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2012 North West Regional Championship — Blackpool preview

Numbers are up, but is the North West in need of a bit of trickle down success?

Winter GardensIt all kicks off in Blackpool on Sunday.

For the locals that may be a relief as it’s usually Friday and Saturday night when the streets are full with half dressed hen night revelers and stag parties packed with incoherent Lotharios, but for the North West banding community it’s the Sabbath when the fun and games begin.

Concentrate

The London and Cheltenham may seem a long way off at this time of year, but nothing concentrates the early season contesting mind sharper than a possible appearance at the National Finals.

The North West qualifiers suffered a disappointing set of results last year, drawing a blank in the title winning stakes, with only one band (Fairey) returning home with a podium finish to its name. 

That may be seen as something of a temporary blip given the success the region has enjoyed over the last decade or more, but on closer inspection, it may start to raise a few concerns.  

Fodens
Can anyone stop Foden's making it seven in a row this year?

Overdue

The National Trophy hasn’t resided in the region since 2005, whilst you have to go back to 2004 for the last time there was a First Section winner, and to 2000 for a Second Section National champion.

However, there have been six Third Section winners since 2001 and five Fourth Section champions since 2003.

Time then for a bit of long overdue National triumphs from Championship, First and Second Section representatives, before the rest of the banding world starts to really think that like lagered up lads on a night out on the Golden Mile, there is a lot of boasting about top quality conquests, but perhaps little actual evidence to back it up.

Quantity

One thing the locals can certainly boast about though is quantity – with 80 bands (up 9) taking to the various stages at the Winter Gardens. No wonder the area will have two judges per section next year. 

That’s also the highest number since 1990 – a welcome headache for debutant contest controller Keith Tysell to face.

He will head a great team of volunteers who ensure the day runs like clockwork.

Massive field

The massive 25 band field in the Fourth Section will start at 10.30am in the Pavilion Theatre, whilst the 18 contenders in the Third Section will kick off at 9.45am in the Empress Ballroom.

The 11 First Section bands follow the Third at 3.15pm in the Empress Ballroom, whilst the Opera House hosts the 14 Second Section bands starting at 10.00am, followed by the climax of the day with the 12 Championship Section rivals starting at 2.30pm.

4BR coverage

Plenty then to enjoy as things kick off in fine style at the Winter Gardens.

4BR will be there as usual to provide our coverage of the day with our own ‘experts’ in each of the sections to listen to every band.

Iwan Fox



Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Eastbourne Bandstand - 1812 concert

Wednesday 31 July • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Commercial Square Bonfire Society, The Jumping Jac

Saturday 3 August • The Paddock. Little Paddock Lane. Lewes BN7 1UU


Gresley Colliery Band - Byrkley Park Garden Centre

Saturday 10 August • Byrkley Drive, Rangemore St, Burton upon Trent . DE13 9RN


Foden's Band - Matt Ford - Gawsworth Hall, Macclesfield

Sunday 11 August • Gawsworth Hall, Church Lane, Gawsworth SK11 9RN


Foden's Band - Snape Maltings

Saturday 17 August • Snape Maltings, Suffolk IP17 1SP


Castleton Brass

July 22 • We are an ambitious 2nd section band in the London & Southern Counties Region based near Eye in Suffolk. The band has vacancies for Soprano & Principal/Solo cornet. The band rehearses on a Tuesday evening between 19.30pm and 21.30pm.


Bollington Brass Band

July 22 • We have a vacancy for a Kit Player and Front row Cornet. Do you fancy a new challenge? We are friendly 1st Section band rehearsing Mon/Thur 8pm-10pm and are based near Macclesfield/Stockport. We have a sensible concert and job programme.


East London Brass

July 21 • Championship section London based band looking for the following high quality players:CornetTenor tromboneKit percussionist


Paul Andrews


Conductor, Band trainer, Adjudicator, Instrument Repairer - Brasstoff