Few Bands in London

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Spanky Rear, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. Spanky Rear

    Spanky Rear Member

    Why are there so few Brass Bands in London? For instance, with the exception of Fulham temporarily, the only bands South of the Thames,within say 10 miles, are Crystal Palace,Croydon,and Epsom and Ewell.I would think the situation is broadly similar North, East,and West of the River too.
  2. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    Bands within 10 miles !

    I play with Brackley & District Band (1st Section) in South Northamptonshire our nearest bands are :-

    Towcester (1st Section) - 12 miles
    Kidlington (Championship) - 19 miles
    Hook Norton (Non- contesting) - 20 miles
    Daventry (3rd Section) - 23 miles
    Stonesfield (1st Section) - 24 miles
    City of Oxford (Championship) - 25 miles

    I wish we had 3 or 4 bands within 10 miles !!
  3. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    I think there's a difference between rural and urban in the south. Brass instrument playing isn't quite as common as in the more northern parts of the country...

    It also depends on the mix of people in the area, what sort of attitude there is in the local education authority to music and all sorts of things as to where bands are... Winchester didn't have an "adult" band when I lived there, but there is one now that grew out of the people who were too old for the youth band.

    In my home area, around High Wycombe, there are a number of non-contesting bands that are quite locally based (e.g. Marlow, West Wycombe, Ercol as well as a number who do contest: eg Chinnor, Chalgrove etc..). I'm choosing to go 20 miles to Oxford at the moment, though I'll happily play (dep) with the closer ones if they ask me to,

    Depends what you want from your band (and what you're prepared to give to it, of course) how far you're prepared to travel. There have been many threads on "what makes a good band" - I think the conclusion is "we don't know for certain"!


    PS Aren't Hendon, whatever Hanwell splintered into, London Collegiate Brass etc still around in London? There used to be quite a few bands in North London...
  4. cornetchap

    cornetchap Member

  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Although I'm not familiar with all the bands around the Southend area, we've definitely got Castle Point, Thundersley, Southend and Rayleigh all within a few miles of each other, and I'm sure there are more. Aveley and Becontree are pretty close as well.
  6. Where do you expect Fulham to be going in the future, if they're only in South London temporarily? :shock:
    Seriously though, I've wondered the same. Is it to do with Londoners generally (and I emphasise that this is a generalisation ) not being willing to travel very far to do pretty much anything! When I was playing iand working in Scotland and in the North East, players were willing to travel quite considerable distances to play, work etc but the same doesn't seem to hold true in London. (I now expect to have it pointed out to me the vast distances Fulhamites travel to and from band and jobs but you see what I mean :?)
  7. jambo

    jambo Member

    I don't think that 20 odd miles is far really given that bands are usually situated in areas famed for the coal mines, factories and mills. Even in the North East, I have to travel over 30 miles to my nearest championship section Band. Sure there are some local bands within 2-15 miles, but no more than a handfull.

    I think that with the exception of Yorkshire nd the North West most areas are in the same boat.

    IYOUNG Member

    I agree with Neil here and thats nothing to do with the fact he's depping for me on Saturday :D

    Neil - Thanks in advance

    MD Marlow band
  9. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Not sure about Essex/North Kent areas, but inside the M25 I can think of Alliance, Aveley, Becontree, Borehamwood, Capital Concert, Cobham, Croydon, Crystal Palace, Hendon, East London, Egham, Epsom & Ewell, Fairlop, Fulham, Grimsdyke, Hanwell (?), Redbridge, regent, Staines, Watford and Yeiwsley & West Drayton.

    Not sure about your definition of "few" Spanky, but I don't think thats too bad, especially given the jobs/working hours and lifestyles people in this area tend to have. Try looking at IBEW and the L&SC sites. :wink:
  10. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I think, to be fair to Spanky, he/she (just who are you, Spanky? You seem to know me....) referred to London itself. It's true there are a number of bands inside the M25, but the capital itself (I suppose, if you define it by the 'train zones' is not flush with bands.

    I disagree with the point made earlier that 'Brass instrument playing isn't quite as common as in the more northern parts of the country... ' It is, I feel, but there is perhaps more of a tradition to start out in the orchestral field (trumpets and French horns again!) I distinctly remember being told by my music (as opposed to trumpet) teacher to 'steer clear of brass bands' (He didn't, as I recall, say why!)

    Also, the sense of community in London is dwindling, maybe it's even been totally eradicated, who knows? (Another reason I can't wait to get out in October - having said that, Fulham, with its mix of people from all over the world, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Croydon ;-).... must be one of the most welcoming and friendly bands around. Gonna miss 'em!)It really is, 'each for their own'. That coupled with the numerous distractions in the capital like pubs, clubs, cinemas etc. (Other cities have these of course but have a better sense of community) means banding doesn't really feature high on potential players' lists. Though I think that in a way, if we could get more bands to start up in London, it might just kick start the idea of getting a sense of community back!
  11. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    In the interests of avoiding mis-representation, I should point out that Egham (or at any rate the Town Centre) is in fact technically outside the M25 - albeit only by a few hundred yards. It is, however, very well served by trains from London Waterloo (c. 40 min. journey, with around 4 trains an hour); the bandhall is only 100 yds. or so from the station, and we have our own social club and bar on the premises, allowing for plenty of post-rehearsal conviviality before the last train into London.

    [OK, sorry, plug over; it was 'kind-of' on-topic though......... ]


  12. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    Dave, just bus in loads of northerners and stop serving flat beer in your pubs, easy!
  13. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Hey, we're not all bad, you know (I am, but not all of us! ;-))

    Actually, our beer's quite sharp!

    We've got a few Northerners! (Principal euph, principal horn, front row cornet, 1st horn, Bb bass, principal trombone, sop, Scottish conductor)

    Still, before you refer to the northerners holding all the top chairs, a Londoner principal cornet and principal Eb bass! ;-) :lol:

    Tell you what, though, bet we're the most international band! (Japanese and Aussie percussionist, German front row cornet, Kiwi baritone section, 2nd euph and 2nd Eb bass...... Oh, did I mention the Scottish conductor as well? :wink: :lol: :lol: )
  14. Danny_L

    Danny_L Member

    Hendon is now Denham Hendon, I helped them out at last Friday.
  15. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I don't think the LCB are around any more. Regent Brass are still going strong, in North London, I believe.
  16. Spanky Rear

    Spanky Rear Member

    I take all the points you have kindly made, but should explain that South of the Thames to Croydon, Crystal Palace,Epsom etc.,[about 10 miles] contains a population of<4 million people.On the basis of the replies given [some of them] I would expect there to be,say,20 Brass Bands. I know that in more rural areas there are sometimes clusters of Bands even with a relatively sparse population. Wind Bands seem to flourish in the same area I have indicated, and there are,or seem to be, many top class brass players in this area but few Brass Bands. Is it something in the way Brass Bands may still be perceived? I just can't understand it.
  17. Spanky Rear

    Spanky Rear Member

    Paul, correct me if I'm wrong but I understood Fulham were temporarily in Parson's Green while the facilities in Chiswick were being renovated.
  18. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    (I'm not Paul, but I'll answer anyway lest the whole world and his wife gets confused.)


    You need to look at our website :p

    "New Rehearsal Venue

    The Band is settling in well at its new rehearsal room at the British Legion Club, New Kings Road, Parsons Green, London SW6 where it has been since January 2004."

    Doesn't say owt about it being a temporary move, or us going back in the future; in fact, when the Legion's development is complete, we expect to have even better facilities and enough space to get all our gear (currently in storage) on site.
  19. And correct my London geography but aren't Parson's Green and Chiswick both on the north bank of the Thames, although given the Thames' course they are both more north and more south than bits of the river :?
  20. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    wellyn garden city is quite close as is St albans :wink:

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