Northern v Midlands. Gap in quality

In the lower sections, which area has higher standards?

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Active Member
I am going to conduct an experiment.

I play for a Midlands band but originate from the North. It is my opinion that the standard of bands (lower sections) is generally better in the Midland than it is in the Northern area.

I am going to the Northerns next weekend (if i can afford the train fare) and will report back with my findings.

Wonky has heard both areas, what does he think?


i think the best way to test your theory for a start would be to check the history books and see which areas have had the most national champions for the lower sections. i havent done it my self but i think it is a good place to start.


Active Member
Its hard to say. 3 or four years ago fourth section bands in my area were really crap. However the standard has improved a load since then and I have been frightened at the standard of some bands. We were 9th at last years area but won whitehaven beating the 2nd 4th and 7th placed bands in the process, most on the same piece. Every time I hear the fourth section in our area it improves each time. A lot of bands impressed me in the Midlands especially ones I heard in the top five or so were great but there was also some dross. Averaged out its about the same. Lockwood who will win our area this year won Pontins so the NE is on the up.
Surely the only accurate way to compare would be to have the same man in the box for every contest.

Me thinks that this would be a slight impossibility so me thinks that you can't compare accurately :!: :!:


Active Member
northen = the whole of the north of england including north-west?? or just the catchment area for the north of england areas?


Active Member
I was using the northern to mena the North of England Area. As opposed to the North West.

I agree, wonky that standards have improved. When i came to uni, I left ovington, who had just finished a very respectable 4th in the North of England 3rd Section. I came to Sheffield, and joined Dronfield, who were at that time, also in the 3rd Section.

My immediate impressions were that the standards at Dronfield Band were much higher, and i genuinely thought that if the band were to hypothetically compete in the North of England Area, then i thought that they wouldnt struggle, possibly as high as the 2nd section.

As it happened, since then, Ovington have virtually dissapeared of the face of the earth, but are starting the long road back to existence and Dronfield have been through turmoil and relegation.

I won't be able to complete my experiment cos the train people were gonna charge me £19 to get to Darlington and badck cos i hadn't been very organised. As you can imagine, with a drink budget, it would be an expensive day out.

However, i have done some research on the history of results at the nationals as suggested, and, to be honest, The Midlands has had a lot more success at the nationals. th North of England is notorious for its lack of success at national level, and i feel that this probably isnt a good indicator of standards. (My ony experience f the nationals was in Cardiff, coming 17th our of 18. :( )

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