2005 Pontins Championships - Mortimer Championship - Runners and Riders

26-Oct-2005

There is a fair line up of quality bands to be found at Pontins this year all trying to take home with them the Harry and Margaret Mortimer Title on a piece with a fair bit of history to itself.


Russell GrayBeaumaris
Conductor:
Russell Gray
www.beaumarisband.org.uk

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Paul Hughes
Euphonium: Aled Williams
Soprano: Bari Gwillam
Horn: Nia Wyn
Trombone: Jos Harris

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: DNC
2003: 14th (G. Evans)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 5th
Grand Shield: 11th
Welsh Eisteddfod: Winners
 
A return for the lads and lasses from Beaumaris and under the baton of Russell Gray they should be a band to look out for. Not a bad year so far, but missing out in Swansea was a blow and the Grand Shield was about par for the course although they did play well on the day. A Nationals win though was most welcome, but they may have their sights on a bigger prize here this weekend. 


Jim CantBesses o' th' Barn
Conductor:
Jim Cant
www.besses.co.uk

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Tim Hynd
Euphonium: Dan Hunt
Soprano: Simon Gray
Horn: Dave Aston
Trombone: Paul Coupe

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 15th (G. Pritchard)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 9th
Grand Shield: 9th
Scottish Open: 10th
Tameside: 3rd

One of the most famous bands in the world return to Pontins for the first time since 2001 when they found themselves rather dowmn the field on the day. 2005 hasn't been too bad results why – nothing to set the world on fire though, but they are making progress in the right direction and as they showed at the Grand Shield they are more than capable of making their mark against this standard of rivals. The piece should suit them though as they won on it in 1982 under Roy Newsome at Belle Vue at the Open no less.  


Kevin MacKenzieBodmin
Conductor:
Kevin Mackenzie
www.bodmintownband.com

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Steve Hawkey
Euphonium: Richard Hawkey
Soprano: Mo Whitehead
Horn: Ray Hardie
Trombone: Martin Sanders

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 7th
Yeovil: 11th
Bugle: 2nd 

Nice to see Bodmin back and playing to the type of form that saw them as one of the strongest West of England bands at any contest they competed at, at the turn of the millennium. This year has shown that they continue to rebuild with confidence, but perhaps the best is yet to come?


Mike FowlesBT
Conductor:
Michael Fowles
www.btband.co.uk

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Peter Shaw
Euphonium: Jamie Meredith
Soprano: Ranate Saele
Horn: Helen Varley
Trombone: Phil Shatliff

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: 5th (M. Fowles)
2003: 10th (M. Fowles)
2002: DNC
2001: 3rd (M. Fowles)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 5th
Grand Shield: 8th
Butlins Mineworkers: 2nd
 
A good record here for BT and they will be confident of their chances of success under the baton of Michael Fowles.  A fine result at Butlins was followed by another quality show at Blackpool and a solid account at the Grand Shield. Ones to watch out for perhaps and a possible podium place just like 2001 will be the least of their ambitions.


Brian GrantCarlton Main Frickley Colliery
Conductor:
Brian Grant
www.carltonmain.co.uk

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kirsty Abbotts
Euphonium: Ciaran Young
Soprano: Claire Taylor
Horn: Kate Eggleshaw
Trombone: Darryl Jackson

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: DNC
2003: 4th (W. Rushworth)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 8th
Grand Shield: 13th
Masters: 14th
Butlins Mineworkers: 5th 
Dronsfield: Winners

Watch out for Carlton Main as we think they will want to end their fruitful partnership with Brian Grant in fine style. On their day they are a top class band, but they haven't had too much luck of late. Butlins was solid enough and they put in a fine show at Bradford. The Masters wasn't so good, but the Grand Shield saw them be more than a little unlucky. If they don't run over a black cat on the way to the hall they could well feature highly.


Chris BenthamFishburn
Conductor:
Chris Bentham
www.fishburnband.co.uk

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: John Gill
Euphonium: Jeff Bell
Soprano: Malcolm Usher
Horn: Steven Hardy
Trombone: Malcolm Gill

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: DNC
2003: 3rd (G. O'Connor)
2002: DNC
2001: 19th (I. Robinson) 
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 4th
Grand Shield: 14th
Scottish Open: 16th
Butlins Mineworkers: 8th 


Another band to watch out for if they play to form. Butlins was a decent enough effort, but they never really shone as they could whilst the Regionals was a major disappointment after they did shine all right but had no luck at all from the judges. The Grand shield was a hangover from that we think and so they will be keen to end the year in the right kind of style. They could do it if it all goes to plan. 


Catherine UnderwoodKidlington
Conductor:
Catherine Underwood
http://home.btconnect.com/Simon-Handley/kcb.html

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Nigel Membury
Euphonium: N/K
Soprano: Alex Elderfield
Horn: Jeff Raymont
Trombone: Rob Marsh

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: 22nd (C. Underwood)
2001: DNC
2000: 19th (C. Underwood)
1999: 11th (C. Underwood)
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 9th
Senior Trophy: 16th
Yeovil: 8th

Catherine Underwood continues to do sterling work with Kidlington and on their day they do have the talents to make a mark. Haven't quite got the secret formula right here though on their last three appearances and this year they struggled at the Regionals. The Senior Trophy was much the same, but they did show glimpses in Yeovil at the beginning of the year of what they are capable of. It could be time for that to occur again here.


Neil JowettLindley
Conductor:
Neil Jowett

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Glynn Nash
Euphonium: James Fieldhouse
Soprano: Denise Dranfield
Horn: Tracey White
Trombone: Paul Crier

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: 14th (N. Jowett)
2003: 9th (N. Jowett)
2002: 11th  (N. Jowett)
2001: Winners of 1st Section (N. Jowett)
2000: 9th in First Section (N. Jowett)
1999: DNC

2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 10th
Senior Cup: 12th

About par for Londley perhaps in 2005? The Regionals saw them put in a decent effort against some very strong opposition and the Senior Cup saw them give a solid if rather unspectacular account of themselves. Here they have middled and muddled along somewhat since coming up from the First Section, but Neil Jowett is a talented stickman and the time may be right for an assault on the prize list. 


Longridge
Conductor:
Mike Leeson
www.longridgeband.org.uk

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David Booth
Euphonium: Martin Bridges
Soprano: Matthew Balson
Horn: Tara Hardman
Trombone: Becky Stead

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: DNC
2003: 5th (First Section) (B. Baker)
2002: 21st (B. Baker)
2001: 22nd (D. Barry)
2000: DNC
1999: 6th (First Section) (M. Cotter)
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 8th
Brass at the Guild Hall: 7th 

Not a riveting year for Longridge, but not too bad a one either so far as well. The Regionals saw them come home in 8th place and the Brass at the Guild saw them earn 7th. Nothing to complain about - but nothing to shout about either. Could this be the year here that they make a real mark? We will have to wait and see.  


Ian PorthousePennine Brass
Conductor:
Ian Porthouse
www.Penninebrass.co.uk

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: JJ Lees
Euphonium: Mike Fox
Soprano: Mark Wears
Horn: Lauren Lea
Trombone: Lisa Sarasini

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: 19th (I. Porthouse)
2003: 8th (I. Porthouse)
2002: 6th (I. Porthouse)
2001: 2nd in First Section (I. Porthouse)
2000: DNE
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 11th
Grand Shield: 5th

After such a dramatic rise up through the sections there had to come a time when Pennine found life a little tougher. That was perhaps 2004, but 2005 has shown that they are now ready for the next step in their development. The Regionals though were a set back and they find themselves in Section 1 next year because of it. They were unlucky. The Grand Shield saw them bounce back in fine style and 5th place was excellent result. If they put in that kind of show here this weekend they could find themselves very close to the winners podium place.


John DavisRiddings
Conductor:
John Davis

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ruth Green
Euphonium: Brian Hanson
Soprano: Geoff Hawley
Horn: Rosie Hughes
Trombone: Clare Bond

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: 20th (First Section) (John Davis)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 12th
Senior Trophy: 15th
Buxton: 5th

On paper it seems that it has been a tough old 2005 so far for Riddings and their MD John Davis, but sometimes stats can be deceptive. Riddings have been making solid progress in the past couple of years under John's baton and it may be the right time for them to get some recognition for their efforts in results terms at least. The Regionals were a disappointment for sure, but the Senior Trophy had promise. Buxton so them perform much better, so that may be a good indictaion of how they may get on here this weekend.


Steve BastableStaffordshire
Conductor:
Steve Bastable
www.thestaffordshireband.org.uk

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Paul White
Euphonium: Mark Glover
Soprano: Andy Jennings
Horn: Tracey White
Trombone: N/K

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: Winners (S. Bastable)
2003: DNE
2002: 16th  (D. Maplestone)
2001: 16th  (D. Maplestone)
2000: 13th  (A. Culshaw)
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 8th
Senior Cup: 2nd
Yeovil: 7th
Buxton: Winners

The reigning champions return confident of becoming only the second band in a decade to retain their title. That confidence should not be misplaced either, although they have had a bit of a hit and miss year so far in 2005. The regionals were a big miss – they were off the pace and Yeovil was a messy performance blighted by mistakes. The Senior Cup was a cracker though and at Buxton they were a class above the field. If it clicks on the day on Sunday though, they will be hard to be beaten. 


Thomas WyssTredegar
Conductor:
Thomas Wyss

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Darren Thomas
Euphonium: Darren Morris
Soprano: Andrew Blewitt
Horn: Michael Franey
Trombone: Jonathan Pippen

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: Winners (G. Cutt)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: 2nd (N. Childs)
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 4th
British Open: 18th
Masters: 15th
Scottish Open: 5th
Ebbw Vale: Winners

A disappointing year for the former four times winners here, and although they are a band that cannot be discounted they are very much in the rebuilding process at the moment. Losing their place at the Open was a major blow, if not unexpected and at the Masters and the Regionals they sounded fragile and short of confidence. When they do get it together though they can still provide a very stiff challenge. Let's hope that is what they do this weekend.


United Co-op Milnrow
Conductor:
  Andrew White
www.milnrowband.co.uk

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Donna Towse
Euphonium: Brent Warren
Soprano: Keith Russell
Horn: Frances Blackledge
Trombone: N/K

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: 14th (First Section) (A. White)
2003: 2nd (First Section) (A. White)
2002: 12th (First Section) (C. Whiteoak)
2001: 5th  (Second Section) (D. Hebb)
2000: 7th (Second Section) (D. Hebb)
1999: DNC
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 8th
Brass at the Guild Hall: 12th 
JJB Contest: Winners, First Section
Buxton Entertainment: 3rd 

A decent year so far for Milnrow who came up from the First Section last year. They have put in real solid performances (with perhaps the exception of Brass at the Guild) and under Andrew White they continue to move in the right direction. The Regionals were solid enough and a good win at the JJB contest and 3rd place at Buxton not so long ago should put them in good stead for their challenge here.


Dave JonesWelwyn Garden City
Conductor:
David Jones
www.members.aol.com/wgcband/index.htm

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Nick Garmon
Euphonium: John Gafney
Soprano: Vicky Copeland
Horn: Elise Meers
Trombone: Ben Douglas

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: 23rd (P. Lawrence)
2003: DNE
2002: 8th in 1st Section (D. stokes)
2001: 7th in 1st Section (D. Stokes)
2000: DNE
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 5th
Senior Trophy: 14th

Former GUS soprano player David Jones takes the helm this year with Welwyn and they will be looking to make more of a mark here this time around than 12 months ago when they came home 23rd and last. Since then they have put in a solid account at the Regionals and a middle of the road showing at the Senior Trophy. Not bad, and plenty to work on, but they will have to perform very well here to make a mark.


Roy NewsomeWingates Temperance
Conductor:
Dr. Roy Newsome
www.wingatesband.org

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Andy MacDonald
Euphonium: Matthew Hill
Soprano: Elidh Snell
Horn: Robbie Carhill
Trombone: Russ Marsh

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: DNC
2003: 13th (R. Curran)
2002: DNC
2001: 10th (B. Grant)
2000: 2nd (B. Grant)
1999: DNC
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 4th
Senior Cup: 9th
Scottish Open: 6th
Brass at the Guild Hall: 3rd 

Another famous old banding name making a return call this year after giving Prestatyn a miss in 2004. Wingates have a bit of a hit and miss record here, but were unlucky not to have won the title in 2000 when they were excellent under Brian Grant on ‘Paganini Variations'. 2005 sees them in good form though and an excellent 4th place at the Regionals was followed by 9th at the Senior Cup which may have been below expectations. 3rd place at Brass at the Guild Hall was OK, but they will be looking for better here for sure.  


Roy CurranYorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel
Conductor:
Roy Curran
www.yorkshireimps.co.uk

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Mark Walters
Euphonium: Bill Lyon
Soprano: Richard Hanson
Horn: Simon Thewliss
Trombone: Les Webb

Past Record at Pontins:
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
 
2005 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 2nd in First Section
British Open: DNC
Lower Section National Finals: Winners First Section

Full of confidence and full of Yorkshire grit and determination. Imps will be looking to make it two in a row on Howell's pieces after their win at Harrogate on ‘Pageantry'. They certainly have the personnel to do it and even though they didn't make it to the Open this year, they will also be keen to show that as the one band here who has a place at that contest, it isn't a fluke. If it does go to plan they could well be pocketing another big cheque on the weekend. 

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