SHREWTON Silver Band has launched a Crowdfunding appeal to help it survive the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The band, which dates back to the 1830s and is believed to be one of the oldest bands in the country, is looking to raise £5,000. This will cover running costs as well as paying for protective equipment for when the band is able to return to rehearsals.

The band says it has not qualified for any government support.

Katy Sturgess, of Shrewton Silver Band, said over the years brass bands have “decreased in number” adding: “I think Covid is going to be a real test for a lot bands. People will have found other things to do, especially the youngsters. That has been our worry that youngsters will go and play football or do something completely different and we won’t have them coming through for the future of the band.”

A national #SaveOurBrassBands campaign, supported by broadcaster Melanie Sykes, has been launched by Crowdfunder and Brass Bands England.

Usually, Shrewton Silver Band has a busy calendar of performances at local events which have not been able to go ahead. Before the March lockdown it had managed to compete in a competition in Torquay.

The band relies on its income from performing at concerts, marches and a range of summer and Christmas events.

It is still hoping to be able to do its Christmas performance with a smaller group doing carolling around the village.

Shrewton Silver Band has members from across south Wiltshire as well as neighbouring Hampshire and Dorset.

Katy says the support so far has been “amazing” and that it will be a “massive help” to the band, adding: “We are really thankful that people locally have really supported us.”

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