Wigston Band in major bandroom battle The Leicestershire based Wigston band is at the centre of a major battle surrounding its rehearsal facilities and property. The band has been stunned to receive an order giving it just four days to remove its equipment and leave its bandroom. The band, which has been renting a room above the Grand Hotel, Wigston for over 10 years, found out late on Saturday night (19 November) that it had until midnight on Thursday 24 November to clear all of its equipment from the room as the pub is to be closed and boarded up on Friday morning (25th). The band was further informed that if any equipment is left in the room after the deadline, the band will have to pay a substantial fee for the room to be unlocked or it will lose its property forever. The eviction notice had not been sent by post to the band but instead was left in the bandroom doorway and was found by a player unexpectedly going to pick up his instrument on Saturday night. Under normal circumstances the room would not have been used until the regular Tuesday nights rehearsal. The band moved into its rehearsal facilities (originally a ballroom) over 10 years ago having taken it over when it was derelict and had been unused for 40 years. The band then fully refurbished the room at its own expense, which has been an ongoing process with the recent addition of a music and instrument store and a completely refitted kitchen, as well as measures to improve the acoustics for rehearsal purposes. Despite Wigston’s committee pleading with the pub’s owners, Punch Taverns Ltd., to delay until the weekend, the deadline remains fixed and immovable. Said Ian Hayto of the band: “As the majority of the band’s members work during the day, this leaves very little time in the evenings for them to help recover the band’s and their own equipment. This includes all the fixtures and fittings as well as instruments, percussion equipment and music. Also in the bandroom is the priceless and irreplaceable archive of memorabilia from the entirety of Wigston’s 103 year history, as well as old photos of other Leicestershire bands which will also have to be removed and an appropriate place found to store them.” Understandably, the band’s members and committee are disappointed and puzzled by the suddenness of this action. The band’s members had previously enjoyed a good relationship with the landlord, using the bar downstairs every Tuesday and Thursday for a post rehearsal drink and celebrating its contest successes with the landlord and staff. Despite this major setback, the band has vowed to complete all its engagements for the busy Christmas period and will be competing at the Butlins Brass Band Festival and the Area Qualifying Championships in January and March respectively. Said Ian Hayto: “The first priority is to find dry storage for as much equipment as we can retrieve in the time we have left. The band’s committee is unsure as to whether it has enough time remaining to recover all of the band’s property with the likelihood that some of the band’s more minor assets will have to be left in the room. The band is seeking help from a number of local companies with respect to their immediate storage problem and will be seeking any appropriate rehearsal facility on a short or longer-term basis, preferably within the Wigston area.” If you can help Wigston Band’s plight in any way either with retrieving its property in the next few days or with storage or rehearsal facilities, please contact the band’s treasurer, Dave Spray on 07958 900914.