Wow what great fun. Very intense time with the B&R boys. I knew things were different when we were waiting for the coach to arrive (near the start of the contests) and the band was standing around and everyone was fully dressed in the contest uniform, collars clasped, ready to go. Then on the way to the first contest, everyone started getting out their horns, setting their music on their lyres, and warming-up….ON THE COACH! We were able to get through 7 contests. RESULTS: 4 firsts, 1 second, 1 sixth (not sure what happened at Delph), and then another placing that didn’t help our over-all placement and caused us to come 2nd for the whole area. Jack Deal (Atlantic Brass Band flugel) came over to play with Lindley. It was great to see him, and the band said he had a great time. They really enjoyed meeting him too.
3 non-musical but stunning developments on that Friday (28 May):
1-there was a car accident near one of the contest towns that closed a major road and caused “band route planners” to totally change their plans. The accident also resulted in 3 deaths.
2-When we were marching up in Greenfield, we were stopped 1/2 way down the street because 2 spectators had been hit by a bus just 100-yards in front of us. One had crawled out but the other was trapped under a wheel. We stood in the street for a while and were then taken a back route to the field where we played the test march. The last we heard both victims survived.
3-The last contest we did was Upper Mill. This town has a very well earned reputation for being rough. Lots and lots of mounted police on the streets. When we were marching down the street some very drunk “fans” decided it would be a good idea to walk the wrong way through the band. Stupid, stupid, stupid……B&R is not made up of people you can push around. I was in the very last row of the band along with the other 3 solo cornets and Alex (rep). What we saw turned out to be hysterical. As the “fans” started drunkenly trying to get through the band, they were punched, kicked, elbowed and hit with instruments by the B&R boys. By the time they got back to me and Alex the idiots were just trying to cover their heads and get out of the way. I’m sure they were battered and bruised when they woke up the next morning. We then walked around the corner and won the competition over the other 60+ bands. Ha!