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2004 London and Southern Counties Regional Championships

Fourth Section
Sunday 21st March

Test Piece: Partita – Edward Gregson
Adjudicator: Barry Thompson


Over the years the Fourth Section here has been a mammoth adjudicating task, with some years over 30 bands taking the stage. There is just 21 this time, but it is still one heck of a job for Barry Thompson – let’s hope they give him at least a couple of comfort breaks!

Who will come out on top here will also be a hard decision to predict as well, as many of the bands here do not contest regularly. In addition there is a nap hand of newcomers to replace the lost souls of Castle Point, Cobham, Hosier and Dickinson and New Buckenham Silver, so what form they bring with them to the contest is anyone’s guess. We also hope that there won’t be a repeat of the unfortunate disqualification of the winners due to a registration hitch on the numbers on stage either. That took the edge of a wonderful contest last year.

Nationally the Fourth Section hasn’t been the greatest of hunting grounds over the years, but since 1998 the bands here have put in a strong challenge. Brent Brass were the last band to taste victory at the Finals in 1997 under Philip Littlemore, whilst before that you may have to go back to 1965 and Guildford Silver, who were conducted by one F. Renton. What became of him eh?

Last year the three bands from the region went to Dundee and came back with 13th, 16th and 21st, so the three who make it to Harrogate this year will want to do much better. What odds on a London victory though?


Battle Town
Conductor: J. Penton

Last Eight Years:
2003:
2002:
2001:
2000:
1999:
1998:
1997:
1996:

Battle come to do battle on the back of the band coming 8th at the SCABA Autumn contest, so they will be confident of doing well here as that was in the Second Section. Ones to look out for then?


Bletchington Silver
Conductor: S. Barwick

Last Eight Years:
2003: 15th (S. Barwick)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Bletchington made their debut here last year and managed 15th place – not a bad start to their contesting life. They will be looking to improve on that this year then.


Chalgrove
Conductor: S. Sizeland

Last Eight Years:
2003: 8th (S. Sizeland)
2002: 6th
2001: 26th
2000: 4th
1999: 17th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

After a huge leap up the prize list from 26th to 6th in 2002, Chalgrove just fell away a tad to come 8th last year. A return to the form of 2000 will be welcome, and although they came 14th at Pontins late last year they will be looking for something better here.


Charles Church Camberley
Conductor: R. Cherry

Last Eight Years:
2003: 13th (G. Hughes)
2002: 12th
2001: 20th
2000: 5th
1999: 17th
1998: 15th
1997: N/K
1996: 12th

Charles Church held their own in the midfield battle here last year when they came 13th. They will surely be looking for an improvement this time and a possible top six place perhaps?


Cottenham Brass
Conductor: C. Watson

Last Eight Years:
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: DNC

No trace of Cottenham at the contest from 1996 at least, so either a debut or a long awaited return. Apart from that we know no more, so ones to look out for then.


Dereham
Conductor: G. Barber

Last Eight Years:
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: DNC

It’s either a debut or a long awaited return to the contest for Dereham. We have checked the record books and couldn’t find a trace of them since 1996, so welcome to the big bad world of contesting. We hope they do well.


Fakenham
Conductor: D. Wakefield

Last Eight Years:
2003: DNC
2002: 27th
2001: 15th
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: DNC

Fakenham return to the contest after a twelve month break away. What from they bring to the contest we don’t know, but we are sure they will want to improve on their 27th place they gained here on their last outing.


Fulham Brass
Conductor: P. McLaughlin

Last Eight Years:
2003: 5th (P. McLaughlin)
2002: 21st
2001: 19th
2000: 17th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: 15th

Fulham will certainly be looking to maintain the form they showed here last year when they improved 16 places from 2002. Another leap like that and they could well be booking some hotel places in Harrogate.


Haslemere Town
Conductor: G. Wade

Last Eight Years:
2003: 17th (G. Wade)
2002: DNC
2001: 6th
2000: 27th
1999: 29th
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: 21st

Haslemere returned to the contest after a year away last year and came 17th. It would be hard to criticise them for that as don’t know the reasons for their absence, so we hope they can improve things even further this time around and look for a repeat of 2001?


Hemel Hempstead
Conductor: G. Weeks

Last Eight Years:
2003: 7th (G. Weeks)
2002: 7th
2001: 25th
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: DNC

Hemel Hempstead showed that their huge improvement in form in 2002 wasn’t a one off as they repeated the result last year. The time may be right for them to make another jump up the prize list then.


Hilgay Silver
Conductor: A. Clarke

Last Eight Years:
2003: 4th (A. Clarke)
2002: 11th
2001: DNC
2000: 13th 3rd Section (rel)
1999: 9th 3rd Section
1998: 18th 3rd Section
1997: 3rd (prom)
1996: 7th

Hilgay came 4th here last year but still went to the National Finals in Dundee (the winners Thundersley were disqualified) where they came 13th (the best of the qualifiers). If they can repeat that form here this year then they may be fund raising for Harrogate.


King’s Lynn Town
Conductor: S. Ingham

Last Eight Years:
2003: 13th (D. Taylor)
2002: 22nd
2001: 12th
2000: 8th
1999: 27th
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: DNC
King’s Lynn improved seven places from 2002 when they came 13th last year. Another jump up the prize list like that and they could well be looking at a top six place or more.


Martlesham
Conductor: B. Eyley

Last Eight Years:
2003: DNC
2002: 20th
2001: 20th
2000: 29th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Martlesham return to the contest after a year’s break. Before that they struggled a little, so we hope they come back stronger and enthusiastic.


Sarah GroarkePotters Bar Town
Conductor: S. Groarke

Last Eight Years:
2003: 10th (S. Groarke)
2002: 24th
2001: DNC
2000: 31st
1999: 11th
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: DNC

The talented Sarah Groarke really made her mark with Potters Bar last year when she directed the band from a lowly 24th place in 2002to 10th last time out. Another performance like that and they too could be heading for a top six at least.


Somersham Town
Conductor: D. Chambers

Last Eight Years:
2003: 9th (D. Wilson)
2002: 18th
2001: 16th
2000: 24th
1999: 28th
1998: 14th
1997: N/K
1996: 19th

Somersham come to the contest after claiming 9th place at the SCABA Autumn contest at Folkestone in October, and they will be looking to keep up the form they displayed here last year when they came 9th. Another leap up the prize table could see them challenging for a qualification place.


Sussex Brass (Hastings)
Conductor: S. Hollamby

Last Eight Years:
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: DNC

Sussex Brass didn’t compete here last year, but come to the contest after being placed 5th at the SCABA Autumn contest in Folkestone in October.


Tadley Concert Brass
Conductor: P. Chapman

Last Year: 12th
Last Eight Years:
2003: 12th (P. Chapman)
2002: 16th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: DNC

Tadley showed they were a band moving in the right direction here last year when they came 12th – an improvement of four places from 2002. A top six place on the cards this time then?


Thundersley Brass
Conductor: K. Schroeder

Last Eight Years:
2003: Disqualified (K. Schroeder)
2002: 14th
2001: 14th
2000: 23rd
1999: 25th
1998: 3rd
1997: N/K
1996: 17th

Last year’s disqualified winners will surely come to the contest with high hopes of a repeat performance (without the disqualification of course) this year. It was a huge improvement in form from 2002 and they come here after gaining 5th place at the October Autumn SCABA contest.


Wantage Silver B
Conductor: P. Uzzell

Last Eight Years:
2003: 11th (D. Dullforce)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: DNC

Wantage came 11th here on their debut back at the contest. What form they bring with them this year, we will have to wait and see.


Waterbeach Brass
Conductor: J. Utting

Last Eight Years:
2003: DNC
2002: 15th
2001: 5th
2000: 12th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: DNC

A return to the contest for Waterbeach who withdrew last year. What form they bring to the contest we don’t know, so wait and see.


Watford
Conductor: M. France

Last Eight Years:
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC

Previously known as the Hosier & Dickinson (Watford) Band, this is their first appearance at the contest for three years. So welcome back to the cut and thrust of contesting then.


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

Past Qualifiers:

2003: Great Yarmouth Brass, Woodbridge Excelsior, Hilgay
2002: Sandhurst Silver, Hungerford Town, Jubilee Brass, Ware Brass
2001: Sandhurst Silver, Fulbourn and Taversham, Ware Brass
2000: Canterbury Youth, St. Sebastian’s Wokingham, Amersham
1999: Canterbury Youth, St. Sebastian’s Wokingham, St. Albans
1998: Stonesfield, Becontree Brass,
1997: Brent Brass, Becontree Brass,
1996: Southend, Becontree Brass, Chichester City
1995: Southend, Crystal Palace, Chichester City

London bands at the Finals:

2003: 13th, 16th, 21st
2002: 10th, 12th, 15th, 20th
2001: 3rd, 13th, 19th
2000: 11th, 15th, 16th
1999: 4th, 7th, 18th
1998: 5th, 8th

4BR Prediction:

It’s anyone’s guess who could win this contest – in a field this big, and with so many unknowns it could be a result no one could predict (let alone us).

Still, we will put our necks on the block and plumb for Thundersley to repeat their Esha Ness triumph (horse racing fanatics will know what we mean), whilst Hilgay and Hemel Hempstead should book a trip to Harrogate as well. Fulham, Battle and Chalgrove should make up the top six, whilst we’ll go for a real outsider in Tadley Concert to be our dark horse.

1. Thundersley
2. Hilgay
3. Hemel Hempstead
4. Fulham
5. Battle
6. Chalgrove
Dark Horse: Tadley Concert

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