2004 London and Southern Counties Regional Championships
4BR casts it eye over the runners and rider of the London and Southern
Counties Championships, which takes place on the 20th and 21st March.
London and Southern Counties
Arts and Leisure Centre, Stevenage
Saturday 20th March: Sections 2 and 1
Sunday 21st March: Sections 4, 3 and Championship
The second biggest Regional Championships in the UK in terms of
numbers is also perhaps the weakest in terms of contesting successes
at all levels. This may sound like a harsh statement, but he statistics
for London and the Southern Counties speak for themselves.
However, you mustn’t also equate contesting wins with a strong
and vibrant brass band scene. The Region may not have the most successful
bands in the country when it comes to the National Finals or even
the second tier contests such as Pontins, but in terms of promoting
and maintaining active involvement in brass banding, the region
is second to none. This is its true strength, and the organisers
and the bands themselves should be congratulated for their efforts.
Where other regions such Yorkshire (the supposed heartland of the
brass band world) can only come up with an anaemic 4th Section entry
of 8 bands, London boasts no fewer than 21!
The rest of the Sections are the same – bursting to overflowing
and a testament to the fact that brass banding isn’t just
a “northern” phenomenon. The geographical size of the
region may have something to do with its probable lack of contesting
success for its bands – players are spread thinly and the
metropolis isn’t a conducive place for easy travel to practice,
but it hasn’t stopped new bands springing up such as Alliance
and Zone One who can hack it against the rest of the country.
Last year 78 bands made it to the stage here whilst this year 83
are listed to attend. What would the likes of Bradford and Blackpool
do with those numbers?
The organisers have a mammoth task at Stevenage and do a superb
job – lets hope the bands can reward them with a few National
pots later this year.
Number of competing bands: