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2012 Midlands Regional Championship — Postcard from Bedworth

Chris Thomas looks back on an intriguing Midlands Area contest in Bedworth.

Civic HallIt seems hard to believe that it is now five years since the Midlands Regional Championship was relocated from the woefully inadequate facilities on offer at Burton on Trent Town Hall, but there is no longer any doubt that Bedworth has come to feel like the contest’s natural home.

It’s fair to say that the excellent Civic Hall might not bear the architectural stamp of Sir Norman Foster or Edwin Lutyens, but when it comes to acoustics it’s as natural and revealing as any around the country; and that’s what matters to the bands in the top three sections that converged here.

Precision

Run with meticulous precision by Lesley Bentley and her team (with wonderful hospitality at both venues), the speed of change between bands was nothing short of remarkable (and definitely not for those who would normally bank on dashing out for a pee), whilst down the road at the Nicholas Chamberlain Community College where the Third and Fourth Sections took place, there were scores of even happier bandsmen and women to be seen.

Ironing out

That may or may not change though depending on the ‘ironing out’ process that could well see five sections of roughly equal numbers. 

81 bands (up six this year) could see 16 contenders in a future top section, although it would be more realistic that given the existing imbalances, that there will be 18 in each of the First, Second, Third and Fourth, with the remainder competing at the top level.

It may appear a blunt answer to a complex problem, but it seems to be the only one that would work, and work quickly, if the area can continue to manage competitiveness as well as expectations.

Enjoy


It’s easy to jibe, even in jest that the quality of the bands in the Midlands doesn’t compare with Yorkshire or the North West but that’s exactly what the Final is there to sort out.

All that matters at the ‘Regional’ is that there is an exciting, closely fought contest for both players and audience to enjoy; and that’s what we get in the Midlands year after year. 2012 proved to be no exception.

If you require any further confirmation just have a word with Messrs Read and Broadbent who took the best part of 20 minutes to sort out who made it to the Albert Hall with Desford Colliery.

The centre of the cultural universe Bedworth most certainly isn’t, but judging by the legions of happy bands around the two venues at the weekend, there won’t be too many people worrying about that.  

Chris Thomas



Foden's Band - St Michaels & All Angels Church

Saturday 25 May • Egerton Road, Ashton on Ribble, Preston PR2 1AJ


St Pinnock Brass Band - Rock Choir Cornwall

Sunday 26 May • Sterts Theatre, . Sterts, . Liskeard, . PL14 5AZ PL14 5AZ


Contest: All England International Masters

Sunday 26 May • The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering Conference Centre, Thurston Drive NN15 6PB


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

Wednesday 29 May • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Black Dyke Band - George Lawton Hall, Mossley

Thursday 30 May • George Lawton Hall, Stamford St, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 0HR


Hathersage Band

May 22 • BBb Bass to join in our music making under MD Andy Furmidge. Hathersage Brass Band is a non-contesting band whose friendly members enjoy performing at Village Galas and Fetes as well as several Christmas concerts.


Hathersage Band

May 22 • Back Row Cornet to join in our music making under MD Andy Furmidge. Hathersage Brass Band is a non-contesting band whose friendly members enjoy performing at Village Galas and Fetes as well as several Christmas concerts.


Hathersage Band

May 22 • Front Row Cornet to join in our music making under MD Andy Furmidge. Hathersage Brass Band is a non-contesting band whose friendly members enjoy performing at Village Galas and Fetes as well as several Christmas concerts.


Paul Andrews


Conductor, Band trainer, Adjudicator, Instrument Repairer - Brasstoff