Marching on to success...

THEY’RE the pride of their county and have now been selected to represent their country, but the Mixenden Crusaders marching band may be forced to pull out of the world championships.

The group, made up of 20 Mixenden residents aged from five to 46, want to make the trip to Trellech, South Wales to take on bands from across the country in August’s competition.

But the cost of coach hire to the group – whose finances are on a knife-edge – may rule them out.

They have already won their place in the championships but to take it up they have to commit to going to four competitions before the big day, known as “Graders”.

It would cost more than £300 each time for the group to travel to the “Graders” – funds the group do not have.

Tommy Bottomley, who organises the band, said: “It’d mean a lot to us if we could go. The competition would give us the chance to keep them off the street and it’d be getting a lot of these kids out of Mixenden who have never been anywhere else. All many of them know is here.”

Tommy’s three granddaughters, grandson and two of his daughters all perform with the band.

The group have been selected to represent England in a competition against 20 other teams on May 1.

That competition is being held at North Bridge Leisure Centre and they will perform at around 10am.

The group were only recently saved from collapse after a donation from Bradshaw Church.

l Can you help the Crusaders on their way to glory in South Wales? Contact Tommy on 01422 248389.