English Aspirations

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by IanHeard, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    The news recently that YBS are intending to support the new BFBB English Championship was very encouraging especially after the unfortunate change of direction of the English Masters, a contest which in my opinion did much to cater for the aspirations of the elite English Bands to have an English only contest.

    That said why not give lower section bands in the greatest banding nation on earth the chance also to be English Champion in their respective sections.
    The Scots and Welsh have the honour of being champion bands of their own country(albeit through the National regionals).... why not the English!

    If the BFBB were to organise a English Championship covering all sections, would the bands support it ?

    Perhaps its time for the English to go it alone and politely withdraw from Besson`s hopelessly out of touch British National and organise Area heats and a Final on a English only Basis.

    Whilst I can see that some of these views might be unpalatable to the Scots and Welsh, I think it is time the English became a tad more selfish in an effort to move the banding movement forward.

  2. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Just to correct your misunderstanding our Championships are the Scottish Championships first and also serve to decide which bands go forward to the National Championships of Great Britain. Perhaps this quote from the SBBA website will explain

    "In 1945 the Daily Herald newspaper introduced qualifying events for the National Championships of Great Britain. For a number of years these were staged separately from the Scottish Championships causing confusion and difficulty for the bands and a degree of acrimony between SABBA and the Daily Herald. The problem was eventually resolved in 1958 when the dates of the Scottish Championships were altered and it was agreed that the Scottish Championship would then also serve as the qualifying event for the British Championship finals.

    This dual status of the event is often overlooked or misunderstood by those outside of Scotland but for Scottish bands the status of their own national championship title remains undiminished. Scottish bands, their players and supporters will never be heard referring to the ‘Scottish Regional’ or the ‘Scottish Area’. For everyone in Scottish banding the event is always simply the Scottish Championships.

    It would be great to see English bands taking control of their own affairs and ownership of their own contests. The current situation is frankly a mess. I think there is a place for a National Championships of Great Britain involving the winners of the English regions and the Scottish, Welsh and why not the Northern Ireland champions too.
  3. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    Because then it would be the U.K. not Great Britain.
  4. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Surely it wouldn't take much in the current national finals to just add a seperate prize of Best English band in the section therefoer making them English Champions by default?

    The same could also be introduced for the other nations if they so wished.

    After all, the lower section bands would already be qualifying for the finals via the areas. If you introduce a seperate contest then you are looking at 2 Areas per year and 2 finals. I think that one of the copetitions would suffer as a lot of lower section bands do not have the funds to enter both or go to both finals. Because of this you would not get a true reflection of the "best" 3rd or 4th section band in England just the "best" band who could afford to enter and travel to it!
  5. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    So we're arguing semantics over a name change.
  6. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    So would you like to change the name of the Scottish Championships and invite some bands from the Northern area? It's close enough. Contests need less bands, not more.
  7. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    Thanks John,
    I was not aware of the history involved and that would perhaps explain the Scottish Area commitee`s liking for "non-interference" from outside forces in their championship/Area contest.(Thats a compliment not a criticism!)

    As an English bander I just don`t feel the current National`s set-up is working for us. I feel for real progress our focus should move away from the half a dozen regions of England(and their petty wranglings) and more towards one single English voice able to influence funding bodies etc with greater effect.

  8. persins

    persins Member

    I get the impression that there are already more contests than is necessary, all fighting for space in an already crowded calendar. The fact is, that all but the very elite contests are struggling with numbers of entries meaning that in turn the support and respect for the contest diminishes. Surely, it would be better to streamline the contests trying to do the same job so that there is a bit more clarity on which does what!

    So far we seem to have loads of different contests that don't necessarily link up with each other and just put extra financial pressures on those attending. As Roy said earlier, that doesn't help to clarify who the best bands are, just the ones who have the time and the money to get to all of the contests with a reasonable amount of good players!! Especially in the lower sections.

    We currently have the regionals which feed into the National Finals but onto of this there is the Pontins Championship, the Spring Festival, Numerous efforts at Europeans, the English Championships, the International Masters, Whit Friday etc.

    All claim to provide champions of somewhere but there isn't really any governance as to who has the real clout to say which champion is the actual champion.

    I would like to do all of them but you need to prioritise on so many different factors that it generally makes it unmanageable.
  9. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    I think what your are describing is precisely the reason why we need to take control of our most important competition and take them out of private companies hands.
    I think there is a geniune desire amongst our elite bands that they attend less but more meaningful contests with decent prize money, and in the case of the English Natonal, a clearly defined qualification to the European contest.

    I can see the BFBB`s English National being a serious rival to Besson/Kapitol`s "tired and tatty" RAH final, with Euro quailification and decent prize money at the "English" is this the beginning of the end for the "National"?

  10. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Not for the bands below the Championship section. I think it is fine as it is.
  11. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    I`m not so sure Roy, I think where the top bands go the rest of us will eventually follow!
    If I was Besson/Kapitol I`d be very worried indeed.
    What if the currently unsponsored YBS Band had to choose between an expensive weekend in London and the risk of not becoming champion and a comparatively much cheaper excursion to Manchester with the opportunity to be Champion Band of England and a Euro qualification spot to boot.........you work it out!
    Besson are not going to organise/bankroll a RAH final if the top bands don`t support it.
    Interesting times ahead.


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