This appeared in the Barnoldswick and Earby Times yesterday. It's very sad to see such a long established band which has contributed so many top players (Edwin Firth and Arthur Laycock to name but two) over the years, and which competed regularly against the "big boys" in the early years of the last century. Hopefully, things will turn round soon. Date: 26 January 2009 COLLEGE and university committments have left Earby Brass Band running out of puff during term time due to depleted numbers. "We have lost around four players a year recently as players go away to college or university," said spokesman Keith Green. "And we wondered if there were any players around who might have moved into the area and not be aware of the facilities we have." Keith said many bands are in a similar situation and went on to add that the shortage in Earby is not helped by the fact they are no longer able to teach children from scratch, but have to rely on attracting players who have already mastered the basics of an instrument. While one end of the age range might be going off to university or college, at the other end, players in Earby Brass Band are getting olders, with six or seven players now in their 60s. "At one stage we had a lot of teenagers, but unfortunately they were all within a three-year age range so we tend to temporarily lose them en bloc," said Keith. "We are always well stocked during the holidays, but at the moment we are reheasing with half a band. Earby Brass Band has been in existence for around 150 years and it had been suggested that they should perhaps approach another band about a possible merger, but Keith said decisions like this had to be throught through very carefully otherwise as a band could lose its identity. "It is such a shame, the Tempest Arms was packed on two nights when we played there over Christmas and we have already been asked to return, yet we couldn't do the parade on Remembrance Day as we hadn't enough players," he said. "To function we just need another four players." If anyone wants to find out more, they can call secretary Joe Grose on 812122. The band practises every Thursday evening at the old library rooms in Earby.