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Brass Band out in the cold this Xmas

Any room at the Inn? Foresters Friendly are homeless this Xmas.


While working hard to prepare for a busy programme of Christmas events, The Leicester based Foresters Friendly Society Brass has been made homeless. The group, which boasts a thriving brass band as well as a highly successful brass ensemble, has more than a century of history. It’s association with the Foresters Friendly Society goes back almost 50 years, and remains as strong as ever. Manager Dan Baker: “I’m keen to stress that we have the full support and generous backing of our sponsors, what we need though is a new rehearsal venue”.

The old Foresters building on Saint Nicholas Circle has recently been sold to developers. Plans to turn the band’s rehearsal room into a gym were announced and, with virtually no formal notice to quit, the builders suddenly made it very clear that the group, plus their extensive library and tens of thousands of pounds of equipment, had to be moved immediately. At present the equipment and library are in secure storage unit and the band is taking up a temporary residence at the nearby Saint Nicholas Church. Dan Baker: “This is a wonderful old church and in a fantastic location. However we need somewhere to store our library and equipment, and where there are some basic facilities such as a toilet. We are enormously grateful to the team who run the Church, but do need to look for a long term solution”.

The group has managed to meet all of its commitments, including entertaining 34,000 fans at the Walkers Stadium for the Leicester / Birmingham match last weekend, performing for the Samaritans at their 50th anniversary celebrations as well as numerous carol concerts around the Country. Musical director Peter Collins: “It’s turning into a real struggle to keep everybody motivated and focussed at such an unsettled time. We’re always striving to move forwards and, with the backing of Foresters, are financially able to do that—we just need to find a suitable new home”.

Anybody who has any ideas where the group could be re-homed can contact them via www.forestersbrass.co.uk. As they often get back from gigs in the early hours and rehearse in the evenings, it needs to be somewhere with 24-hour access as well as a decent sized rehearsal room and a storage room for the library and instruments. Is that too much to ask this Christmas?!

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