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2012 North of England Regional Championship — Darlington preview

There is so much to enjoy about the banding scene in these parts that it's a pity they haven't had much to fly the flag about of late.

North of EnglandThere is always such a great atmosphere to be enjoyed at the Dolphin Centre for the North of England Regional Championships weekend, that it’s a pity that the Area hasn’t had a great deal to cheer about results wise at the National Finals for a while.

Flag flying

BHK Horden’s First Section victory in 2003 was a long time ago now (and the band is no more) so it would be great to see at least one championship winning pennant flying proudly off the flagpole above the Dolphin Centre this time next year.

The venue itself is well worth a visit (and not just for the warm welcome you get from everyone involved) as despite being a very well maintained leisure complex, it also offers excellent facilities (you can have a dip in the pool to cool off after you played) even if the acoustic can be a bit lively.

That flag raising ceremony may be a little while off yet as 2011 wasn’t a particularly great year at the Finals, with midfield finishes at London and not a single top six placing to be had in Cheltenham.

Postcard
There is always something to catch the eye in the North East...

No despair


There isn’t a feeling of despair however as there has been a noticeable, if incremental improvement if the overall quality of the bands here in the past few years – especially in the lowest sections.

Despite Reg Vardy’s hegemony, they have been feeling the hot breath of the rivals breathing on the backs of their necks, whilst the First Section qualifiers have provided at least one top ten finish at the National Finals for five years in a row.

Numbers up

Numbers are up and there is the welcome sign of debuts in the Fourth Section for Barton Community as well as the return after some time away for Burneside Brass, Jayess Newbiggin, Spennymoor Town, Stape, Craghead and Kirkby Lonsdale.

There a few of non starters in Durham Constabulary, Lockwood, Wansbeck’s Ashington, Lanchester and Dearham, but Alan Hope and his exceptionally hard working team on the Regional Committee must be delighted that despite the relative lack of National success the event is still attracting new and old competitors.

Hope springs eternal

With such passionate brass band supporters in the region it would be great if a little bit of long overdue success came their way.

If Newcastle United and Sunderland can do it then hope springs eternal...

Martin Benson 



The Marple Band - Marple Band Family Christmas Concert

Friday 18 December • Marple Conservative Club, church Lane, Marple, SK6 6AY


Black Dyke Band - Brighouse & Rastrick, Huddersfield Town Hall

Saturday 27 March • Corporation St, Huddersfield HD1 2TA


Contest: 100thSpring Festival

Saturday 8 May • 97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL


Contest: Whit Friday March Contests

Friday 28 May • Saddleworth & Tameside OL3


Contest: 168th British Open

Saturday 11 September • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA


Foss Dyke Band

November 30 • Front Row Cornet vacancy still up for grabs! Come and join Foss and enjoy our newly refurbished band room with newly appointed MD David Dernley. Foss Dyke are a 1st Section Band with a moderate contest and concert schedule.


Chadderton Band

November 17 • Chadderton Band is a non-contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are a friendly band looking for players of all ages and abilities on all sections + EUPH and percussion. Most welcome to come along and have a blow give us a try.


Crewe Brass

November 12 • Crewe Brass require an Eb or Bb Bass to complete the "engine room" line up. We are also seeking a Tuned Percussionist to complete our section.


John Ward


Conductor, Adjudicator


               

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