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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



Black Dyke Band - St Wilfrid's Church, Harrogate

Saturday 1 September • Duchy Rd, Harrogate HG1 2EY


The Fairey Band - Pre-British Open concert

Sunday 2 September • Glossop Bandroom. Derby St, Glossop SK13 8LP SK13 8LP


Contest: 166th British Open

Saturday 8 September • Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA


Black Dyke Band - Brass on Sunday Gala Concert, Birmingham

Sunday 9 September • Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EA


St Pinnock Brass Band - SCRYFA & Minack in "The Third Light"

Monday 10 September • The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Penzance,. Cornwall TR19 6JU


Matlock Band

August 21 • Matlock Band (4th section 2019) Has vacancies for brass and percussion players. Under our new Musical Director Chris Banks, we are re-building the band to hit the ground running in 2019. Key positions available include Soprano Cornet and Flugel.


Shirebrook Miners Welfare Band

August 20 • Shirebrook Band (1st section) under our new MD Jim Henson are currently seeking a Bb Bass and 2nd Baritone. Join the Shirebrook Team with our successful concerts and rewarding contest appearances.


Blidworth Welfare Band

August 20 • *PERCUSSIONIST* A great opportunity has arisen for a percussion player to join one of the UK's most upwardly mobile Championship section bands. The successful candidate will join the band at an exciting time in its development.


Martin Heartfield

GGSM, ARCM, PGCE
Conductor, Adjudicator, Educationalist