Ottery band hit right notes to stave off eviction

The Ottery St Mary Silver Band played a fund raising concert in the grounds of the Tumbling Weir Hotel on Sunday afternoon.
Photo by Simon Horn. Ref sho 9173-34-10SH

The Ottery St Mary Silver Band played a fund raising concert in the grounds of the Tumbling Weir Hotel on Sunday afternoon. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref sho 9173-34-10SH

Archant

The band can strike up once more after a last-ditch agreement stopped Ottery’s musicians from being evicted.

The Ottery St Mary Silver Band and was given its marching orders by the council over failing to agree to a tenancy agreement last month.

But things are harmonious again between the two of them and will keep their home of more than 35 years in the Old Town hall.

The Silver Band had been using the ‘Band Room’ in there since 1974, but the agreement with the council, who still own the building, was allowed to run out at the end of September.

The band originally had a verbal agreement over use of the room for storing equipment and rehearsals, but Ottery Town Council wanted it to be brought up to date with a proper legal document.

Discussions had stalled, prompting a letter to be sent by the town clerk in March confirming their tenancy would be terminated if they failed to come to an agreement.

So councillors agreed although regrettable, they had no choice but to give them 14 days notice to remove their equipment at their meeting in October..

The council were brassed off the band, who would only be charged £175 a year to use the room, had not been in touch to sort things out.

The Mayor Glyn Dobson said at the meeting: “They’re an Ottery organisation and we don’t want to be hard on them but we have no choice.”

The sticking point had been over the wording surrounding the Silver Band’s obligation as tenants for the upkeep of the room, but the two parties have now come to an agreement.

Ivor Bull, the chairman of the Silver Band, contacted the council and a meeting was arranged where they managed to avert the potential eviction.

Cllr Dobson said they never wanted to have to take the drastic action of evicting the band, and was glad they had agreed a new lease, which keeps them at the Old Town Hall for at least three more years.

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