For six months a set of Japanese drums have been hand crafted by experts in China, finished in Germany and shipped across the channel – but they have now arrived at their final destination, a school in north Shropshire.
The Taiko drums worth £10,000 were specially ordered in April after a fundraising drive by the Japanese-style drumming group based at Thomas Adams School in Wem.
Taiko in the Community, which meets in term time at the school in Lowe Hill Road and St Peter’s Primary School in Wem, has been fundraising for more than a year for the new drums and leader Martin Fischer is delighted they have now arrived.
He said: “We were in desperate need of some new drums, our old big barrow drums – Mia drums – were 16 years old and were worn and getting to the point when we would not have been able to use them any more.
“We have more than 60 people who use them and put on a number of displays so it would have been a real shame if we would have had to close, so this has breathed new life into us.
“The new drums were first used by the community group session on Friday night (OCT 23) and everyone was very excited.
“They said they were great, they went down really well.
“A lot of work has gone into fundraising for them and we are continuing to raise funds for their upkeep and running the lessons themselves.”
Taiko in the Community has been running for 15 years and is mainly funded by the participants. It includes seven groups of drummers aged from nine-years-old to 75.
Mr Fischer has raised funds for the new drums through an Easter egg raffle, bingo events, a large cracker raffle and various other events.
Money was also donated by the Shropshire Housing Group Community Development Fund and the Worshipful Company of Drapers.
Fundraising will continue with a an advent calendar in the run up to Christmas.
“Our aim is to become a self-sufficient group but the task keeps getting more difficult as we grow in popularity,” Mr Fischer added.
“It costs us £6,000 a year for tutors and we also have to pay for the upkeep of the drums.
“It will be an ongoing task but we are determined to keep going and fundraise in any way we can.”
Head teacher of Thomas Adams School Liz Dakin said she was thrilled that the group have reached this milestone.
She said: “For a long time the drumming group has been affiliated with our school and we are very pleased that they are able to continue running.
“It is a great asset to have them based here and they often get involved in school events as well.
“Many of our pupils have had a go on the drums, such as at taster days for new pupils over the summer, and we have seen first hand just how much effort has gone into fundraising for these new drums.
“They look great and we look forward to seeing and hearing them in use in the months and years to come.”
The next fundraising event will be a drum night in the Stanier Hall at Thomas Adams on November 20 at 7.15pm. There will be a small entrance fee.