THE Durnovaria Silver Band has been playing up to the sweet sounds of home.

The Dorchester music group celebrated their long awaited move into their new permanent home after an epic fundraising mission backed by the local community.

The band managed to raise more than £125,000 to secure the former Fordington Methodist Church after months of fundraising.

They have now taken over ownership of the building, which will be known as the Durnovaria Community Hall, and held their first rehearsal in the facility.

For musical director Liz Carter it marked the final step of a long running effort to secure a future for the 77-year-old band and give them a home to be proud of.

It was also something of a return to familiar surroundings as the band practised at the church for a number of years before it was closed and put up for sale at the end of 2012.

Liz said: “It feels wonderful, it’s as though we are back home again.

“We had our first rehearsal there and it was just like old times, it felt very natural and everyone seemed to enjoy it.”

She said if anything it was even more special because the hall was now theirs and the band did not have to worry about any uncertainty in the future.

Liz thanked the Little Britain Scout Hut in Lubbecke Way, which had provided the band with a temporary home for a year while it attempted to raise the funds to buy the hall, and praised band members for their efforts in transferring everything between venues in pouring rain.

She said: “The band showed fantastic teamwork moving everything in the driving rain. They were absolutely soaked but they managed to move out all the equipment from the scout hut to the band hall.”

Liz said she was looking forward to the hall becoming a real community facility for other groups to use, with half a dozen arts and music groups already expressing an interest.

She said: “Hopefully we will provide the same facility for many other groups in the area.”

Liz added that she wanted to thank everyone who had supported the band’s efforts to secure the hall.

She said: “The community spirit has been fantastic.”

The band is now busy practising for a packed calendar of events this year, starting with a performance at the Plaza Cinema from 7pm on Sunday, February 9.

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