MERRY band mates have vowed to keep playing despite impending closure of their base after they performed Christmas carols for more than four hours in the freezing cold.

Members of Boxted Methodist Silver Band battled the cold weather as they put on three separate performances on Sunday.

They played at the Hythe Tesco, Christmas tree specialist Fred Smith and Fillpots Nursery, in Boxted.

The band collected for Wormingford charity Re-Cycle, which sends recycled bicycles to needy people in Africa, and Action for Children.

Boxted Methodist Silver Band, the only Methodist band in England, will perform 14 times in the lead up to Christmas.

A spokesman said: "The chapel and school room, where we practice, are to be sold at which point the band will become homeless.

"However, an application has been made to Colchester Council for the school room to be declared an asset of community value, which would enable to band to buy the building."