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2011 Midlands Regional Championship — Postcard from Bedworth

Bedworth has come of age — it's no longer Midland banding's version of the Emirates Stadium.

Civic HallIt’s said that despite its impressive architectural credentials, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium still lacks a footballing soul.

Soul

What it needs is a history of great memories to permeate deep into the molecules of the glass and concrete stands – a soul that comes with European football nights such as the recent one against Barcelona that saw it come to anthropomorphic life with a beating, pulsating heart.

It had been the same here at Bedworth – although there has been plenty of silverware on display here over the past few years – unlike the Emirates.

Not now though.

Worthy additions

Bedworth’s Civic Centre and Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College are now worthy additions to the great list of British banding venues.

They have a banding soul thanks to a series of memorable contests – none more so than this weekend.

Fag and cup of tea

The traditionalists may well bemoan the fact that you can no longer have a fag, cup of tea and bacon butty courtesy of the car park trailer in Burton on Trent, but you cannot fault the amenities that are found here.  

Meanwhile, the players appreciate the fact that they now have contest venues they can bring their family to without the risk of an E-coli infection.

Good acoustic

Conductors tell us the acoustic in both main halls is pretty good and the audience enjoy the fact that they can sit in comfort to listen to the bands perform, without the contest having to be stopped due to the sounds of a Scottish bagpiper at a civil wedding ceremony next door (as was the case at Burton a few years back).   

This year the Championship Section was a bit of an unexpected treat, the Second Section a delight, the Third and Fourth, really enjoyable events.

Only the First Section was a disappointment.

Banding atmosphere

The place may not quite have the intimate atmosphere of St George’s Hall in Bradford, or the stunning murals of the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea, but it now has the type of banding atmosphere that so permeates those venues on Area contest days.

They are now proper band contests.

The organisation here is first class, with Lesley Bentley and her team doing a fine job keeping the two days ticking over, whilst the playing standards were good and it all ended at a pretty respectable time too.

Come of age

The assorted press corps was superbly catered for – something that doesn’t always happen even at the most famous banding venues.

Bedworth has come of age.

All it is missing is that old burger van in the car park.

Chris Thomas



Kettering Citadel S A Band - Leicester South Songster Brigade

Saturday 17 February • The Lighthouse Theatre. Kettering Conference Centre. Thurston Drive. Kettering. NN15 6PB NN15 6PB


Contest: Unibrass

Saturday 17 February • Barbican Centre, Paragon St, York YO10 4AH


Foden's Band - Patrons Concert

Tuesday 20 February • Sandbach School. Crewe Rd, Sandbach CW11 3NS CW11 3NS


Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Chamber Ensemble

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


Elland Silver Band -

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


Shipston Town band

February 15 • We currently need a Kit percussionist, 2nd horn and Bb Bass as we prepare for the forthcoming Midlands Area at Bedworth in March. We are graded Section 4


The Corsham Band

February 15 • 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


The Cobham Band

February 14 • The Cobham Band is looking for baritone, euphonium and bass trombone players. This friendly band meets each Monday 8-10pm in Cobham. We have a full programme of bandstands, concerts and do some SCABA contests too. We welcome novices & returning players.


Ian Porthouse


Cornet soloist, clinician, conductor and adjudicator