Doncaster brass band hoping to "do a Brassed Off" with victory at national finals

Hatfield Band are going for glory in Cheltenham.
Hatfield Band are going for glory in Cheltenham.
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A Doncaster brass band is hoping to "do a Brassed Off" - by securing victory in the finals of a national brass band competition.

Hatfield Brass Band is bidding to put the town on the map by scooping victory at the National Brass Band Championships this weekend.

The band's 30 members will be heading south on Saturday, hoping to strike the right note in the contest which attracts the leading brass bands from across the length and breadth of the UK.

The band, previously attached to Hatfield Colliery, secured their place at the contest in Cheltenham by securing runners-up spot at the Yorkshire regional qualifying tournament earlier this year.

The result there earned them promotion to the Championship section of the brass banding world next year which means they will be rubbing shoulders alongside the likes of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, who featured in the smash hit movie Brassed Off which tells the struggles of a pit band against a backdrop of colliery closures.

However, this weekend, Hatfield will be competing in the competition's First Section where they will be competing against other groups from around the country, who will all be performing the same test piece, Ballet For Band.

Among them will be Margaeret Curran who has been with the band for more than five decades.

She said: "Next year we will be classed as a Championship band, competing against the real big boys and potentially playing for a place at the Royal Albert Hall.

"This time round we will be in the first section though. We will be travelling down on Saturday for rehearsals and then the contest itself is on the Sunday."

Added Margaret: "We have been very busy rehearsing and it has been going great. We're all looking forward to it."

The band have bounced back from the death of their beloved conductor Graham O’Connor a few years ago, with flugel horn player Stan Lippeatt taking up the baton following his passing.

The band won the national finals at Dundee in 2003.

Hatfield’s success has shades of hit mining movie Brassed Off which told the tale of a Yorkshire colliery band achieving victory at the national finals against the backdrop of pit closures.

The ’90s flick, starring Pete Postlethwaite, Ewan McGregor and Tara Fitzgerald, told the tale of the fictious Grimley Colliery being shut down - with band members battling their own personal troubles to achieve glory in a rousing finale at the Royal Albert Hall.

The film, which was shot on location in Grimethorpe as well as Doncaster - the former art college in Church View was used as a hospital when Pete Postlethwaite’s conductor character Danny had been hospitalised - was also a thinly veiled attack on Margaret Thatcher’s pit closure programmes of the 1980s and is seen by many as a social commentary on South Yorkshire during that period.