Wigston Band in major bandroom battle

Discussion in 'tMP Site News & Suggestions' started by brass journo, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. brass journo

    brass journo Member

    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.
  2. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    That's awful! I hope you find somewhere to store it all.
  3. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Alas, the person they had a good relationship with wasn't the landlord, I fear. If it had been, they might have been better treated. As your report says, the pub is owned by Punch Taverns Limited, who like the other megapub companies, replaced proper landlords with mere managers, who do their employer's bidding. Shame - both for drinkers and, in this case, bandsmen too.
  4. rutty

    rutty Active Member

    That's such bad news - hope you can get somewhere else sorted very soon. Best of luck
  5. lausonbass

    lausonbass Member

    thats shocking!! i hope you get everything sorted, if you need any help i'm sure my band (hathern) will help as much as we can
  6. postie

    postie Member

    Bestwood had our pre-contest rehearsal on Sunday morning at Wigston's bandroom and we were told about this situation on Sunday. We were very surprised and hope that a solution can be found to sort out this very serious problem. Best wishes to all at Wigston.
  7. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Does this have anything to do with the new licencing laws ? "From 24th November 2005 existing Justices’ Licences will no longer be valid. Your only option then will be to apply to the Local Authority for NEW Premises and Personal Licences or close your doors!"

    A pub that we visit on our tours to the Lakes will also be closing it's doors as they were not prepared to spend the money required to comply with the new access regulations.

    Hope you manage to sort something out soon - there's enough stress in banding without this.
  8. Bungle

    Bungle Member

  9. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    My email - feel free to plagarise/improve

    "Dear Punch Management Team,

    I am very disappointed to hear about your decision to make the Leicestershire based Wigston Band leave their home of 10 years.

    I am even more disappointed to hear that you have given such short notice, conveyed the message in a fashion that was impersonal, and threatened high charges to recover any items put in storage.

    As a large organisation that operates in the community, I feel you should adopt a friendlier CSR approach to everyone, particularly this band.

    The brass band movement has moved on since its early days when temperance bands were common, and drinking beer is a substantial part of being in a band. The social side of a band is often developed around an available facility to sit and socialise after band. Wigston had an ideal set up - and you've apparently pulled the rug from under them, leaving them little room to regain their balance.

    Please - reinstate the Wigston Band's place in their home of the last 10 years.

    Indeed, given the band's long association with the pub on that site, you should go a step further than that, and offer them formal sponsorship.

    You stand to lose a lot of face over this eviction, and possibly the enmity of the whole of the banding movement. With the amount of alcohol the movement consumes, declining to accommodate Wigston may prove to be a Ratner.

    Do the right thing - let Wigston stay."

    The world can't go on without its Wooden Flugel...
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2005
  10. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    absolutly shocking news!
    I hope you are able to get something sorted soon
  11. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Right, firstly thankyou all very much for the kind messages - they are very much appriciated by all connected with the Wigston Band - I made a point of telling everyone at band tonight what was being posted on this thread.

    I feel I need to set a few understanable assumptions right though...

    James...it was the landlord, and it seems to me that he is the cause of our plight now. He is moving on and there are various reasons for this, which I just can't divulge here (as most of it is speculation). The bottom line is I think he has returned his tenancy to the brewery at short notice and this was the catalyst for the pub closing down. That said the exchange of contracts would've taken weeks no doubt as it would obviously involve solicitors - so such a short notice period is a nonsense. To be fair to the brewery they didn't even know the landlord was subletting his rooms in this way, and were very interested to hear that he was taking money for it. That doesn't condone their ridiculous, unworkable stance that we have to be out by Thursday regardless. Typical big buisness attitude to something which may benefit the community they are doing their best to extract money from.

    Great point, and one which I hadn't considered, but bearing in mind the whole pub is closing down I think this is a unfortunate coincidence.

    @ Will....lol generally - especially at the Ratner comment. Top bombing mate. Our president was saying something similar to me tonight, and certainly the reporter from our local rag was really going for Punch Tanverns - and our landlord. They both get what they deserve now I feel - and I hope the report in tomorrows Leicester Mercury pulls no punches. I might post it here...

    The really sad thing for me tonight as we stripped as much as we could out of the bandroom, is that the last band to play there wasn't Wigston, but whoever nabbed the last practice slot on Sunday. Still, I think that kind of relects the way Wigston Band people do things - for the good of the movement in general rather than a "stuff 'em I'm alright" mentality. So maybe that fact is slightly unfortunate, but somehow appropriate.

    Anyway, onwards and upwards....:)
  12. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Oh I almost forgot....there is one lesson we can all learn here, especially those in a similar situation to Wigston.

    Make ****** sure your rental agreement is watertight, and can't be screwed by "unforseen" circumstances. We thought we were OK - with a six month notice period in the contract. It turns out this agreement was basically toilet paper.

    If you are dealing with large businesses (ie Punch Taverns), be prepared for them to **** on you from a great height when their policys change.

    If you are dealing with an individual (ie Colin Fletcher), don't assume that because he is a nice bloke and smiles and looks interested when you speak to him he isn't about to **** on you from an equally great height when he feels he needs a change of scenery.

    Get your agreement checked by a solicitor. Yes it might be expensive, but that is nothing to what this has cost Wigston in lost time and effort and capital equipment.
  13. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I was very sad to read this article - the band must be in total turmoil at the moment. I hope that you will rise above this hiccup and ultimately find somewhere even more suitable as your new home.

    Best wishes

  14. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Oh and while I'm venting....yes they have pulled the rug from under us. But in our case the rug was bought with Wigston's money, and fitted by Wigston's members....:rolleyes: :mad:
  15. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I'd be inclined to get some legal advice actually - you might at least be able to claim back the capital loss for anything you've left behind and for the improvements you have made to someone else's building.

    Is there a solicitor on here who can advise??

  16. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I stand corrected.

    Who is Colin Fletcher?
  17. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    No problem at all James

    Exactly how I feel about him too.:rolleyes: He is the individual who seems to be a catylist for this. If the article appears on the Leicester Mercury's website I will post it here.
  18. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Article now on the Leicester Mercury's website (and I presume in the paper itself).

    I wasn't going to comment but I have to point this out to you all:

    Nice of him (Mr Punch) to use the article to advertise the sale eh? :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2005
  19. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    Do you think we, as a movement, have got enough clout if we coycotted ever Punch affiliated pub. I can see a couple of flaws, firstly we may drink a lot but as a proportion of the amount consumed, it isn't that big a quantity. Secondly (having had a quick look myself) it is not that easy to identify which pubs are connected to Punch Taverns, even though there are some 8000 in the country.

    I think it stinks how many bands have recently been made homeless or are about to be made homeless (Stannington included when the WMC we rehearse in is sold for housing in May). What frustrates me is the fact that if we were a cricket club or football club or similar we'd be able to get a wider support.

    Has this been reported in the press at all. Is there any way of getting coverage in National papers, on the TV - what about on Tonight with Trevor MacDonald, or Panorama - a story on the ridiculous way bands are treated despite upholding a 150 year old tradition. With the number of pubs that have shut due to licensing laws, surely a few could be made available for bands to rehearse in.
  20. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    Anyone in the band fancy taking on the running of the pub??? could it be turned into the first All-Band pub, with a few live concerts/recitals and the like?

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