Royston Town Band leaving for new home

Brian Edwards, Franklyn Drake and Roger Simons, who have been in Royston Town Band since the band ro

Brian Edwards, Franklyn Drake and Roger Simons, who have been in Royston Town Band since the band room was built - Credit: Archant

A BAND said goodbye to its home of 52 years with a “last blast” as it prepares to move into new practice rooms.

Royston Town Band has been based at its current band room, on land behind the Manor House club, in Melbourn Street, since 1961. But they are having to leave the premises as the club is set to be transformed into a JD Wetherspoon pub.

On Thursday, band members past and present gathered for what was dubbed the Last Blast – an evening where they played music and shared memories of their old home.

Secretary Roger Simons, who has been a member of the group since the band room was built, said: “The electricity has already been cut off, so a few of us attached lights to our music stands or instruments, and there were some candles too, so it was very atmospheric.

“We had about 40 people there, with some past band members joining us, and in between playing we shared some anecdotes because the band room holds a lot of good memories for many of us.”

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The band will move into new practice rooms at Tannery Drift, and Mr Simons said they hope construction will begin in the next few months.

He said: “We’ve been negotiating the lease for the land, which is at the bottom of Tannery Drift field, and we’ve got plans in place, so hopefully we will have a new room to practice in later this year.”

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In the meantime the band will be living a nomadic existence, practising at various halls in the town.

Mr Simons said: “We had a clear-out on Saturday and instruments and equipment are now being stored in different members’ garages. We had two filing cabinets stuffed full of sheet music.

“There are a few options in the town for where we can practice, but we do need our own space.”

• Do you have fond memories of the band room? Email

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