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2004 Yorkshire Regional Championships

Fourth Section
Sunday 7th March

Test Piece: Partita – Edward Gregson
Adjudicator: David Lancaster


Just the eight bands for David Lancaster to judge this year (the same as 2003), and that is a great pity and worry for banding in Yorkshire. There were 31 bands here in 1983.

The reduction in bands has also meant that success at the Finals themselves has been a little harder to come by than of late as well with the last Yorkshire winners being Frickley/South Elmshall in 1994 and Todmorden Old in 1995. Since then the closest a band has come to winning the title was in 1999, when Yorkshire Traction Honley came runners up. Apart from that it has been pretty low placings each year.

2003 saw Dinnington and Grange Moor travel to Dundee with high hope of doing well and they returned home with a 3rd and 11th – not bad, but Yorkshire needs a strong and successful foundation stone at the lowest competitive level.

The bands this year will have to get to grips with an enjoyable yet difficult set work that should test them all to the full, so the winners will have to have mastered all the basics. Even though they are low on numbers then, it should still be a fascinating contest.


Crofton Silver
Conductor: Robin Morgan

Last Eight Years:
2003: 9th in Third Section (rel) (Robin Morgan)
2002: 8th
2001: 8th
2000: 6th
1999: 2nd
1998: 13th
1997: 12th
1996: 4th

Crofton drop down into the Fourth Section this year after coming 9th in the Third twelve months ago under Robin Morgan. That set the tone for the band somewhat for the year and they came 10th in the Third Section of the Mineworkers contest. Since 1999 they have been dropping down the pecking order, so they will be hoping that 2004 sees the start of the long road back to recovery.


Dearne Valley
Conductor: Garry Williams

Last Eight Years: 3rd
2003: 3rd (H. Wright)
2002: 12th 3rd Section (rel)
2001: 11th 3rd Section
2000: 3rd (prom)
1999: 3rd
1998: 7th
1997: 7th
1996: 11th 3rd Section (rel)

Garry Williams takes over the helm at Dearne Valley and they will be hoping to gain a qualification spot after just missing out last year. They recently came 5th at the Mineworkers contest, so they will be looking for a further improvement and a possible trip to Harrogate if they can up their form.


Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge)
Conductor: Carol Caton

Last Year: 7th
Last Eight Years:
2003: 7th (Carol Caton)
2002: 10th 3rd Section (rel)
2001: 9th 3rd Section
2000: 10th 3rd Section
1999: 6th (prom)
1998: 3rd
1997: 11th 3rd Section (rel)
1996: 14th 3rd Section

Carol Caton led the band last year to 7th place, which was a solid return after being relegated from the Third Section. They will be hoping for a further improvement this time around and a possible podium place may well be on the cards.


Gawthorpe Brass
Conductor: Derek Hoyle

Last Eight Years:
2003: 4th (Derek Hoyle)
2002: 3rd
2001: 8th
2000: 4th

Since 2000, Gawthorpe has been there or thereabouts at this contest. Two fourth places and third last year shows that they are strong contenders, but perhaps they just need that extra touch of class or luck? They should be up there come results time though.


Grange Moor
Conductor: Michael Early

Last Eight Years:
2003: 2nd (Garry Hallas)

Grange Moor made a great return to the contesting field last year when they came second under the baton of Garry Hallas. He has now gone to new pastures, but the band has continued with their good form – coming 3rd at both the National Finals and the Mineworkers Championships. Should be favourites to take the title this time we think.


Linthwaite
Conductor: Steve Platten

Last Eight Years:
2003: 5th (Steve Platten)
2002: Winners
2001: 5th
2000: 9th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: 14th 3rd Section
1996: 12th 3rd Section

Linthwaite will also be strong contenders here, even though they couldn’t quite retain their title twelve months ago. Steve Platten remains the man in charge and they will be determined to at least gain one of the two qualification spots on offer.


Lofthouse 2000
Conductor: Andrew Whitaker

Last Eight Years:
2003: 6th (Andrew Whitaker)
2002: 5th
2001: DNC

Lofthouse 2000 just dropped a place last year when they came 6th under the direction Andrew Whitaker. The team is back once more to see if they just nudge their way in the prize list and possibly gain for themselves a trip to Harrogate.


Thurcroft Welfare
Conductor: Dr. Owen Wedgewood

Last Eight Years:
2003: 8th (Martin Battersby)
2002: 7th
2001: 9th
2000: 12th 3rd Section
1999: 11th 3rd Section
1998: 4th (prom)
1997: 3rd
1996: 4th

The MD of Black Dyke won’t be the only Doctor on the podium in Bradford this year as Dr. Owen Wedgewood directs Thurcroft in their attempt to recover some lost ground over the last couple of years. Last time out they came 8th and last, so things can only get better. An encouraging 4th place at the Mineworkers Championships helped, so the Doc has been giving the right medicine to the players.


Results archive:
Full results of previous year's contests together with a results summary can be found in our results archive.

Past Qualifiers:

2003: Dinnington Colliery, Grange Moor
2002: Linthwaite, Emley Brass
2001: Clifton and Lightcliffe, Maltby Miners Welfare
2000: Wetherby and District, Oughtibridge
1999: Maltby Miners, Yorkshire Traction
1998: Stanley Newmarket Coll, Yorkshire Traction
1997: Gawthorpe Brass ’85, Walkley Clogs Hebden Bridge
1996: Gawthorpe Brass ’85, Sheffield Youth
1995: Elland Silver, Todmorden Old

Yorkshire bands at the Finals:

2003: 3rd, 11th
2002: 11th, 21st
2001: 10th, 11th
2000: 13th, 14th
1999: 2nd, 17th
1998: 7th, 17th

4BR Prediction:

As always we won’t try and kid you we know exactly how the form book will pan out in the Fourth Section, although we do have a pretty good track record of picking the winners by our scientific method of closing our eyes and sticking a pin in (only kidding).

With only the eight bands on show, David Lancaster will have plenty of time to consider his verdict, but we think it could well pan out like this. Grange Moor and Linthwaite seem to be the bands with the form, whilst Dearne Valley and Gawthorpe should also challenge strongly. Lofthouse and Thurcroft seem to be the other two who could make a mark, but we opt for the Friendly Band to be our dark horse. We will wait and see.

1. Grange Moor
2. Linthwaite
3. Dearne Valley
4. Gawthorpe ‘85
5. Lofthouse 2000
6. Thurcroft

Dark Horse: Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge)

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