The 2008 contesting season got underway in sunny Skegness last weekend with the 2008 Butlins Minworkers Championships. Carlton Brass joined the First Section for the very first time in a huge field of 24 bands, vying for the top prize of £1500 and the much sought-after champions banner.

The choice of test piece was a golden oldie – Edward Gregson’s The Plantagenets – a piece we’d been practising since last year for the Leicester and Leamington contests. It’s a great piece, full of clever musicality and the odd trap-door for the unsuspecting soloists.

Our performance was one of great potential – there were some lovely moments here and there – but spoiled by too many mistakes from all around the stands. In the end it was a case of “what might have been” as we came a creditable 9th, but we knew that we’d left a much better performance at our rehearsal the night before.

The band was suitably disappointed with our performance but this didn’t spoil the traditional dash for the bar after we’d played. Butlins might have been renovating their most popular bar but there were plenty of other watering holes for us to drown out sorrow.

So, we shall be back next year with the hope of improving on this year and cementing our place in the First Section. Butlins is our favourite contest of the year and we wouldn’t miss it for anything!

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