Wedding fears eased after venue closure

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A BRIDE has breathed a sigh of relief after fearing she’d be left without a band on her big day following the sudden collapse of a music venue.

Claire Pinder, 23, is getting hitched to Adam Smith, 23, on the Trincomalee tomorrow.

Mick Donnelly.

Mick Donnelly.

Music teacher Claire, who now lives in Gloucester, but is returning to her hometown to get married, was faced with the possibility of being left without a wedding band when The Studio, in Tower Street, Hartlepool, closed its doors on Wednesday.

Big Band, which is booked to play at the wedding, were regular performers at The Studio. But when the building closed suddenly on Wednesday and the locks were changed, the band’s equipment was stored inside.

Mick Donnelly, 50, a musician from Hart Station, Hartlepool, is the founder of Big Band.

He said: “It was very traumatic because, at the time, I couldn’t do anything about getting our gear.

“But after spending two and a half hours on the phone I managed to locate the key holder and luckily we can get in there and get our gear out before the weekend.”

Claire, an ex-member of Big Band, said: “I had faith in Mick and the band and knew they would sort something out.

“I used to be in the band myself so I know them well and I completely trusted them.

“I knew Mick wouldn’t let me down.”

The Studio, which went into voluntary liquidation on Wednesday, was originally opened in 1981 as The Durham Street Studio, on the Headland.

Its aim was to encourage participation in and enjoyment of music by all members of the community.

In 1998 it moved to Tower Street and became The Studio, following the £1m purchase and refurbishment of a 100-year-old former Baptist church building.

Mick added: “Big Band was the first to play at The Studio on opening day, and we were the last to play on Sunday at the venue before it closed.

“It was quite fitting actually, however we didn’t realise it at the time.

“Unfortunately our band is homeless at the moment so we now need to find somewhere else that can hold a band of our size and all its followers.

“It’s such a shame that The Studio has closed as it has been a magnificent place for the town in terms of music.”