2004 North West Regional Championships
4BR casts it eye over the runners and rider of the North West Regional
Championships, which takes place on the 14th March.
North West Regional Qualifying Contest
Sunday 14th March
Championship: 2.00pm (Opera House)
First: 10.30am (Opera House)
Second: 2.30pm (Empress Ballroom)
Third: 10.00am (Empress Ballroom)
Fourth: 11.30am (Spanish Hall)
Tickets: £7.00, £4.00 (Concession)
For further details:
Peter Bates, Regional Secretary,
643A Liverpool Road, Peel Green, Eccles, Manchester. M30 7BY
Tel: 0161 7073638
As we have said many a time before, if Yorkshire is the heartland
of the brass banding movement, then Lancashire is without doubt
the rest of the vital organs. Those bands in the White Rose County
may boast of being the best, but for the last few years in particular,
the Red Rose outfits west of the Pennine Way have been the dominant
contesting force, not only in the top section, but also in the lower
sections as well.
Fairey FP (Music) is the double National Champions, whilst Leyland
is the current All England Masters. Further down, Diggle in the
third section and Wardle and District Anderson Brass in the fourth
were declared National Champions in Dundee, whilst they could
also boast 2nd and 3rd place in the First Section, 2nd place in
the Second, 2nd place in the Third and 3rd place in the Fourth.
That is some strength in depth isn’t it?
With 75 bands making it to the contest stage here this year, that
strength is on the up once more as well, and although it hasn’t
reached the high of the 80 bands of 1990, it is a healthy state
Unlike anywhere else either, the North West bands like to get things
over and done with pretty sharply as well, with the contest taking
place on the one day in the faded splendour of the Winter Gardens
in Blackpool. The Opera House houses the top two sections, whilst
the Empress Ballroom has the Second and Third. The Fourth Section
bands have the small Spanish Hall, complete with its surreal decorations
of the Spanish Plain.
The one thing that does tend to grate here though, is the fact
that the top bands are not given the opportunity to help the lower
sections by not competing and giving a concert to raise money for
those long trips away. It would be great to see Fairey’s raising
money for other bands – making them go through a pointless
qualification process when they are hoping to make it a hat trick
later this year seems absurd.
It may be cold, wet and windy at this time of year there, but on
Sunday there will still be some smiling faces celebrating up the
Golden Mile. There is a lot of pride in the North West about their
banding, and it is at the moment, totally justified.
Number of competing bands: