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Aveley suffer Xmas fire setback

London Champs suffer fire setback for Festive season.


Aveley and Newham Band were the victims of an arson attack in the early hours of the morning of 22nd December.

The band’s van was set on fire outside the Aveley Village Hall, which is the band’s headquarters. The van was loaded with percussion and other equipment ready for a concert that Saturday night.

“It’s a devastating blow to lose equipment which has been accumulated by the band and both pre-merger bands over many years”, said band Chairman, Derek Morris.

The fire was so hot that the windscreen of the van melted. All that remained of a baritone was the valves and timpani and other percussion instruments were reduced to misshapen remnants. The fire destroyed the van itself, which has been a real asset to the band, transporting equipment and band members to contest venues such as Prestatyn, Blackpool, Yeovil and Cambridge.

Neighbours of the Village Hall, who also called out the Fire Brigade, contacted Mr Morris, along with band secretary David Lewis. They both arrived at the scene shortly after 2 AM and remained there through the night.

The band had been booked to appear with the Thurrock Choral Society in a sell-out concert at the Thurrock Civic Hall, concluding a busy season of Christmas concerts for the band. The band would like to record their thanks to the Tilbury Band who willingly lent their percussion equipment, enabling the concert to go ahead.

“We were determined that the concert should go ahead and were delighted by the warmth of the reception we received from the audience when they were told of the fire”, said Derek Morris.

“The band’s playing was met with great enthusiasm and we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the audience when we discovered that an impromptu collection for the band had raised in excess of £700.”

As the New Year begins, Aveley and Newham Band are faced with the considerable task of replacing the lost instruments, with initial estimates of the loss being in the region of £25 — £30,000. Despite this setback, Band Secretary David Lewis remains positive,

“The band has titles to defend at Yeovil and at the Area Contest early in 2002. We are determined that the band will get to the contests and hope to live up to the band’s growing reputation on the national contesting scene.”

Friary Guildford

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March 18 • Frairy Guildford make it four wins in a row as they retain their top-flight title and are joined at the Albert Hall by Thundersley.


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March 18 • Bradwell Silver strikes gold to take Fourth Section title and head to Cheltenham alongside Regent Community Brass and Great Yarmouth Brass.


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March 18 • NASUWT Riverside makes it a North of England Area double as they head back to the Albert Hall as champions again with Reg Vardy in tow.


Result: 2018 Welsh Regional Championship: Championship Section

March 18 • Cory delivers an emotional Odyssey that takes them to London and to Montreux in Swansea. Tredegar comes runner-up, with Tongwynlais and City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) also booking their places in Kensington.

Black Dyke Band - The Hawth, Crawley

Sunday 18 March • The Hawth, Hawth Ave, Crawley RH10 6YZ

Contest: Welsh Regional Championships

Sunday 18 March • Brangwyn Hall, The Guildhall, Swansea SA1 4PE

Contest: London & SC REgional Championships

Sunday 18 March • Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ

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Sunday 18 March • The Gala Theatre, 1 Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA

Black Dyke Band - Mirfield Parish Church

Thursday 22 March • Mirfield Parish Church, 38 Church Lane, Mirfield WF14 9HX

Clifton and Lightcliffe Band

March 18 • Our third section B Band are looking for Cornet and Trombone players. Rehearsals Friday's 7.00 - 8.15pm and Sunday mornings 10.00 - 12.15pm Based at Bailiff Bridge Brighouse. Our Saturday morning training band is also looking for players. All abilities.

Clifton and Lightcliffe Band

March 18 • Second Section band we are looking for a 2nd Trombone and back row cornet. We have a busy concert calendar and a trip to Italy planned for August 2018.. Based at Bailiff Bridge Brighouse.

Wakefield Metropolitan Brass Band

March 17 • Musical Director due to work commitments, the Wakefield Metropolitan Band seeks applications for this position. 1st section band with a 5th place at the areas. We require someone with the drive and ambition to take us to the next level is this you ?

Dave Collins

BA (Hons) (Dunelm) I, FSCO
Composer and Arranger