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2011 Butlins Mineworkers Championship — Introduction to the Skegness Festival

There is plenty to look forward to at Skegness this year — from bands young and old to Frank Renton and the Bad Ass Brass Band...

ButlinsAll roads lead to Barry – although Butlins hasn’t reopened it’s old holiday camp on the South Wales coast so beloved of colliers, coach trips and fans of Gavin & Stacey.

No. It’s Darrol Barry who provides the musical destination for the 75 adult (and 12 youth bands) that make the trip east to Skegness for the annual January jamboree at the Skyline Resort: 

All the test pieces come from the pen of the popular Salford born Oman based ex pat.

Opener

The Mineworker’s Festival has quickly established itself as the season ‘opener’, and despite the freezing weather over the last few weeks that has disrupted rehearsal schedules up and down the country, there is sure to be a warm welcome on offer – and plenty of fun and games to keep everyone happy.

The essence of the Butlins recipe for success has been the combination of big prizes and bold entertainment – a recipe that is as tasty as the £7,000 top prize up for grabs in the top section on the weekend.

Fingers burnt

Following the demise of Pontins, the prize pot of over £33,000 is the biggest on offer in the banding world – and should come in handy for those who got their fingers burnt after the Prestatyn fiasco.

There should be plenty to enjoy away from the contest stages too – with the expected 4,000 plus customers enjoying concerts from American visitors Central Ohio Brass Band, National Champion Brighouse & Rastrick and defending champion, Desford Colliery.

The Blues Brothers are back in town, Stan Lippeatt is hosting his popular pre contest chat show, and the BBC Philharmonic Big Band is on parade as well as the colourful Bad Ass Brass Band (below).

60s singer Billie Monro should croon is way into a few older hearts and the pop groups ‘Impulse’ and ‘One Night Only’ should keep the blood flowing in the younger veins.

Wikipedia expert

Frank Renton will be his usual sharp-witted self as master of ceremonies and all round Wikipedia expert on the Sunday (although not as sharp tongued as Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes one hopes) when the top section bands go all X Factor.

The contests hold the promise of fine entertainment at the various ‘in house’ venues, with Brian Eggleshaw and his hard working team ensuring that each event runs smoothly.

Bad Ass Brass Band
The Bad Ass Brass Band

Hegemony

Desford returns to try and extend its Butlins hegemony, whilst one of the lower section bands of 2010, Jackfield Elcock Reisen, looks to add yet another seaside title to its CV in the First Section.

With last year’s Second and Third Section winners East London Brass and Delph promoted, both will hope to make a mark at a higher level this time around, whilst Dronfield Colliery will be looking to make it a Butlins ‘double’ in the Fourth Section after last season’s success.

Butlins innovative policy of encouraging the next generation of brass band performers is seen with the introduction of the Junior Ensemble event at the Reds venue, where five talented ensembles are sure to provide brilliant entertainment on Sunday morning.

That's tidy that is...

Following on from that, Youth Brass 2000 will defend its title in what promises to be a cracking Youth Section event.

It all amounts to something to look forward to then.

To borrow a Gavin & Stacey phrase by big brassy Nessa - ’That’s tidy that is’.

Iwan Fox



Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Chamber Ensemble

Friday 23 February • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C 2DJ (opposite RESERVED) W1C 2DJ


The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - Chirst Church Ilkley

Saturday 24 February • Christchurch,. The Grove,. Ilkley LS29 9LW


Elland Silver Band -

Saturday 24 February • All Saints Church Savile Road Elland HX5 0NH


Milton Keynes Brass - "Blow away those Winter Blues"

Saturday 24 February • The United Reformed Church. High Street. Newport Pagnell MK16 0FH


The Cobham Band -

Saturday 24 February • The Vera Fletcher Hall . 4 Embercourt Road. Thames Ditton. KT7 0LQ KT70LQ


West Somerset Brass Band

February 23 • West Somerset Brass is looking to strengthen its cornet and baritone section. We are a community band playing all over Somerset and hope to undertake a tour to France later in the year. If you can play whatever standard please make contact


The Corsham Band

February 22 • Having now been promoted to the 2nd Section for the forthcoming Contest season, the band are now looking for a back row cornet player, 2nd or 3rd, to join our team


Thundersley Brass Band

February 20 • Thundersley Brass, a Championship section band based in Benfleet, Essex are welcoming applicants for the following positions (seats negotiable)from April 2018:. Eb Bass. BBb Bass.


Nigel Seaman

ARMCM ARNCM
Conductor, band trainer, teacher and adjudicator