After intense preparations Carlton Main Frickley Colliery won the Grand Shield.
After the mid-contest break though, Erik Janssen’s emotive reading of the score certainly brought the best out of his determined ensemble — led in magnificent fashion by ‘Best Instrumentalist’ award winner Kirsty Abbotts on principal cornet.
“I love this band,” Erik told 4BR after taking the photogenic opportunity to have his picture taken holding the Grand Shield high above his head (and he is well over six foot tall). “As soon as I came to the band there was something great between us. I love the attitude and determination, the commitment and the passion. Everything I asked of them they did — and more.”
He added: “I had a wonderful time staying with Ray Sykes. He even took me to a coal mine to go underground, showed me around and told me about Carlton Main’s amazing history. You get to understand more about a band in that way — and more about the players. It has been a wonderful experience and one we all want to build on for the future.”
That is certainly the feeling of Ray too. “What a great bloke and what a musician. The amount of work he had put in before we blew a note was incredible, and his approach to the band was brilliant.
The players immediately took a shine to him and the rehearsals have been fantastic — he clicked with us straight away. The end result is this victory and a return to the British Open. I don’t mind saying though — I don’t want to come back here again to win it a fourth time.”
That will not be the case if they can repeat the standard of playing on show here under ‘The Flying Dutchman’ (who had a very early morning departure to get back home the following day): It proved to be a performance that could not be beaten, despite a fine effort from Jaguar Land Rover immediately following them on stage which certainly gave the judge’s what they were looking for.