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ARTICLES

 

2004 West of England Regional Championships

Fourth Section
Saturday 27th March

Test Piece: Partita – Edward Gregson
Adjudicator: C. Brian Buckley


Whereas many other regions have problems getting bands to compete in the Fourth Section, the West of England is invariably in the happy position to have a contest that is full to bursting point.

Last year 25 bands took to the stage, and the region sent four bands to Dundee, and although this year there is only 21 listed it is something to be very proud of. In addition, in this case, quantity certainly doesn’t mean a lack of quality either as a look at the recent results of the bands who have qualified for the Finals shows.

Last years qualifiers of Hayle Town, Downton, Camborne B and Bratton Silver (Calne Silver couldn’t attend) came back with 7th, 14th, 15th and 17th and although they couldn’t repeat the successes of St. Dennis, Lympstone and Test Valley, all of whom won the title since 1998, it was a pretty good effort nonetheless. In fact, last year was the only time since 1998 that no West of England Band had filled either winners or runners up spot at the Finals. Hopefully then, the qualifiers this year will be able to maintain that great record – it says a lot for the standard of bands here.

Brian Buckley is the experienced man in the box and is well known to the banding folk of the region both as a judge and conductor and he has all the knowledge required to separate out the large field.

It may be all about basics at this level, but Edward Gregon’s serious test piece does give scope for the bands who have mastered balance, tuning and tone the chance to shine. It should make for a great contest.


Bratton Silver
Conductor: M. Fricker

Last Eight Years:
2003: 5th (V. Beer)
2002: 9th
2001: 10th
2000: 14th
1999: 13th 3rd Section (rel)
1998: 4th 4th Section (prom)
1997: 5th
1996: N/K

If their record is anything to go by, then Bratton Silver could well be a band to look out for once more here this year. Last year’s fifth place meant that due to Calne Silver being unable to attend the Finals, Bratton got the nod and they went to Dundee where they came 17th. Maria Fricker took them there, and she remains in charge to see if they can continue their climb up the prize list this year.


Calne Silver
Conductor: TBA

Last Eight Years:
2003: 4th (K. Webb)
2002: 19th 3rd Section (rel)
2001: 14th 3rd Section
2000: 11th 3rd Section
1999: 9th 3rd Section
1998: 15th 3rd Section
1997: 15th 3rd Section
1996: N/K

Calne Silver return once more, although we do not officially know who will be taking the band. K. Webb directed the band into 4th spot last year, and although they couldn’t attend the National Finals in Dundee they will be keen to book a trip to Harrogate this time around.


Chalford Training
Conductor: S. Tubb

Last Eight Years:
2003: 24th (S. Tubb)
2002: 12th
2001: 20th
2000: 26th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: 21st
1996: N/K

The second band from Chalford will be directed by Steve Tubb, and they will be keen to move themselves up he prize list after they managed only 24th place last year. That was perhaps a bit of a disappointment for them as they had been making steady progress in the previous three years. A return back to the form of 2002 would be welcome then.


Christchurch and Highcliffe
Conductor: J. Floyd

Last Eight Years:
2003: 19th (J. Floyd)
2002: DNC
2001: 14th
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

After missing the contest in 2002, Christchurch and Highcliffe returned last year and came 19th under the baton of Jayne Floyd. They will be looking to improve on that for sure, and to possibly better their 2001 result when they came 14th here.


Constantine Silver
Conductor: I. Edwards

Last Eight Years:
2003: 8th (I. Edwards)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: 20th
1997: 17th
1996: N/K

Constantine Silver returned to the contest last year after a four years break away and returned to come a very creditable 8th place under the direction of MD, Ian Edwards. They too wil be looking to better that this time around and gain a possible top six place.


Downton
Conductor: R. Wright

Last Eight Years:
2003: 2nd (R. Wright)
2002: 11th
2001: 21st
2000: 20th
1999: 18th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

Roland Wright and Downton secured a great result for themselves last year when they came runners up to Hayle. That meant a trip to Dundee where they played very well in coming 14th place. Just three years ago they were languishing in 21st spot here, so Roland and the band have certainly been putting in the hard work. Can they go one better this time?


Drybrook and District Silver
Conductor: K. White

Last Eight Years:
2003: 14th (K. White)
2002: 20th
2001: DNC
2000: 12th
1999: 24th
1998: 19th
1997: 8th
1996: N/K

Drybrook returned to the Fourth Section in 2002 after missing the contest the year before. Since then they have regrouped, and have improved their form from 20th place to 14th last year under the direction of Kevin White. Another leap up the prize table like that and they could well by heading for a top ten finish.


Hatherleigh Silver
Conductor: A. Edwards

Last Eight Years:
2003: 10th (A. Edwards)
2002: 14th
2001: 11th
2000: 18th
1999: 6th
1998: 16th 3rd Section (rel)
1997: 19th 3rd Section
1996: N/K

Hatherleigh have a little bit of an up and down record here of late – 18th in 2000 to 10th last year shows they are coming back to the form that got them into the Third Section, but they will need to maintain that consistency this year. Adrian Edwards leads the band again, and another top ten finish will be the least of their ambitions.


Okehampton Excelsior
Conductor: D. Law

Last Eight Years:
2003: 18th (D. Law)
2002: 22nd
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

After making what we think was their debut at the contest in 2002, Oakhampton Excelsior return for a third crack at the contest. It seems they have laid the foundations now – last year saw them improve by four places to 18th, so another step up the prize ladder would be another move in the right direction.


Pillowell Silver
Conductor: C. Lewis

Last Year: 9th
Last Eight Years:
2003: 9th (B. Howard)
2002: 16th
2001: DNC
2000: 7th 3rd Section (rel)
1999: DNC
1998: 17th 2nd Section (rel)
1997: 11th 2nd Section
1996: N/K


Pillowell could be moving back to the form that saw them playing in the Second Section in 1998. after not competing in 2001 they have returned with a 16th place in 2002 and then 9th last year when they were directed by the experienced Brian Howard. C. Lewis takes over this time around as they plan to gain at least a top six place.


Porthleven Town
Conductor: F. Evans

Last Eight Years:
2003: 20th (F. Evans)
2002: 17th
2001: 12th
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

Porthleven Town have fallen away a little after making a very encouraging debut at the contest in 2001. Then they came 12th, but last year that had dropped to 17th. Lets hope they can reverse the trend this year.


Sandleheath
Conductor: D. Marlow

Last Year: 21st
Last Eight Years:
2003: 21st (D. Marlow)
2002: 18th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: 12th
1997: 9th
1996: N/K

Sandleheath are another band who will be hoping to reverse the form book of the last two years and pull themselves back up the prize table. Don Marlow will be looking to improve things and a return to the form that saw them come 9th and 12th in 1997 and 1998 will be welcome.


Shanklin Town Brass (IOW)
Conductor: M. Lewis

Last Eight Years:
2003: 11th (M. Lewis)
2002: 15th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

Shanklin make the trip over the Solent to compete for the third year in a row here – and they will be hoping to carry on the good form of the past two years and push themselves further up the prize table. 15th in 2002 was upped to 11th last time around so MD, Malcolm Lewis will be looking for more of the same this year.


Sidmouth Town
Conductor: A. Harvey

Last Eight Years:
2003: 7th (A. Harvey)
2002: 5th
2001: 13th
2000: 16th
1999: 15th
1998: DNC
1997: 20th 3rd Section (rel)
1996: N/K

Aaron Harvey takes command at Sidmouth once again, and he will be looking to up their form to challenge once more for a qualification place at the Finals. After struggling along in the midfield places up to 2001, the last two years have seen them become real challengers. They would like to better the 5th place of 2002 at least and book a place at Harrogate.


Swindon Brass
Conductor: F. Cowley

Last Eight Years:
2003: 17th (F. Cowley)
2002: 14th 3rd Section (rel)
2001: 15th 3rd Section
2000: 12th 3rd Section
1999: 17th 2nd Section (rel)
1998: DNC
1997: 7th 2nd Section
1996: N/K

Swindon Brass dropped from the Third Section in 2002 and under their MD, Francis Cowley they struggled to make an impact here last year. They will certainly be looking to improve on that this time around, and a return to the form that saw them perform in the Second Section in 1997 would be a great boost.


Torrington Silver
Conductor: T. Hutchings

Last Eight Years:
2003: 16th in Third Section (rel) (T. Hutchings)
2002: 16th
2001: 9th
2000: 10th
1999: 13th
1998: 11th
1997: 9th
1996: N/K

Torrington fell through the relegation trap door last year after they could only manage 16th place in the Third Section for the second year in a row. Terry Hutchings will therefore be looking to reverse the recent form here and stake a claim as serious contenders for a trip to Harrogate.


Verwood Concert Brass
Conductor: P. Norley

Last Eight Years:
2003: DNC
2002: DNC (rel)
2001: 18th
2000: N/K (rel)
1999: 16th in Third Section
1998: 18th
1997: 11th
1996: N/K

Verwood return to the contest after a two year break in which they have been relegated to the Fourth Section. The building for the future starts here once more then and we wish them luck on their reappearance back.


Watchet Royal British Legion
Conductor: D. Tilling

Last Eight Years:
2003: 22nd (D. Tilling)
2002: 10th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

The only way is up for Watchet Royal British Legion and Dave Tilling it seems, after they fell from 10th place in 2002 to 22nd place here last year. They will surely be looking for a return to the form that brought them second place behind Hayle Town at the November Torquay contest.


Weymouth Concert Brass
Conductor: A. Davies

Last Eight Years:
2003: 16th (P. George)
2002: 13th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K
Weymouth Concert Brass are also another band that will be looking to reverse recent form here as they dropped from a solid 13th place on their debut in 2002 to 16th last year. A. Davies takes over from Philip George, so we wish the new team well.


Wilton and District
Conductor: D. Chalk BEM

Last Eight Years:
2003: 13th (D. Chalk BEM)
2002: 8th
2001: 16th
2000: 21st
1999: 27th
1998: 11th
1997: 10th
1996: N/K

Last year must have been a bit of a disappointment for Wilton and District after they had shown a great improvement in fortune here since 1999 when they came 27th. That had been improved to 8th place in 2002 so 13th was not the result they were looking forward to. Dennis Chalk will therefore be hoping that 2003 was a one off and assault on the top six will be what they are looking for this year.


Winchcombe Concert Brass
Conductor: A. Davidson

Last Eight Years:
2003: 12th (A. Davidson)
2002: DNC
2001: 8th
2000: 13th
1999: 11th 3rd Section (rel)
1998: DNC
1997: 14th 3rd Section
1996: N/K

Winchcombe and Andrew Davidson returned to the contest last year and came a very solid 12th place after missing the contest the year before. If they can repeat that form again they could be happy, but they have come as high as 8th here in 2001, so ambitions for a top ten place will be the least they will be hoping for.


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

Past Qualifiers:

2003: Hayle Town, Downton, Camborne B, Calne Silver
2002: St. Dennis, Hayle Town, Pendennis Brass
2001: Saltash Town, St. Dennis, Pendennis Brass
2000: St. Breward Silver, Portishead, Penzance Silver
1999: Lympstone South West Telecoms, Wincanton Silver
1998: Test Valley Brass, Wincanton Silver, Lympstone
1997: Lympstone, Phoenix Brass, Test Valley
1996: Pendennis Brass, N/K
1995: City of Bristol, Bideford

West of England bands at the Finals:

2003: 7th, 14th, 15th, 17th
2002: 1st, 3rd, 19th
2001: 2nd, 7th, 12th
2000: 2nd, 4th, 19th
1999: 1st, 12th, 15th
1998: 1st, 3rd, 12th

4BR Prediction:

When it comes to predicting the results in the Fourth Section, it can be a bit of a lottery, but there are one or two bands here that should find themselves up and around the top six come results time if they pay to form.

Our tip for the winners enclosure though is Downton who should at least make it back to the Finals once more, and we think they could well be joined by Calne Silver, Sidmouth and Bratton, whilst the top six should be completed by Pillowell and Shanklin. Our dark horses are Torrington. You heard it here first.

1. Downton
2. Calne Silver
3. Sidmouth
4. Bratton
5. Pillowell
6. Shanklin

Dark Horse: Torrington

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