Welsh Regional Contest 2008-2012

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by BbBill, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. BbBill

    BbBill Supporting Member

    Interesting debate to be had here folks, so we've given the topic its own thread . . . . (RT)

    Whoopy do!

    Campbeltown has to shell out at least that for every one of the 6 contests we do every year, and its been the same story for the last 24 years. North Wales bands are not that remote, we have at least a 300-400 mile round trip, have an over night stay and sometimes take kids out of school (thats over 3/4 of the band BTW) to compete at every contest. Our conductor has to do that mileage for every practice he comes to, as he stays the other side of Glasgow, in Ayrshire.

    It took 11hrs for us just to get to Harrogate last year, and the same to get to Pontins the year before. Oh and our nearest motorway is 4hrs away by bus!

    I persume North Wales bands just have undertake the journey your high-lighting just once a year to Swamsea.......count yourselfs lucky.
  2. Euph1888

    Euph1888 New Member

    Just To give you an idea of the problem in North Wales Brass Banding, in order to compete in the Welsh Brass Band Championships ( not the regional competition) They have asked Welsh bands to compete in competitions in the South of Wales, I can point out to Bb Bill North Wales is only just under the 300 mile you mention

    Wrexham – Ebbw Vale – 222 mile round trip
    Wrexham – Treorchy – 244 mile round trip
    Wrexham – Porthcawl – 290 mile round trip
    Wrexham – Ammanford - 234 mile round trip

    This is mileage from calculated from Wrexham were transport links are good, I dread the thought of the mileage for bands to compete as Beaumaris or other North West Wales Bands

    If we could afford to do the mileage that Bb Bill is talking about we would. We do it once year because this is what we can afford, we do that for the Regional Contests – THE most important competition of the year. My point is that the Welsh Association need to do something to combat the declining number of North Wales Bands at the Regionals. If the Regional were closer to Bb Bill location would you find more bands attending or if they used a rotation system in the location of the Championships would the total number of Scottish Bands entered in their Regional as a whole increase – I think you know the answer to that

    Oh and by the way there is no Motorway linking North and South Wales !!!!
  3. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    Well that told him!
    Blimey its a hard life being a hardy Scots bandsman. But what a beautiful part of the World, I passed through that way in my little motor home 18 months ago, wonderful.
    Maybe they should have the Nationals up there one year :p
  4. BbBill

    BbBill Supporting Member

    I thot Welsh Regionals was just incorporated into the Welsh Championships, and so was the qualification route to the Nationals. Sorry if I presumed wrong. Thats the way it is in Scotland.
    I didnt realise the miles were just as high as that, but again the bands in Aberdeen and in the Borders have equally plenty of miles to undertake to go to contests as well, just better routes of roads! Its just the Scottish Championships have been roughly held in the central belt, an average for all furthest away bands, and also where the majority of most other Scottish bands are.
    I wouldnt say Campbeltown to Glasgow was a good transport link, one main road in and out; with potholes, floods, sheep on the road, tourists, caravans etc etc! There are several places where there isnt a possibility of a diversion if the road is blocked and where there is, its at least about 90mins, with the added possibility of a ferry journey!!

    We are like most other bands in the country, we are not sponsored and do alot of hard fundraising throughout the year to enable us to go to contests. We go to contests because we want to, not because we feel we have to.

    Who runs the Welsh Association? Surely if bands compete in Wales, they are represented in the Welsh Asscociation, and so band representatives/secretarys should attend the AGM and voice the opinions of the bands? If not, then theres something far wrong with the basic running of the Association then?! Or do folk not turn up....?!

    They have been doing that in Scotland for years. Used to be rotated between Motherwell and Falkirk, (generally West and East). But its been held recently in other venues such as Troon and Dundee. In 2008, its in Glenrothes and 2009 in Perth I think. Still doesnt help us tho, we still need to at travel at least 4hrs to Glasgow, then onto whichever part of the country the the contest is!

    I wasnt implying there was, I was just pointing out how remote we were to the rest of the country! For instance I can see Ballycastle in Northern Island from my bedroom window, its only 13 miles across the water, but takes about 7hrs and 230miles to get there!! The nearest city and motorway to Campbeltown is Glasgow 61miles as the crow flies, but its 136 miles by road!!

    At the end of the day Im not disputing the fact that you have a good point to make regarding the choice of where the Welsh contest is held. But its one for the member bands to put to the Welsh Association to work out between them for the better. Bands need to work with each other within their Associations if there are problems like this, so they can come to some comprimises to which benefits all.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2008
  5. DeafeningRoar

    DeafeningRoar Member

    Interesting to read (link below) that according to the outgoing SBBA Registrar that if certain rule changes are implemented north of the border, trips to Harrogate and Pontins could be a thing of the past for you!

  6. JTKBrass

    JTKBrass Member

    One of the proposals in the SBBA consultation paper is to allow 'shadowing' to take place at some contests .. basically to allow younger inexperienced players to sit in beside older players at certain contests to give them some time on the contest stage, without throwing them in at the deep end. The proposal is worded around increasing the number of players on stage to 35 (so basically allowing a normal band, plus percussion, plus 5 or 6 junior players). In principle the idea sounds great, and has its merits as long as there are strict controls in place to ensure it's used for the purpose intended, and limited to certain contests.

    To make the leap from that proposal all the way to bands being barred from competing outside of Scotland is quite a jump ! Just thought i'd clear that one up :)
  7. DeafeningRoar

    DeafeningRoar Member

    Thanks John for the info.
    Do I glean from your answer that the "shadowing" idea would not apply to the Scottish Championships, thus avoiding the "conflict" with Wales and England which Mr Hyslop talks about?
  8. JTKBrass

    JTKBrass Member

    (Sorry this is off topic)

    The proposal document only outlines potential ideas (for example asking if the shadowing idea is worth considering or not). If the majority think it's something worth considering, then the actual rules would be discussed at the EGM in a few months.

    My proposal would be to allow shadowing for the lower section bands, limit it to the area association contests, with certain age restrictions.

    Obviously this shouldn't be allowed at the Scottish, and of course it won't cause a conflict with Wales or England, that's just scaremongering nonsense.

    (attempting to go back on topic)

    Although the proposal document is for Scottish bands only, would be interesting to see what would happen if Welsh bands decided they wanted to try some junior player shadowing at various local events .. i've no idea how the Welsh area is governed.
  9. stopher

    stopher Member


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