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2011 West of England Regional Championship — Postcard from Torquay

It's all about the sights and sounds in Torquay...

Cloth cap
Odd sights and sounds in Torquay...

You know when you are getting close to Torquay by the number of weird and wonderful things that start appearing on the side of the M5.

On your way to Brass in Concert, you get to peer skywards at the full expanse of the beautiful ‘Angel of the North’, whilst on the road to the Scottish Open you take in the magnificent sight of the Forth Bridge:

T- Rex

On the journey to the Riviera Centre you first pass a 40 foot tall green foliage ‘Wickerman’, two painted camels and a T-Rex.

You suspect they are not works by Anthony Gormley.

It set the tone for a weekend of the weird and wonderful at the West of England Championships.

Norman Collier

First you had the annual meeting of the Norman Collier Appreciation Society, with Brian Elliott leading the way with his ‘intermittent’ microphone tribute – although both Derek Broadbent and Ian Brownbill did passable impressions too.

Then there was the rather spooky Eric Ball ‘I shall rise again - as a seagull’ moment during the Second Section, which sounded as if Doris Stokes had contacted a dead Eric Cantona.

The cackling laughter of the birds as some bands were trying to find the deep-set emotive core of the great work sent an odd shiver down the spine.

Time
Time stands still...

Cat out of the bag


Even odder on the ear was Phillip Morris of Kapitol Promotions almost letting the cat out of the bag with the test pieces for the National Finals.

’None have been decided’ he said, before adding, ‘and one hasn’t even been written yet’. Which one we wonder?

The Albert Hall hasn’t heard something new for a while…  

Time does stand still on occasions here – although the old digital clock on the wall of hall never quite ticked to 23.58 this weekend as it did a few years ago when famously the last band at the Lower Section Finals started playing on Sunday night and finished on Monday morning.

Smiles
Winning smile for an Aldbourne supporter...

Romanian team


Amazingly though there seems to be time warp when it comes to uniforms – with the vast majority of bands wearing bespoke outfits that look like a cross between a circus lion tamer and the blazers of the 1976 Romanian Olympic rowing team.

Red, Blue or Green – time and time again.

We are sure some bands played, walked off and just passed their uniform onto the next band on stage.

It made any notion of ‘judging with you eyes’ by the colours of the jackets (something 4BR is occasionally accused of!) down right impossible.

Everyone looked the same; although there were the odd bands that went for black shirts and trousers, coloured neck ties and cumber bands.

First class

Still, the organisation down here is first class (and the number of listeners in each of the sections was really encouraging) and we got to past time between the bands talking to the wonderful Brian Minnear and his wife (both who ribbed the Celts about the rugby), Philip Hunt and a welcoming assortment of local bandsmen and women who took the time to come up and say hello.

If you do get the chance to come to Torquay, it is well worth a visit – although don’t be put off either by the spooky wildlife, the misfiring microphones or the local roadside art.

Iwan Fox



Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Phoenix Brass

Sunday 28 July • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW


Dobcross Silver Band - Milnrow Band

Sunday 28 July • Dobcross Band Club. Platt Lane. Dobcross. Saddleworth. Oldham OL3 8AD


Regent Brass - 'Brass on the Grass' at Westminster Abbey

Wednesday 14 August • Great Peter House, Abbey Gardens, 2 Great College St, London SW1P 3SE


Boarshurst Silver Band - BOARSHURST HYMN AND MARCH CONTEST

Sunday 1 September • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW


Contest: 170th British Open

Saturday 7 September • Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA


Haverhill Silver Band

July 24 • HSB has a vacancy for a first-class trombone player from mid-September due to relocation for university. With a busy concert programme and upcoming contests including Wychavon and the Senior Cup, this is a great opportunity for the right player!


Ratby Cooperative

July 23 • . To complete our line-up, Ratby Senior Band are looking to fill our 2nd Euphonium chair. This is a rare opportunity to join our Championship Band. . . Under the Direction of Musical Director Chris Jeans. Rehearsals Weds 8-10pm & Sun 7:15 - 9:15pm


Chinnor Silver

July 23 • Require a Bass player (Bb or Eb), Bass trombone, Soprano cornet and Percussionist. We are a friendly, ambitious 2nd section band that will start 2025 at the top of their Regional league table. We are located in South Oxfordshire and have our own bandroom in Chinnor


Duncan Wilson

Bmus(hons), LGSMD
Conductor, Adjudicator (member AoBBA)


               

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