Gordon Simpson

My formative brass band years were spent in the Whitburn Junior Band, before progressing to the 'big band' and a National Championships Royal Albert Hall debut aged 14. Although Whitburn was a good band 'north of the border', it was only with the appointment of Major Peter Parkes that it made a mark on the international stage and I have fantastic memories of two 3rd place finishes at the 'National' and six top-4 placings in the European Championship during my time with the band.

Throughout this time (and still!), I was fascinated by sports statistics and ranking systems.  Brass band contesting being a form of sport (!), it seemed natural to develop a sports-style ranking system to rank brass bands based on their results and when Bob Mulholland, founding editor of BBW, offered the chance to publish a ranking, I grabbed it with both hands!

So it was then that the first BBW (now ranking appeared in October 1991 and now, almost 25 years later, it's still generating healthy debate.  Remember though, if you don't agree with it, just blame the adjudicators as we've always done!

Gordon Simpson

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