre, which was offered by a former member of the group.
Sharon Stansfield, the group’s musical director, said it had been a difficult time but the band had landed on its feet.
“It’s quite sad really – at the end of the day, it’s people’s lives – we had one full-time member of staff and two to three part-time members of staff.
“Now we’ve got a place for our instruments and we’ve had our first recitals in there as well. It’s just a load off our mind, to have our own premises where we don’t have to pack away and it’s safe and offers somewhere to carry on with the kids’ band and training band is just brilliant.”
The group has around 90 members, with ages ranging from eight to 83 performing on tuba, tenor horn and cornet among other instruments.
While at their previous premises, they managed to raise thousands for local and national charities, including the British Red Cross and Sense.
The band said they will continue to look for a permanent base but were grateful for the place they have.
Mrs Stansfield added: “We might just want to stay, it’s ideal for us. It’s better than we hoped the acoustics are better than the place we were in.”
Mark Blackburn, 47, of Bushy Close, Long Eaton, has been playing cornet and percussion with the band for eight years.
He said: “It’s like being part of a big family, it’s a great community. We do work hard and we have a good laugh as well which is what it’s all about.
“We’ll miss the old club but we had to move to protect the band. I think the new premises will work out well.”
Faye Blackburn, organiser for the Erewash Film Society, was among the people who used the club before it closed.
She said: “The band have a great family feel and among their members there’s a lot of effort put into it.”
The band’s next concert is at St Laurence’s Church in Long Eaton on January 26.