SKIPTON Brass is urgently appealing for brass players as plans for the band to play at the Tour de France are under threat.

Chairman Peter Face said: "We are so proud to be playing on Saturday, July 5, when the race comes through Skipton. We have been given an early slot to rouse local people into action and support for the race. But because so many of our players live outside of Skipton, the road closures across the county will make it impossible for some players to get there. You can't have a brass band without brass players."

The band is enjoying something of a renaissance in Skipton, having rebuilt its members from near closure two years ago. At times it struggled to maintain a musical presence in Skipton, but is now back to full playing strength and has even started a development band, Gateway Brass, for aspiring brass players. The band now have the chance to be seen and heard all over the world when the enormous entourage of the Tour de France comes to Skipton and it is not lack of players that is threatening their musical presence this time, but road closures.

Musical director Adrian Lowes said: "It would be such a shame for the proud Yorkshire town of Skipton not to be supported by its own traditional town brass band on such an important day. We are therefore calling on all drass players in Skipton and the local area, whether they are former members of the band in its hey day, or players that play for other bands or orchestras who are able to help out, please help support Skipton Brass to play for the Tour de France. Young, old, cornet, barritone or horn... all are welcome."

The band will be rehearsing the Tour de France concert programme at its usual Monday night rehearsal at Aireville School on Monday, June 30, at 7.15pm. If you are local to the Skipton area, or are in Skipton for the Tour de France and can help out, you can simply pop down to rehearsals, or contact the band directly by email at

For members of the public who dare not venture out on Tour-de-France day, there will be a chance for you to hear the concert programme at a special one night only performance at Addingham Memorial Hall on Wednesday, July 2, at 8pm. Tickets for the event are £5 and are available from Addingham Newsagents or by calling 01943 831330.