Band aiming to drum up support

Earby Brass Band at Grassington's 1920s weekend. David Stretch, Lucca Fairhurst and Ewan Hudson play cornets and Mary Hodkinson plays the baritone. (S)

Earby Brass Band at Grassington's 1920s weekend. David Stretch, Lucca Fairhurst and Ewan Hudson play cornets and Mary Hodkinson plays the baritone. (S)

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A 170-year-old brass band is sounding out new members as its number of regular players continues to dwindle.

Earby Brass Band has been performing at events in Lancashire and Yorkshire since the early 1840s but its proud history could be just that if it cannot attract new members to play.

The band, which has members from early teenagers up to players in their 80s, has recently had to cancel bookings and turn down opportunities to play for the first time because it cannot get the required numbers to form a band.

Secretary Tracey Fairhurst said: “One of the problems is getting people interested and keeping them interested. It’s also costly and nothing is free musically.

“Pendle and Lancashire schools tend not to focus on brass so youngsters don’t ever seem to filter through. Those that do tend to be at schools which have lessons on brass.

“The band is a nice, family group, and everyone is very supportive of each other.

“Some of our band members are now in their 80s and are finding it harder and harder to march and play at the same time which is what the paying public want.”

Earby band performs in distinctive red jackets and can be seen and heard throughout the year at town events but also further afield in Sabden, Trawden, Hetton, Bradley, Long Preston and Grassington.

The band’s next performance will be at the Teas in the Park event in Sough on Sunday, July 19th.

Generations of Pam Whitehead’s family have played in Earby Band. She said: “My dad played in the band and my grandad before that. We’ve all played very nearly 50 years each.

“It’s always been there. It’s always been part of my life and I can’t imagine life without the band.”

The recently formed Earby Junior Brass Band, which is led by Mrs Whitehead, has a range of abilities and it is hoped that the junior members will soon be performing locally. The band meets at All Saints’ Church in Skipton Road, Earby on Thursday evenings from 7pm until 7-45pm.

The full band rehearsals are also at All Saints’ Church on Thursday nights between 7-30pm and 9-30pm.

If you’re interested in joining, go to the band’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EarbyBand or call Mrs Fairhurst on 843071 or 07813 609648.