Transfer the yorkshire area

bassmittens

Member
I quote the following from one of your articles (I presume it's your name splattered across the opening paragraph).. It does strike me as rather convenient that your band, Stannington, according the regional map of bands, is geographically the closest to proposed venue! http://
Geographically, i believe City of Sheffield (formerly Stockbridge) would now be closest to the venue mentioned in this proposal. Although the map on the regional site may be out of date since their relaunch last year. And so what? isn't there a band that is 'closest' to Bradford? If the contest moved to Brighouse (to quote a previous example), we'd all still go wouldn't we? How many bands from Yorkshire go to Pontins every year, for a major contest and event. Is locality really the issue????

Just because other regions feel they have worse venues that the St Georges Hall - does this mean we should sit back and be happy with it, and not look at what other possibly better venues could be out there?

I for one would welcome any improvement. I play in the St Georges hall every year (for the past ten) as that is where the Yorkshire comittee have decided it is being held at present and while whatever band i play for competes, i will go. But, in my opinion, there are nicer places to go that Bradford. Where is the harm in trying to see if things can be made better? The county has numerous venues, towns and Cities which could also host this event. This is just one idea which has been offered by an individual for the Yorkshire committee to discuss, it stands alone at present because this is the first time anyone has really stepped up and openly offered an alternative - no-one else has suggested anything else yet, but that may well change (and superb if it does!).

At worst, absolutely nothing will change. However, from this all Yorkshire bands may see an improvement to the annual event we all look forward to; be that in Sheffield, Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Wakefield, Halifax, Brighouse, Doncaster, Rotherham....etc etc etc.

Correct me if i am wrong, but reading the article published on 4 bars rest, this particular offer has been put together to propose to turn the yorkshire area contest into a larger event. It may or may not happen. But, we hear time after time about how the Brass movement needs to progress, move with the times, attract bigger audiences, involve the general public (not just the hardcore brass band enthusiasts) - well here is a substantial suggestion (which appears to be adequately supported) and as such an offer that MIGHT be able to help do that.

Those detectives amongst you will quickly notice that i also play in the same band as Mercurynews. To be honest I could not care less who came up with this or any similar idea - whether i sit next to him of not is irrelevant to my views on this. (Believe what you will!). I'm just glad someone is trying to see if they can make a difference.

Discussion is healthy.
 

Humphrey

Member
Queensbury - Bradford = 5 miles

Queensbury - Halifax = 3.5 miles
You're quite right... Halifax is closer but not to the degree you suggest. Actually, if you want to be pedantic about it, the difference between Halifax Civic theatre and St George's hall from Sandbeds is 704 yards and 60 seconds of extra travelling time. So, a huge difference! I apologise for my geographical error but you do seem to be suggesting that proximity to a venue can be advantageous or am I misunderstanding you?
 

Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
From a hard-nosed point of view, if nothing else this proposal puts the YRBBC in a much stronger position when they come to negotiate with Bradford next time. If there are cities actually vying for the rights to host a band contest (imagine that) then they may be able to play one against the other to get the best overall deal for Yorkshire bands.
 

bassmittens

Member
From a hard-nosed point of view, if nothing else this proposal puts the YRBBC in a much stronger position when they come to negotiate with Bradford next time. If there are cities actually vying for the rights to host a band contest (imagine that) then they may be able to play one against the other to get the best overall deal for Yorkshire bands.

BINGO:tup
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
...you do seem to be suggesting that proximity to a venue can be advantageous or am I misunderstanding you?
As regards the result of the contest I believe it to be entirely immaterial.

As regards fair dealing over the relative circumstances of the greatest number of band members competing at an area contest, I believe it to be paramount.
 
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winterman

Member
Correction noted BassMittens, thanks (still can't get used to them not being Stocksbridge!)..

It is not so much the idea that MercuryNews is raising as I totally agree we should always strive to improve things across the board, I just think that the whole thing has been handled in a sledghammer/nut kind of way so as to try and "force" the committees arm, it's MercuryNews' methods I have issue with and then add to that inaccurate reporting in mainstream press to further his own agenda. If you can't rely on a bandsman to actually report on banding accurately (and as a professional reporter) then god help the banding world as a whole with reporting from 'outsiders'!

You never know MN may have started the ball rolling for Bradford or Leeds media/organisations to take up the baton and counter the offer, then maybe everybody wins (except maybe St Georges Hall and Mercury News marketing department)!
 

bassmittens

Member
You never know MN may have started the ball rolling for Bradford or Leeds media/organisations to take up the baton and counter the offer, then maybe everybody wins (except maybe St Georges Hall and Mercury News marketing department)!
Winterman.....agreed!

Lets just see what (if anything) happens.
 

Mercurynews

New Member
I think the the "sledgehammer" comment is a tad harsh. I originally started this as a debate on FB and then another party posted it on here. I had to join this forum to comment as I had never been on it prior to this particular debate. At the end of the day we have made a positive offer which we believe will benefit the contest. It's for others to decide whether or not they wish to accept it. Either way we have decided to put resources into banding. We have now decided to sponsor 3 events with immediate effect. A contest, a fund raising concert and a premier band entertainments contest similar in style and content to the 'Brass in Concert' contest.
 

Humphrey

Member
Opening a huge can of worms!

I have lived in Yorkshire now for the past 16 years and I love all regions of this county. However (and I know this will annoy a lot of people), I find that the attitudes of many people from West Yorkshire can be unbearably smug! The idea that a competition has to be held in West Yorkshire because most of them come from there is indicative of that attitude. Perhaps it's time that someone did a study on the geographical demographics of the top 10 bands in the country (just out of interest). Let's take a band like Dyke and see just how many of the players are closer than 1 hours traveling time of Queensbury? Or see how many of Grimethorpe are based anywhere near the village itself?

I think you would find that the vast majority of players in these bands (and others) are prepared to travel considerable distances to play for a top outfit. I personally know players who are prepared to travel up to 3 hours each way! To suggest that a location should be central to a bands geographical position is to tell only half of the story.

Bradford Railway station is an interchange. Sheffield is a national hub. The governments new proposed high speed railway will pass through it and then move north easterly towards Manchester. Even now, Sheffield easily links with the Midlands and South of the country. It would be an easy task for people from these regions to get there, opening up the opportunity to see the Yorkshire bands competing. I don't think anybody was actually looking for a 'helipad' :p

winterman's post bleated about Mercurynews self interest; I think you need to look in a mirror! I'm happy to continue going to Bradford if that's where my band have to compete just as I'm happy to continue going to Birmingham to play in the British Open. I wonder what the geographical spread of the bands in relation to that location is? I'm sure there will be bandsmen who lament the demise of the free trade hall (hell, I know some who lament the demise of the circus that was Belle Vue) but could anybody honestly say that the Symphony Hall is NOT a better venue in terms of it's facilities and acoustic?

IMHO, at the end of the day we should be looking at this in terms of what's best for the bands in all respects not just a little extra traveling time ONE day a year. The extra traveling time is probably going to be less than many players take getting to every rehearsal. Bands may decide that Sheffield doesn't offer the best proposition but the proposal should at least be looked at. The Facebook group started not as a pressure group but as a means to discuss an interesting proposal. A rival group would be only a means to denigrate the proposals and worse, try to stop the proposal being aired at all which is why I assume winterman would be happy to join it.

If the statistics put forward on this thread are accurate, 40% of bands in this county make the journey to Bradford without complaint every year. Yorkshire people like to tell us they're stoic but taciturn folk. I think that's largely true but Yorkshire is the sum of it's parts and isn't as some would have us believe just West Yorkshire.

They have another saying in West Yorkshire: "Yorkshire man, born and bred, strong in arm and thick in 'ead". I couldn't have put it better myself.
 

FATNBALD

Member
From the link on the Facebook page

Andrew Platts, Bass Trombonist with Stannington Band and Editor of the Mercury Newspaper, is one of many people unhappy with facilities at St. George’s Hall in Bradford – current home to the Yorkshire Brass Band Championship contest.

It is true that St. George’s Hall is a reasonably ok acoustic to play in. But its cramped conditions for players backstage and a distinct lack of other facilities – such as no bar or food catering provision – make it an unattractive proposition for bandpersons having to spend any length of time there. Add that public transport provision to the city is not very good, only making matters worse.
But Sheffield City Hall boasts fantastic facilities both within the building and across the nearby city-centre. It also has a history of of hosting major brass contests in the past, such as the mineworkers’ CISWO finals.
Im sure there are at least two bars at St Georges hall and in the down stairs one they were serving food, i had a very nice bacon & sausage sarnie £1.75, very reasonable.
 

Squeaker

Member
Im sure there are at least two bars at St Georges hall and in the down stairs one they were serving food, i had a very nice bacon & sausage sarnie £1.75, very reasonable.
All well and good. But were you competing Sunday night, when the bar was packed, no seats available and food had stopped being served, and all the kiosks shut??
 

Humphrey

Member
Most of the support seems to be from south yorkshire.

Your point being?
I think I made my point. It's an A R E A competition as in YORKSHIRE Area (?) Not a West Yorkshire Area competition. I think the proposal is worth considering because it's a good one. What are your reasons for NOT wanting to consider it Thirteen Ball??? Could it possibly be related to one of your posts in another thread... "well at least Grimethorpe didn't qualify"...? Try not to let the West/South divide colour your judgements too much.
 
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