Marching band’s trophy joy

Spalding Marching Ambassadors celebrating their trophy win on Saturday.
Spalding Marching Ambassadors celebrating their trophy win on Saturday.

Spalding Marching Ambassadors won a glittering trophy in their first major national competition for seven years.

But sadly, unless a sponsor comes forward, there won’t be any more silverware heading the band’s way because there’s no cash in the kitty to pay for coach travel.

We would like to take part in more championships but the cost of a coach is very expensive.

Bandmaster Jim Bright

Bandmaster Jim Bright says the Marching Ambassadors met Saturday’s £530 bill for a coach to Stoke-on-Trent thanks to a helping hand from Bakkavor, who donated £200.

Jim said: “We would like to take part in more championships but the cost of a coach is very expensive.

“This was the first competition that we have taken part in for about seven years and that’s because of the coach travel costs.”

Jim says if a sponsor came forward he would “snap his hand off”.

He said: “I would like to do another competition in September but we have got a reunion this month and that’s taking up the bit of cash we have.”

Fifteen members of the Marching Ambassadors worked hard for five weeks – rehearsing on Wednesday nights on Spalding’s Sir Halley Stewart Field – before heading to Stoke, where they were overall winners in their class and took four first places out of a possible five in each of the judging categories.

They were judged on general musical effect, display, drill, field percussion and field wind (brass).

The last really big date for the band was in the London 2012 Olympics when five members, including Jim, his daughter Cathrine and grandson Tristan, took part in the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies.

The band was originally Spalding Drum and Trumpet Corps and on Saturday, June 27, there will be a big reunion party at the United Reformed Church Hall, in Pinchbeck Road, Spalding, where generations of musicians have been marching up and down the floor boards for 35 years.

Jim (72) has been with the band from the outset and says: “We would like all our old members to come and help us celebrate our 35th anniversary reunion party.”

Jim says former members may number between 120 and 150 – and all are welcome to the party, which starts at 4.30pm and will include a buffet tea and a performance by the band.

He says: “Who knows you might be able to have a go. We look forward to seeing you on the night.”

Former members are asked to confirm their attendance by calling Jim on 01775 723089.

• There’s a fundraising garden party for the Marching Ambassadors at 67 Park Avenue, Spalding, from 2pm-4.30pm this Sunday.