Tideswell fire destroys band equipment hours before gig

Tideswell Band has suffered the loss of instruments in a fire at their bandroom. Here the band is pictured at Tideswell Wakes earlier this week.
Tideswell Band has suffered the loss of instruments in a fire at their bandroom. Here the band is pictured at Tideswell Wakes earlier this week.

A devastating fire in Tideswell which destroyed part of a youth club has also obliterated a brass band’s instruments, which they needed to play the same day.

Almost half of the Tideswell Band’s brass instruments went up in a fire at the village’s youth club this morning.

Firefighters from Buxton, Bakewell and Chapel-en-le-Frith tackled the blaze between 3am and 6am, which ended up destroying approximately half of the valued youth club on Whitecross Road.

Some ten instruments which the band were storing there were destroyed, hours before the band was due to play a gig this evening, and they are amazed at how quickly friends and fellow village bands have come together to lend them instruments and music so they can play.

Pete Hawkins, a resident of the village, said: “The fire destroyed the band’s instruments equipment, music and their entire archives.

“Despite that they’re playing this afternoon at the Jockey for the end of the Wakes Week with borrowed and cadged stuff.”

The band has lost a large number of its instruments and all of its sheet music.

The band has lost a large number of its instruments and all of its sheet music.

Band leader Simon Lewis, 35, from Whaley Bridge, rushed to the scene when he heard this morning, but said the 25-piece band has been able to play at the Horse and Jockey for the finale of the Tideswell Wakes today – largely with borrowed instruments thanks to support from other bands.

He added: “It’s been amazing, there’s bands up and down the country trying to help us, and people have been donating money to us to buy new music - we’ve had £350 so far since this morning. It’s very humbling.”

The band lost an E-flat tuba, a B-flat tuba, a baritone horn, tenor horn and five cornetts.

To illustrate the huge hit to the band, a tuba can cost anywhere up to £9,000 to replace, added Simon.

“The insurance will cover it, but that will take weeks so in the short term we desperately needed help,” he said.

“We’ve managed to cover today, it’s more the music and the venue we’re struggling with at the moment. We lost all the music we had, uniforms, and now we don’t have anywhere to rehearse.”

Their next concert is in Bakewell on Wednesday, July 1.

“We’ve got the instruments, we just need the music, or it will be quite an interesting performance.”

Anyone who has any scanned music they can supply to the band should email it to Tideswellband@hotmail.com.

Part of the building used by the local scouts suffered smoke damage in the fire, which largely affected the side of the building used by Tideswell Band.

Support poured in for the band after their incredible loss, with the Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Band tweeting: “Such devastating news for Tideswell. We have offered our support are there any other #brassband who can offer support of music equipment, etc”.

Andy Smithy, from Cardiff, said “So sad .. I’m sorry to hear this. I have a spare cornet if any anyone would like to borrow it. I urge all my brass band friends to dig deep and see if you can help our fellow musicians in any way...”

Simon thanked the Caravan Club Band, Ashover Band and Fairfield Band, and gave a special mention to the Cressbrook Band who donated sheet music and stands for them today.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue confirmed: “Crews attended a building fire on Whitecross Road, where a single-storey building, 10 by 8 metres was on fire. It involved 50 per cent of the building.”