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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:

2003: 83
2002: 81
2001: 85
2000: 90
1999: 90
1998: 84
1997: N/K
1996: 80
1995: 80

Other Years:

1990: 79
1989: 72
1987: 87
1986: 72
1985: 99
1983: 81

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