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2004 London and the Southern Counties Regional Championships

First Section
Saturday 20th March

Test Piece: Coventry Variations – Bramwell Tovey
Adjudicator:
Roy Roe


Just like twelve months ago, the First Section throughout the UK has suffered an enormous amount of causalities due to the difficulty imposed by a very stern, but very musical test piece. London we feel, won’t escape the carnage.

The 17 bands here vary in quality, with Staines and Clacton dropping down from the Championship Section, and Broseley and Wantage coming up from the Second.

On the National stage, bands from the Region have yet to really make a mark at the Finals, although Alliance Brass did come runners up in 2001. Last year’s representatives, Zone One Brass and Friary Guildford came 5th and 15th respectively in Dundee – a sign that things are on the up, but the stats again don’t lie. At least one of the qualifiers has come lower than 13th at the Finals in the last six years.

The good bands should rise to the top here though and make Roy Roe’s task a bit easier, but qualification is one thing, doing well enough to come in the prizes at Harrogate, another all together.


Alder Valley Brass
Conductor: L. Sale

Last Eight Years:
2003: 7th (D. Barringer)
2002: 4th
2001: 9th
2000: 11th Championship (rel)
1999: 11th Championship
1998: Winners (prom)
1997: 5th
1996: 7th

Alder Valley dropped off the pace a little last year when they could only manage 7th place under the direction of Dave Barringer. They will be hoping for a return to the form of 2002 when they managed 4th place here at least, so MD L. Sale will have something to aim for. They came 8th in the Championship SCABA Autumn Contest late last year.


P. FensomBroseley Brass
Conductor: P. Fensom

Last Eight Years:
2003: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (P. Fensom)
2002: 3rd
2001: 6th
2000: 5th 3rd Section (prom)
1999: 8th 3rd Section
1998: 2nd 3rd Section
1997: N/K
1996: 6th (rel)

The experienced Paul Fensom continues to work his magic with the bands he works with in the region, and Broseley have certainly befitted from his direction in the last couple of years. Promotion after their runners up place in the Second Section means they are certainly moving in the right direction. They were placed 9th at the National Finals and 6th at Pontins, so they could be ones to watch out for.


Chichester City
Conductor: J. Williams

Last Eight Years:
2003: 9th (J. Williams)
2002: 3rd
2001: 14th
2000: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)
1999: 5th 2nd Section
1998: 7th 3rd Section (prom)
1997: 2nd 3rd Section
1996: 3rd 4th Section (prom)

Chichester will be looking to reverse last year’s result when they dropped away from a podium place in 2002 to come 9th. They will certainly be looking to improve on that this year, so a return to form is required, whilst they didn’t compete at Folkestone in the Autumn, so what form they bring to the contest may be a bit of a mystery.


City of Cambridge
Conductor: R. Hull

Last Eight Years:
2003: 15th (R. Hull)
2002: 8th
2001: 11th
2000: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
1999: DNC
1998: 12th (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: 9th

City of Cambridge are another band who will be looking for a better result this year if they are to ensure that they don’t drop through the relegation trap door. Since coming up from the Second Section their fortunes have fluctuated a little, but they did come 5th at the Autumn SCABA contest at Folkestone in October. A result like that would do nicely.


M. WhiteClacton on Sea Co-operative
Conductor: M. White

Last Year: 10th in Championship Section (rel)
Last Eight Years:
2003: 10th in Championship Section (rel) (M. White)
2002: 8th
2001: 9th
2000: 4th
1999: 6th
1998: 4th
1997: 4th
1996: 4th

Melvin White will be looking to capture yet another London title with Clacton, although this time it will be in the First Section. Relegation after last year’s result was the culmination of a couple of poor years at the top level. A few years ago they were challenging for a place at the National Finals in London, so if they have retained class from those days they should make a mark here. They didn’t take part at Folkestone, so their current form may be unclear.


Denham Hendon
Conductor: G. Davies

Last Eight Years:
2003: 6th (G. Davies)
2002: 15th
2001: 11th Championship (rel)
2000: 10th Championship
1999: 8th (prom)
1998: 4th
1997: 3rd
1996: 8th Championship (rel)

Denham Hendon took a year to find their feet in the First Section in 2002 when they came 15th, but last year they improved on that greatly when they jumped up the prize table to come 6th. Another leap of that proportions could see them booking hotel rooms in Harrogate.


Egham
Conductor: G. Green

Last Eight Years:
2003: 8th (G. Green)
2002: 6th
2001: 6th
2000: 9th
1999: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)
1998: 5th 2nd Section
1997: N/K
1996: 7th 2nd Section

Egham put in another solid performance here last year when they came 8th under G. Green. Although that was a drop of a couple of places on 2002, it still showed that they could more than hold their own. A return to the top six is a realistic aim this year and perhaps even better as they rounded off 2003 with a fine win at the SCABA Autumn contest.


Epping Forest
Conductor: M. Easener

Last Eight Years:
2003: 13th (M. Easener)
2002: 12th
2001: 10th
2000: 14th
1999: 6th 2nd Section (prom)
1998: 4th 2nd Section
1997: 4th 2nd Section
1996: 9th 2nd Section

Epping Forest dropped away again last year to finish 13th under M. Easener, so they will need a good result to stave off the threat of possible relegation. That was the third year in a row that they have dropped towards the bottom of the prize list, so a good result will be a real bonus. We will have to wait and see.


Fairlop Brass
Conductor: K. Jordan

Last Eight Years:
2003: 13th (K. Jordan)
2002: 7th
2001: 12th
2000: 6th
1999: 10th
1998: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)
1997: 2nd 2nd Section
1996: 12th 2nd Section

Fairlop have had something of a unpredictable series of results here over the past few years. Since gaining promotion from the Second Section in 1998 they have had one poor year followed by one good one – the good news is that a good year is on the cards this time around. 8th place at the SCABA contest may be an indication to whether or not they can do it.


Hatfields of Colchester
Conductor: B. Reader

Last Eight Years:
2003: 11th (B. Reader)
2002: 12th Championship (rel)
2001: 7th (prom)
2000: 3rd
1999: 6th
1998: 10th Championship (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: Winners 1st Section

Hatfields found life in the First Section a little hard last year when they could only manage 11th place. They have yo-yoed a bit between the top level and here, so they will be hoping to make more of an impression this time out and start their climb back towards the top level. They won here in 1996, so a repeat would be an objective achieved if they do it.


Haverhill Silver
Conductor: M. Ager

Last Eight Years:
2003: 10th (M. Ager)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: 8th
1999: Winners
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)

After two years away from the contest, Haverhill returned last year to claim 10th place. Although not quite the form of 1999 when they won here, it was nevertheless a good solid result. They showed though that they could be returning to that kind of form late last year when they claimed second place at the SCABA Autumn contest, so can they get a podium place this year?


Northfleet Brass
Conductor: D. Lewis

Last Eight Years:
2003: 5th (D. Lewis)
2002: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
2001: 17th (rel)
2000: 12th
1999: 4th 2nd Section (prom)
1998: 3rd 2nd Section
1997: 6th 2nd Section
1996: 9th 2nd Section

A fine result for Northfleet last year when on their debut at the contest at this level they came a very fine 5th place. Another repeat of that kind of form and they could well be looking at a podium place at least. 3rd place at the SCABA contest showed that they should be up and around there come results time.


Ian McElligottStaines Brass
Conductor: Ian McElligott

Last Eight Years:
2003: 11th in Championship Section (rel) (I. McElligott)
2002: 11th
2001: 2nd 1st Section (prom)
2000: 2nd 1st Section
1999: 13th (rel)
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: 2nd

Staines return to the First Section for the first time since 2001, after two years in the Championship where they struggled to make a mark. Even the talents of Ian McElligott couldn’t help stave off relegation, although they have shown here that they should be strong contenders for at least a qualification place.


Stonesfield Silver
Conductor: T. Brotherhood

Last Eight Years:
2003: 12th (T. Brotherhood)
2002: 5th 2nd Section (prom)
2001: 2nd 2nd Section
2000: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
1999: 5th 3rd Section
1998: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1997: 5th 4th Section
1996: 20th 3rd Section (rel)

Stonesfield held their own here last year, their first at this level. They have been moving in the right direction for some considerable time – including two title wins, so if that kind of form is repeated a top six place may not be beyond them. They came 21st at Pontins late last year, but that was against a pretty strong field of bands from all over the country.


Tilbury
Conductor: R. Nunnery

Last Eight Years:
2003: Withdrew
2002: 10th
2001: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
2000: 4th 2nd Section
1999: 13th (rel)
1998: 15th
1997: N/K
1996: 6th

Tilbury return to the contest after having to withdraw last year. Robert Nunnery was developing a good band and they won the Second Section in 2001, followed by 10th place in the First Section in 2002. We don’t know what form they will bring to the contest, but it nice to see them back.


M. PegramWantage Silver
Conductor: M. Pegram

Last Eight Years:
2003: Winners of Second Section (prom) (M. Pegram)
2002: 8th
2001: 3rd
2000: 8th
1999: 8th
1998: 11th
1997: N/K
1996: 12th 1st Section (rel)

The winners of the Second Section return to the higher level here for the first time since 1996. That victory a 12-month ago meant a long trip to Dundee where they came 13th, so Michael Pegram will be looking for his band to make a decent mark here this year.


S. DobsonZone One Brass
Conductor: S. Dobson

Last Eight Years:
2003: 2nd (S. Dobson)
2002: DNC

Simon Dobson and his youthful band of talented players should be one of the favourites to take the title here after coming runners up last year and then going on to come 5th at the Dundee Finals off the number 2 draw. If they haven’t been too distracted by exams and other student indiscretions we think they should at least be looking for cheap B&B in Harrogate.


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

Past Qualifiers:

2003: Friary Guildford, Zone One Brass
2002: Matthews Norfolk Brass*, Welwyn Garden City
2001: Alliance Brass, Staines Brass
2000: Bedford Town, Staines
1999: Haverhill, Regent Brass
1998: Alder Valley Brass, Regent Brass
1997: City of Oxford, Ipswich Co-op
1996: Hatfields of Colchester, Bedford Town
1995: City of Cambridge, City of Oxford

*Didn’t take place at Finals – replaced by Alder Valley

London Bands at the Finals:

2003: 5th, 15th
2002: 14th, 16th
2001: 2nd, 14th
2000: 7th, 14th
1999: 10th, 13th
1998: 9th, 16th

4BR Prediction:

A tough one to call this contest, but there is a small group of bands that should have enough about them to more than make a mark on Roy Roe.

We think Zone One will be the band to beat though – plenty of talent in front of the band and plenty around the stands should see them take the title, whilst Staines directed by Ian McElligott should put behind them the disappointment of relegation and claim a place at Harrogate.

We think they may be pushed hard by both Northfleet, Clacton and Egham whilst the top six should be completed by Denham Hendon. Our dark horses are Broseley.

1. Zone One Brass
2. Staines Brass
3. Northfleet
4. Clacton on Sea
5. Egham
6. Denham Hendon

Dark Horse: Broseley Brass

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