AN 80-year old town band is appealing for new members in a bid to prevent its closure.

Leigh Silver Band, once the Leigh British Legion Band, was formed about 1920, between the First and Second World Wars, and is now struggling to survive.

Cornet player Harold Roberts is one of the band's two oldest members, and has been running the group for 12 years. He cannot recall, during his 50 years with the band, ever seeing it in such a serious situation.

He said: "We desperately need new members to enable us to keep going. We should be 25 strong and at the moment we only have five members. The bottom line now is that unless there is a dramatic increase upturn in the next few weeks, the band will cease to continue.

"The town has already seen the closure of the Leigh Bedford Band for the same reason. I would be strongly in favour of joining forces with any ex-Bedford members and creating one successful town band."

The group is seeking dedicated and committed people of any age to join.

Experience is welcomed, but not necessary, as tuition and some instruments can be provided.

"We are determined to fight to stay in existence. We are not letting the light go out yet," Mr Roberts said. "It would be a sad day if we had to bring in an out-of-town band to entertain Leigh."

The group is also short of committee members to help run the club from behind the scenes, organising and fund-raising.

The band meets every Wednesday evening from 8pm-10pm at the Conservative Club in Railway Road, Leigh.

For more information, contact Harold Roberts on 01942 678594.