Marching band calls a halt after nearly 30 years

A MARCHING band from Malvern has reached the end of the line after nearly 30 years because of a lack of young recruits.

Malcolm Fish, who founded the Malvern Lynx Marching Band back in 1983, says that young people simply do not seem interested in joining up anymore and has reluctantly decided it is time to wind things up.

The band performed for the last time at a marching band event in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, last week.

Mr Fish said: “We won the second division, the first prize we’ve won for a long time. Everyone marched out of their skins and it was a really good day.”

The band was formed by Mr Fish who was then running a youth club at St Matthias Church, Malvern Link.

He decided it was time to try something new and started recruiting members fund-raising to get the band on the road.

It was originally called the St Matthias Pilgrims Marching Band, but later changed its name to Malvern Lynx.

The band has since taken part in competitions all over the UK and hosted many of its own in Malvern.

It has won many trophies and taken part in community events locally, such as the Ledbury Carnival.

But Mr Fish, aged 73, of Highfield Road, said this week that It was time to call it quits because it is increasingly hard to find young recruits.

In its heyday the band was mostly made up of under-18s.

He said: “We used to have 36 members but we’re down to 26 now and many of those are older members who’ve come back to make up the numbers.

“Young people today just don’t seem to be interested in joining up, the way they used to be.

“It’s very sad, because I’ve been involved with it for 30 years and many of my family members have been involved as well.

“We used to have our own coach, and we’d have a lot of supporters following us round to the competitions we took part in.

"It’s the same all over the country.

“When we started there were hundreds of bands like us. Now there are 51.”

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