Resort welcomes best of British brass youth

Egglescliffe School Brass Band, conducted by Matthew Haworth, perform at the Youth Brass Band Entertainment Championship of Great Britain
Egglescliffe School Brass Band, conducted by Matthew Haworth, perform at the Youth Brass Band Entertainment Championship of Great Britain

Youngsters from across the country descended on Blackpool to take part in the annual Youth Brass Band Entertainment Championship of Great Britain.

Hundreds of musicians flocked to the Winter Gardens this weekend to show off their talents, with Elland Silver Youth Band, from Yorkshire, scooping the top prize.

Now in its 31st year, the championship entertained the crowds and drew in families from throughout the UK.

Event administrator Gary Walczak said: “The championship is about attracting the country’s best youth bands.

“They are invited to Blackpool to the Opera House, and they put together a 25-minute individual programme to provide entertainment.

“It is all entertainment, there is singing, dancing, all sorts of different choreography.”

In second place at yesterday’s prize-giving, was Beaumaris Youth Band, in third was Houghton Area Youth and in fourth place was Youth Brass 2000.

Gordon Higginbottom, one of the event’s organisers, said: “There have been some absolute stormers. We were very pleased with the event and it was a good result from the audience’s point of view, there was standing ovations.”

The event raises money for Action Medical Research, which supports research into children’s diseases and conditions, and the charity’s mascot Paddington Bear made an appearance at yesterday’s festival.

Among the special guests were 25 children from Donna’s Dream House.

Mr Walczak added: “It has been very busy, very entertaining.

“There was a big audience watching, the stalls were all full, and there must have been 500 or 600 people there.

“And there were about 450 to 500 people in the bands.

“They are all different, it’s brass bands but not as you know it.

“There’s harps, flutes, violins, it’s family entertainment.

“It is definitely for people who like to be entertained, it’s not just for the brass band aficionados.”