Most successful conductors at the 'areas'

21 Mar 2010

When Major Peter Parkes was in his pomp (to some of us he always will be!), it was not uncommon for him to conduct 4 or even 5 bands in the areas in the top section.  This, and the fact that he remains one of banding's greatest conductors, helped him to accumulate top section area titles at a great rate of knots.  In 8 years from 1980 he won 17 titles and, after a blank year in 1988, won a further 10 titles by 1996.

The 'magic' started to evaporate from the mid 1990s but he did steer Desford to 3 titles in the 2000s to claim 30 top section titles to date.

Nowadays, the area contest series is squeezed into no more than 3 or 4 weekends and it is simply not possible to conduct more than 2 or 3 bands in the top section.  This is one reason why Peter Parkes' record might remain unchallenged for a long, long time.  Giving him a run for his money though is Nick Childs who this year notched his 5th area title with Reg Vardy and his 20th title in total.

Very few of the most successful conductors remain 'active' and, for now at least, Nick Childs remains Peter Parkes only realistic challenger.  Twelve conductors have 10 or more top section titles as follows:

30 wins - Major Peter Parkes

20 - Nick Childs

16 - Harry Mortimer, Walter Hargreaves

15 - Howard Snell

13 - Alex Mortimer

12 - Melvin White

11 - Eric Ball, Stanley Boddington

10 - Keith Wilkinson, Richard Evans, Garry Cutt