A fire believed to have been started by vandals at Bo'ness United football ground in Scotland has engulfed the home of Unison Kinneil Band.
Reports state that the fire gutted Blydon Hall, the band's rehearsal facility which is in the grounds of the football stadium, with the loss of instruments, uniforms, percussion equipment and memorabilia.
Speaking to 4BR, Band Secretary Robert Doherty said that present the full extent of the damage is not known as the fire service is wary that the structure of the building is still unsafe. However, initial reports suggest very little has survived.
"Two blackened trophies, a box of stands and some stand banners is all we have at present,"he said.
"We are devastated. Our annual concert is planned for June 14th, and we were due to do a job on the weekend. We have to wait for the fire service and police to do their job before we can look at anything else and find what the insurers have to say."
Robert stated that it is understood that it is believed that the fire was deliberately started in rolls of Astroturf that were to be laid as a new pitch for the local football team.
He added: "Instruments and music can be replaced, but the memorabilia is priceless to us as we have a proud history going back to 1858."
In March the band qualified for the Cheltenham First Section National Finals and claimed a top 10 finish at the Senior Trophy in May.
We are devastated. Our annual concert is planned for June 14th, and we were due to do a job on the weekendRobert Doherty
Offers of support have already been forthcoming from the Scottish brass band community and further afield, whilst the Falkirk East MSP, Angus MacDonald stated that he would also do everything he could to help.
"My thanks go to those who have already been in touch to offer help, and we are determined to gets things sorted as soon as possible."
A Just Giving page has been set up to help the band with immediate costs and to ensure they can meet their financial responsibilities to events and undertakings they are committed to.
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