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Admit one

If you have ever played at a Brass Band contest you will have been handed a ticket to allow you to enter the auditorium without having to pay, one of the perks of playing, some might say. But what happens to these tickets?

For the vast majority of bandsmen they'll end up in the bin along with the empty sandwich wrapper and used chewing gums or they'll find their way into the washing machine, hidden in the pocket of their band trousers or shirt!

Thankfully, a few bandsmen hang on to their tickets as a memento of the day and whilst clearing the attic in the Beaumaris Bandroom we came across a whole host of tickets ... and they were all found in one pocket of a Band blazer!

The tickets range in date from the North Wales Rally of 1998 in Llandudno through to the North Wales Solos & Quartets Championships in 2004 at Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen, Bethesda and include entry to some of the Band's most noteable achievments.

There's a ticket for the B Band's victory in the National Brass Band Championships Fourth Section at the Royal Albert Hall in 2000 as well as the Band's debut in the Grand Shield, Blackpool and a couple of appearances at the National Finals of the Championship Section at the Royal Albert Hall. There are tickets to contests that no longer take place such as the Pontins Brass Band Championships as well as the Rhyl Festival of Brass and our very own Beaumaris Festival of Brass.

Aside from programmes at the larger contests, there aren't many mementos from a day's contesting apart from the stamp on your registration card, which makes this collection of banding ephemera all the more interesting.

With online ticketing and wristbands becoming more and more popular the humble ticket is in danger of becoming a museum piece in its own right. When our Youth Band competed at the European Youth Brass Band Championships last year, several members were at pains to try and remove their wristbands without tearing them so as to have a souvenir of the day.

However, I don't think that finding a pocket full of wristbands in a decade's time would be half as interesting as finding this pocket full of memories!


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