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2012 Midlands Regional Championship — Postcard from Bedworth

Chris Thomas looks back on an intriguing Midlands Area contest in Bedworth.

Civic HallIt seems hard to believe that it is now five years since the Midlands Regional Championship was relocated from the woefully inadequate facilities on offer at Burton on Trent Town Hall, but there is no longer any doubt that Bedworth has come to feel like the contest’s natural home.

It’s fair to say that the excellent Civic Hall might not bear the architectural stamp of Sir Norman Foster or Edwin Lutyens, but when it comes to acoustics it’s as natural and revealing as any around the country; and that’s what matters to the bands in the top three sections that converged here.

Precision

Run with meticulous precision by Lesley Bentley and her team (with wonderful hospitality at both venues), the speed of change between bands was nothing short of remarkable (and definitely not for those who would normally bank on dashing out for a pee), whilst down the road at the Nicholas Chamberlain Community College where the Third and Fourth Sections took place, there were scores of even happier bandsmen and women to be seen.

Ironing out

That may or may not change though depending on the ‘ironing out’ process that could well see five sections of roughly equal numbers. 

81 bands (up six this year) could see 16 contenders in a future top section, although it would be more realistic that given the existing imbalances, that there will be 18 in each of the First, Second, Third and Fourth, with the remainder competing at the top level.

It may appear a blunt answer to a complex problem, but it seems to be the only one that would work, and work quickly, if the area can continue to manage competitiveness as well as expectations.

Enjoy


It’s easy to jibe, even in jest that the quality of the bands in the Midlands doesn’t compare with Yorkshire or the North West but that’s exactly what the Final is there to sort out.

All that matters at the ‘Regional’ is that there is an exciting, closely fought contest for both players and audience to enjoy; and that’s what we get in the Midlands year after year. 2012 proved to be no exception.

If you require any further confirmation just have a word with Messrs Read and Broadbent who took the best part of 20 minutes to sort out who made it to the Albert Hall with Desford Colliery.

The centre of the cultural universe Bedworth most certainly isn’t, but judging by the legions of happy bands around the two venues at the weekend, there won’t be too many people worrying about that.  

Chris Thomas



Black Dyke Band - Brighouse & Rastrick, Huddersfield Town Hall

Saturday 27 March • Corporation St, Huddersfield HD1 2TA


Contest: 100thSpring Festival

Saturday 8 May • 97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL


Contest: Whit Friday March Contests

Friday 28 May • Saddleworth & Tameside OL3


Contest: 168th British Open

Saturday 11 September • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA


Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Saturday 18 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Race Course, Prestbury, Cheltenham GL40 4SH


Chadderton Band

January 17 • Chadderton Band is a very friendly non contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are looking for players of any age and ability on all sections of the band + EUPH Drums. Please come along to one of our rehearsals give us a try.


Foss Dyke Band

January 1 • Front Row Cornet vacancy still up for grabs. Come and join Foss and enjoy our newly refurbished band room with newly appointed MD David Dernley. Foss Dyke are a 1st Section Band with a moderate contest and concert schedule.


David Hirst

MA, B.Ed (Hons), LTCL
Conductor, adjudicator and arranger


               

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