BUTLINS 2005

Fourth Section Champion Band 2005!

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Brilliance at Butlins!
On Friday 21st January 2005 the Band made the long trek to 'sunny' Skegness for the Butlins Mineworkers Open National Brass Band Festival 2005. We were prepared for a weekend of much fun - oh and there was the small matter of a competition to win as well!

The Band was up bright and early (early anyway!) for our 7:45am rehearsal in Jaks nightclub! The first and only hiccup of the weekend was discovered here when the MD realised that he had forgotten his baton!! The Band was once again saved by the Training Band as their conductor was prepared to loan out her magic wand just for one special performance! The rehearsal went well and the Band was ready to challenge the nation with Stantonbury Festival by Ray Steadman-Allen as their weapon. Unfortunately, due to the timing of our rehearsal - Billy Bear tricked us there - we were not able to watch the exciting, revolutionary, televised draw...."Band number 13 will play....number 3!". That was it, our fate was sealed.

We arrived in the warm-up marquee (the only contest I know of where you're actually allowed to properly warm up!! Fantastic facilities!!) adjacent to the Silver Check In Lounge. Being the good natured friendly band that we are, our first task was to help Pontypool Band out who had drawn number one and were due on stage before the van with their percussion had arrived, so we let them borrow ours - this allowed our drums to get over their nerves before our performance!

Next, it was time to register and receive the most fantastic souvenir badges, which we wore with pride all weekend (and in fact are still wearing - they go well with the hair! - more on that later!!). We took to the stage (or the floor in this case - you know what percussionist are like - they don't want to share their stage with anyone so we were left down in front of them!) and played our best performance of the music. It started strongly and continued throughout with secure soloists and a solid band. This set the standard for the rest of the Bands to follow.

Now we had done our work for the weekend it was time to have some fun, Butlins style!! Our first stop was the supermarket to get some toilet roll - nobody told us to bring our own!! Then we headed in for a little education in the top section contest listening to Harmony Music. Fully educated we acquired some spare puff from the Just Brass trade stand. I also went all out and bought myself a new cornet from them - although it has a tendency to go flat if played for too long! (I'm sure there will be some pictures in due course).

After dinner we headed off to the beach for a paddle in the lovely warm blue sea...hmm....well...it turned our feet blue anyway!! then a leisurely stroll along the beach, ensuring that we were back behind the fence before they locked the gates at 3:45pm! Having already got a little wet we thought we would go the whole hog and go for a swim to work up an appetite for tea. Whilst some headed in to town for a curry, the rest of the band took over Papa John's Pizza place. Generously served with the pizza was a lovely plate of chillies - can you guess that this lead to something?! Chris Poole was tentative to try them and then wimped out when it got to the bit with the seeds in. Therefore a challenge was in order - I would buy her an ice cream if she would eat a whole one in one go. In it went, in fact in two went as she was disqualified in the first round for not following rule no.1 'The chilli must be eaten whole and not in several bites'. She thoroughly enjoyed her Thornton's ice-cream at the services on the way home!

 

The Prize Ceremony

The Band gathered in The Reds at 8pm, in eager anticipation of the results that we had been waiting for all day long. The spectacular show began as music started and the curtains opened to reveal the gleaming trophies on display. The ceremony was introduced by a redcoat and then the microphone was passed to Stan "bring a friend" Lippeatt to compere the rest. The Fourth section results were announced first:
"In fourth place with 181 points, the band that played number 13 Kirkby Colliery Welfare Band,
In third place with 182 points,  the band that played number 14 Crofton Silver Band,
In second place with 183 points,  the band that played number 4 Matlock Band,
and finally.......
In first place with 185 points,  the band that played number 3 TEWKESBURY TOWN BAND!!!!!!"

"Woo hoo!"  "Yes"  "Yippee" "We did it!" "Wah hey!"  "Yes"  "Yippee" "We did it!" "Woo hoo!"...  was roughly how the next 10 minutes went, then it was thinned down a little as we had to stop to drink the Champagne that we had bought to celebrate!!!
We thought that the evening couldn't get any better but then we were treated to a show by the real live Orville and Cuddles, some fantastic music by Tony Fisher, a bit of boogie-ing with the 'Buttercup' man and blue hair! Others went to the pub and then on to Jaks - no blue hair in sight! (anyone got any piccies of what you got up to?!).
On our way back to our chalet we thought that we should pay the conductor a visit to see if he was still here or if he had floated away yet! We found him in his room cuddled up in bed with the trophy!

In true Oscars tradition we would like to thank our Mums and Dads, Aunts and Uncles, Brothers and Sisters, Grandparents, Pets...etc..

We would also like to thank Butlins and the NEMBBA for putting on such a fantastic weekend, there was plenty to do and much fun to be had for all the members of our band and our supporters. We are looking forward to returning again next year to defend our title. Our search for new friends has started (in fact I think Chris P has 3 lorry drivers lined up already from the trip back!) so that we can 'bring a friend' next year just for Stan.

Thanks must go to all our supporters who braved the bus and the cold to join us on what turned out to be a very special occasion.

We'd like to thank all the members of the Band who have put in many hours of dedicated practise (honest!) under the direction of our superb MD!

Finally, at this time, we would really, really, most of all, ask for world peace!

We Won!

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Revised: January 27, 2005