Long spans in the top section

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by MoominDave, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    A post by 2nd trom virtuoso sparked my curiosity. He wrote

    "two of London and Southern Counties most consistent bands in the championship got relegated this year - Soham and Friary"

    This got me thinking - what is the gauge of consistency in the top section? A few years results? Or a few decades?

    A little bit of online research (at http://www.regional-contest.org.uk/london/index.php?page=grading) shows that, as of next year's contest, all the bands in the L&SC top section bar 3 (Aveley, Redbridge, and Kidlington) will have been in the section for only 6 years or fewer. For the record, the bands that Matt referred to, Friary Guildford and Soham Comrades, were last out of the top section in respectively 2003 and 1998. Friary had previously (as I recall) been in or around the top section for some years, whereas Soham were freshly promoted from the lower sections.

    I can't see any online records that go back further than the late 90s, but a phone call to a longer-serving member of Kidlington Concert Brass than me tells me that we debuted in the top section in 1994, after a couple of years of being reorganised down a section following the reorganisation from 4 sections into 5. Prior to that, one half of the merger that went to form KCB, Oxford Concert Brass (or Halls Brewery or Hartford Motors depending on sponsorship) had been a top section band for some time - since the 70s, we think, when it was formed.

    Aveley's website tells us that, prior to the merging of Aveley band and Newham band, Aveley had been promoted to the top section in 1966, and Newham had qualified for the top section finals in 1958, although it doesn't say anything about continuity in the section.

    Redbridge's website is less informative historically, but the 4br results archive says that they have been doing well in the top section since at least 1990.

    Can anyone offer any more precise information on any of Aveley, Newham or Redbridge?

    What is the distribution of dates like in other areas? I strongly doubt that Black Dyke, to pick one example, have ever been relegated; do they go right back to the contest's foundation?
  2. Chris Hicks

    Chris Hicks Member

    my dad joined newham in the 70's i think and they were top section!
  3. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    As far as I know the current system of "Areas" and promotion/relegation started in about 1945. In the North West of this year's competitors:

    Fodens and Faireys were both in the top section at that point and have never been out; the same applies to Wingates I think. Leyland rose through the sections, and made it to the top section in around 1980 (I think?). Pemberton Old were promoted in 2005ish, BT have been a Championship band since winning the 1st section in 1992.

    Wire Brass are on their 1st year in the top flight after an impressive run through the sections. VBS Poynton are also back up for the first year having been previously relegated to the 1st. Blackburn and Darwen, Freckleton and United Co-op Milnrow are in their 2nd year although I think all have been top section bands before.

    Besses, having been in the top section since Noah was a lad are currently in the 1st but hopefully on their way back! Dobcross didn't compete at this year's area, hopefully they will be back next year. I don't know who (if anyone) has been notified of their relegation for 2008, although I presume Dobx must be in some jeopardy.

    Apologies to the bands concerned if any of this is wrong, I'm sure they'll put me straight :oops:
  4. The post I made regarding Soham/Friary was with regards to the last 6 years of being in the top 6 at LSC - consistently on a results point of view, not for how long they had been in the championship section. I probably could have made that a bit clearer when I posted it, sorry!! :)
  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    This is precisely what you drew to my attention though - consistency of results is almost exactly the same thing as how long a band has been in the top section. If, as Soham did, you get two or three bad placings in three years, you go down; the run of consistency no longer exists.

    Andy, how did the qualifying system work before WW2?

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