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World Champions 1999
|By Richard Eades|
Well this years World Champs didn’t start too well for me. I had taken the afternoon off work to pick up a van that I was driving to carry the bands equipment to Beamish. As I was driving home from work I had an accident in my car, not what you want before a 250 miles drive up north!! We arrived at our hall at approx midnight & set up our living quarters for the next three days.
We woke up bright & early to a glorious Saturday morning ready for our parade. Something we had practiced every day for the last week. The parade went extremely well & everyone was pleased with the outcome of it. We arrived at the arena at about 11:30am to catch the end of Teeside’s display. We weren’t due to march until the Sunday so we had all day to relax & take in some of the Living Museum where the championships were being held in Beamish.
Some of the older members & non marching members decided that they were going to go into Newcastle to take in some of the nightlife. It was about 02:00am when they started to arrive back at the hall. An hour had gone by and there was no sign of Becki’s other half Joe. He hadn’t got in the last taxi & no one knew where he was. Some of us went into Newcastle to see if we could find him. We looked all over but there was no sign of him so we informed the Police. Fortunately, Joe had already gone to the police station who took him to a band who they knew were staying in the area for the night. At least we knew he was safe.
Sunday was another glorious morning. We arrived at the arena about 10:00. As we approached the coach park, there was Joe, standing there as if nothing had happened!!!
We were advised that we would be the last band on display before lunch so we had got about 2 hours before we were on the arena. Everyone was back to the coach to get changed 1 hour before we were about to do our display. We marched over to the arena, lined up & waited for the band before us to finish their display. The whistle blew & they marched off the arena. This was our time for our display. Everyone was feeling confident after such a good parade. Then from the PA system came “due to a delay, the lunch break will now be taken”. This meant, after getting ourselves all geared up, we had to wait about for another hour!!! We finally marched onto the arena at 1:15pm & our display went well. Most had a good feeling including our trainer, Dot when we came off.
At the results everyone was nervous. Other bands had been coming up to us saying how much they enjoyed out display. We did really well with individual awards but then came the important band awards. The results announcer called up Best Midlands Music …… Zodiacs, then Best Midlands Marchers …… Zodiacs …… The Best Midlands Band …… Zodiacs. We were ecstatic with our achievements. After all the regional awards were given out, the overall winners awards came. 3rd place & 2nd place, no Zodiacs. World Champions 1999 …… THE ZODIACS. Hats flew everywhere. We were World Champions for the first time in our history. I had been in Jazz bands for 1 year & I had won the World Championships. Most members had been in bands for 20 years trying to achieve this & I had done it in one year. I didn’t know what all the fuss was about!! What a great feeling!!! The journey back was amazing with everyone on a high. We even stopped off for a celebratory drink.
We have had some great times in Zodiacs but this has got to be the No.1 for me & expect most in the band!!