2007 National Championships of Great Britain - Runners and Riders


4BR looks at the records of the 20 bands that will take to the stage trying to win the title this weekend.

AveleyAveley and Newham
Nigel Taken
4BR Ranking: 26 
2007 Winnings: £100

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Gavin Hall
Principal Euphonium: Derick Kane
Soprano Cornet: Andrew Bannister
Solo Trombone: Chris Gommersall
Solo horn: Kelly-Ann Harrison
Flugel horn: Dave Lewis
Solo Baritone: Brian Vincent
Eb Tuba: David Kline

Appearances: 20th time
Debut: 1969 as Newham: 1990 as Aveley: 1995 as now.
Best Result: 5th in 1989 as Newham: 7th as Aveley and Newham 2000
Last Year: 18th
2007 Qualification: Runners-up at London and Southern Counties Regional Championships conducted by Nigel Taken.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: 18th (Nigel Taken) (9)
2005: 18th  (Nigel Taken) (7)
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: 12th (Nigel Taken) (10)
2001: 12th (Nigel Taken) (1)
2000:  7th  (Nigel Taken) (19)
1999: 13th (Nigel Taken) (4)
1998: 18th (Nigel Taken) (15)
1997: 17th (Melvin White) (4)
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
No Wins:
1 Fifth: 1989
2 Sixths: 1985, 1986
15 Unplaced: 1969 (N/K), 1982 (18th), 1984 (15th), 1987 (10th), 1990 (21st), 1992 (13th), 1993 (15th), 1995 (17th), 1997 (17th), 1998 (18th), 1999 (13th), 2000 (7th), 2001 (12th), 2002 (12th), 2005 (18th), 2006 (18th)

Form Guide:
Encouraging. After going through something of a trough in the past year Aveley showed a great deal of character at the British Open when they produced their best contest form for some considerable time in coming 15th.

That didn’t stop them from being relegated but it did show that there was plenty of fight in the belly.  They qualified quite easily for the finals this year after two major rivals dropped out of the Stevenage contest, and they will know they will have to build on that performance at Birmingham if they are to make any better impression here than they have in the last two years.

Player to watch out for: Derek Kane – euphonium. Excellent at Symphony Hall and the key perhaps to a good performance here too.  

DykeBlack Dyke
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking: 2
2007 Winnings: £6,175

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Richard Marshall
Principal Euphonium: David Thornton
Soprano Cornet: Peter Roberts
Solo Trombone: Brett Baker
Solo horn: Arfon Owen
Flugel horn: John Doyle
Solo Baritone: Gareth Brindle
Eb Tuba: Joseph Cook

Appearances: 75th time
Debut: 1900
Best Result: 20 Wins
Last Year: 2nd
2007 Qualification: 3rd place at Yorkshire Regional Championships (pre-qualified) conducted by Dr. Nicholas Childs.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: 2nd (Nicholas Childs) (8)
2005: 2nd (Nicholas Childs) (17)
2004: Winners (Nicholas Childs) (11)
2003: 4th (Nicholas Childs) (3)
2002: 3rd (Nicholas Childs) (4)
2001: Winners (Nicholas Childs) (12)
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: 5th (James Watson) (11)
1997: DNQ
1996: 3rd (James Watson) (6)

Overall Record:
Wins: 20 times - 1902, 1928, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1959, 1961, 1967, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2004
Second place: 18 times - 1900, 1923, 1924, 1930, 1932, 1936, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 2005, 2006
Third place: 11 times - 1903, 1913, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1952, 1960, 1973, 1974, 1996, 2002
Fourth place: 4 times - 1912, 1921, 1934, 2003
Fifth place: 3 times - 1908, 1955, 1998
Sixth place: 4 times - 1904, 1926, 1956, 1984
Unplaced: 14 times – 1909 (N/K), 1920 (N/K), 1922 (N/K), 1925 (N/K), 1927 (N/K), 1929 (N/K), 1931 (N/K), 1933 (N/K), 1945 (N/K), 1953 (N/K), 1958 (N/K), 1962 (8th), 1965 (N/K), 1990 (7th) 

Form Guide:
Need to be at their very best.  Dyke was outstanding at Symphony Hall but still came away not winning – beaten by an even better band on the day. If they repeat that form then they could well just leave enough of a gap for them to be pipped at the post again, so they just need to ratchet up the precision and eradicate those tiny errors that cost them so dearly at the Open.

Pre-qualified for the finals, and came a disappointing (if unlucky) 3rd at Bradford. They will not want to become runners-up here for the third time in a row either, so it could be all guns blazing this weekend.  

Player to watch out for: Richard Marshall – principal cornet. Nothing seems to faze the bloke. Give him extra pressure and he just laps it up.  

BrighouseBrighouse and Rastrick
Alan Morrison
4BR Ranking: 5
2007 Winnings: £7,300

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Stephen Wilkinson
Principal Euphonium: Michael Howley
Soprano Cornet: Nigel Fielding
Solo Trombone: David Robbins
Solo horn: Melvyn Bathgate
Flugel horn: David Moore
Solo Baritone: Leigh Baker
Eb Tuba: David Hebb

Appearances: 58th time
Debut: 1913
Best Result: 7 Wins
Last Year: DNQ
2007 Qualification: Winners at Yorkshire Regional Championships conducted by Alan Morrison.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: DNQ
2005: 6th (James Gourlay (18)
2004: 14th (James Gourlay) (8)
2003: 6th (Ian McElligott) (17)
2002: 5th (Ian McElligott) (1)
2001: 11th (Allan Withington) (4)
2000: 4th (Allan Withington) (18)
1999: 2nd (Allan Withington) (13)
1998: Winners (Allan Withington) (14)
1997: Winners (Allan Withington) (6)
1996: 6th (Allan Withington) (13)
1995: 4th (Allan Withington) (15)
1994: DNQ
1993: DNQ

Overall Record:
Wins: 7 times - 1946, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1980, 1997, 1998
Second place: 4 times - 1963, 1967, 1981, 1999
Third place: 3 times - 1948, 1951, 1975
Fourth place: 6 times - 1945, 1949, 1954, 1956, 1995, 2000
Fifth place: 7 times - 1913, 1950, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1992, 2002
Sixth place: 4 times - 1962, 1996, 2003, 2005
Unplaced: 25 times – 1929 (N/K), 1930 (N/K), 1931 (N/K), 1932 (N/K), 1933 (N/K), 1934 (N/K), 1935 (N/K), 1936 (N/K), 1937 (N/K), 1947 (N/K), 1952 (N/K), 1953 (N/K), 1957 (N/K), 1958 (N/K), 1960 (N/K), 1961 (N/K), 1966 (N/K), 1972 (N/K), 1976 (7th), 1977 (14th), 1982 (9th), 1986 (=14th), 1988 (7th), 1989 (15th), 2001 (11th), 2004 (14th)

Form Guide:
Quixotic. On their day no other band thrill you to the marrow like Brighouse in full flight, but they are also prone to forget that not everything they do has to be played with the foot on the testosterone throttle peddle.

They do struggle a little with the more reflective stuff – but then again, so do lots of others. The Open was a case in point – great loud stuff, fragile in the quiet bits – result 11th. They were on super form at Bradford and showed quality at the English Nationals, but have they just got that extra touch of class to win here we wonder?

Player to watch out for: Nigel Fielding – soprano. If he has a good day (and when he does he is a thrilling player to listen to) then Brighouse could well be in with a real shout. 

Jason Katsikaris
4BR Ranking: 22
2007 Winnings: £2,135

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ian Roberts
Principal Euphonium: Mark Hutcherson
Soprano Cornet: Meirion Davies
Solo Trombone: Jonathan Pippen
Solo horn: Bruce Myers
Flugel horn: Alexandria James
Solo Baritone: Chris Straker
Eb Tuba: Kate James

Appearances: 9th time
Debut: 1988
Best Result: 5th
Last Year: DNQ
2007 Qualification: 3rd place at Welsh Regional Championships conducted by Jason Katsikaris.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: DNQ
2005: 16th (Philip Harper) (14)
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: DNQ
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: 19th  (Alan Morrison) (9)
1997: DNQ
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
No Wins:
1 Fifth: 1991
7 Unplaced: 1988 (14th), 1989 (21st), 1990 (5th), 1993 (10th), 1994 (12th), 1998 (19th), 2005 (16th)

Form Guide:
Bubbling nicely. BTM are the type of band that can send a shock through your system every now and again with the quality of their playing – if the mood takes them.

At Swansea they were excellent and a touch unlucky perhaps not to have pushed Cory closer, whilst the partnership with the colourful Jason Katsikaris seems to be working very well indeed.  Consistency is the key though and at times this year they have also sounded pretty ordinary too. There is little doubt that they will be up for this one though and with some fine solo players around the stands they could be something of a dark horse. 

Player to watch out for: Mark Hutcherson – euphonium. The heartbeat of the band and a player of the highest class. 

Dr. Robert Childs
4BR Ranking: 1
2007 Winnings: £5,240

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ian Williams
Principal Euphonium: David Childs
Soprano Cornet: Michelle Ibbotson
Solo Trombone: Chris Thomas
Solo horn: Owen Farr
Flugel horn: Joanne Deane
Solo Baritone: Susan Thomas
Eb Tuba: Steve Sykes

Appearances: 46th time
Debut: 1924
Best Result: 5 Wins
Last Year: 4th
2007 Qualification: Winners Welsh Regional Championships (Pre-qualified) conducted by Dr. Robert Childs

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: 4th (Robert Childs) (7)
2005: 3rd (Robert Childs) (6)
2004: 4th (Robert Childs) (20)
2003: 3rd (Robert Childs) (12)
2002: 2nd (Robert Childs) (9)
2001: 5th (Robert Childs) (13)
2000: Winners (Robert Childs) (12)
1999: DNQ
1998: 6th (Jeremy Wise) (17)
1997: 6th (Jeremy Wise) (11)
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
Wins: 5 times - 1974, 1982, 1983, 1984, 2000
Second place: 3 times - 1948, 1979, 2002
Third place: 3 times – 1971, 2003, 2005
Fourth place: 2 times – 2004, 2006
Fifth place: 3 times - 1972, 1986, 2001
Sixth place: 6 times - 1949, 1952, 1967, 1976, 1997, 1998
Unplaced: 23 times – 1924 (N/K), 1945 (N/K), 1950 (N/K), 1951 (N/K), 1956 (N/K), 1959 (N/K), 1960 (N/K), 1961 (N/K), 1962 (N/K), 1963 (N/K), 1964 (N/K), 1965 (N/K), 1966 (N/K), 1968 (N/K), 1973 (N/K), 1975 (11th), 1977 (17th), 1978 (=7th), 1980 (6th), 1981 (=13th), 1988 (18th), 1992 (9th), 1994 (14th) 

Form Guide:
Sparkling. Hard to underestimate what the British Open victory did for the confidence of the Welsh Champion. They waited a long time to gain their third title at Symphony Hall, but when they won it, they did it in considerable style.

The regional win was comfortably achieved, but they upped their game to new levels at Birmingham. This piece seems to be tailor made for their brand of individual brilliance and detailed ensemble work, so if they carry on where they left off last month a second ‘double’ may well be within their grasp.  

Player to watch out for: David Childs – euphonium. Very little more to be said really.    

DesfordDesford Colliery
Nigel Seaman
4BR Ranking: 10
2007 Winnings: £7,100

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ian Culross
Principal Euphonium: Mike Kilroy
Soprano Cornet: Martin Britt
Solo Trombone: Jonathan Turner
Solo horn: Murray Borthwick
Flugel horn: Brian Winter
Solo Baritone: Lloyd Shipp
Eb Tuba: John Truscott

Appearances: 22nd time
Debut: 1976
Best Result: 4 Wins
Last Year: DNQ
2007 Qualification: 2nd place at Midlands Regional Championships conducted by Nigel Seaman.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2005: 9th (Nigel Seaman) (15)
2004: DNQ
2003: 10th (Major Peter Parkes) (6)
2002: 8th (Major Peter Parkes) (13)
2001: DNQ
2000: 11th (Major Peter Parkes) (11)
1999: DNQ
1998: 15th (Frank Renton) (19)
1997: DNQ
1996: 10th (Bramwell Tovey) (3)
1995: 3rd (Major Peter Parkes) (2)
1994: DNQ
1993: 21st (Stephen Roberts) (3)

Overall Record:
Wins: 4 times - 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990
Second place: 2 times - 1985, 1992
Third place: 1 time - 1995
Unplaced: 14 times – 1976 (9th), 1977 (10th), 1979 (13th), 1980 (7th), 1982 (7th), 1984 (7th), 1986 (11th), 1993 (21st), 1996 (10th), 1998 (15th), 2000 (11th), 2002 (8th), 2003 (10th), 2005 (9th)

Form Guide:
Thrilling. If Desford can repeat the type of form they showed at Symphony Hall last month then a fifth National title is not beyond them. There they were on superb form and 4th place was so well deserved for a performance of such musicality.

Nigel Seaman returns to a band that must be full to the brim with confidence. They just made it to the finals this year in Burton, but that was then, and this is now. Perhaps one of the most settled bands in the UK at present they have quality performers in every position around the stands.  You can get good odds at the bookies for a top six place at least – and you won’t be wasting your money we think.

Player to watch out for: Ian Culross – principal cornet. A talented player who has impressed on his varied travels so far as a top man.   

eymsEast Yorkshire Motor Services
Jim Davies
4BR Ranking:  70
2007 Winnings: £100

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Steve Rudhall
Principal Euphonium: Neil Johnson
Soprano Cornet: N/K
Solo Trombone: Mark Unsworth
Solo horn: Alison Grantham
Flugel horn: Kathy Newiss
Solo Baritone: John Mathews
Eb Tuba: David Fox

Appearances: 9th time
Debut: 1996
Best Result: 8th
Last Year: DNQ
2007 Qualification: Runners-up at North of England Championships conducted by Jim Davies.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: DNQ
2005: DNQ
2004: 20th (Gareth Pritchard) (17)
2003: 14th (Gareth Pritchard) (13)
2002: 20th (Gareth Pritchard) (3)
2001: 14th (Gareth Pritchard) (10)
2000: DNQ
1999: 15th (John Roberts) (18)
1998: 10th (John Roberts) (5)
1997: 13th (Robert Childs) (5)
1996: 8th (Robert Childs) (14)

Overall Record:
Unplaced: 8 times - 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 

Form Guide:
Encouraging. EYMS is starting to return to the type of consistent form that saw them make the trip to the Royal Albert Hall on a regular basis in the past decade, and more than hold their own here too.

Jim Davies has been the catalyst for reviving the playing fortunes and has brought solidity as well as his own brand of musicianship to bear – especially at the Regionals where in many peoples opinion they were unlucky not to have won.  Just missed out on promotion from the Senior Cup this year, if they have carried on improving from that benchmark they may well enjoy their first appearance back here for three years. 

Player to watch out for: Steve Rudhall – principal cornet. A quality top man in anyone’s book. 

FodensFodens Richardson
Gary Cutt
4BR Ranking: 3
2007 Winnings: £11,860

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Mark Wilkinson
Principal Euphonium: Glyn Williams
Soprano Cornet: Alan Wycherley
Solo Trombone: John Barber
Solo horn: Sheona White
Flugel horn: Helen Fox
Solo Baritone: Natsumi Inaba
Eb Tuba: Les Neish

Appearances: 58th time
Debut: 1909
Best Result: 12 Wins
Last Year: 5th
2007 Qualification: Winners of the North West Regional Championships conducted by Gary Cutt.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: 5th (Gary Cutt) (15)
2005: DNQ
2004: DNQ
2003: 5th (Thomas Wyss) (2)
2002: 4th (Bramwell Tovey) (20)
2001: 2nd (Bramwell Tovey) (20)
2000: 3rd (Bramwell Tovey) (15)
1999: Winners (Nicholas Childs) (5)
1998: 4th (Nicholas Childs) (20)
1997: 3rd (Nicholas Childs) (2)
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
Wins: 12 times - 1910, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1950, 1953, 1958, 1999
Second place: 10 times - 1909, 1911, 1921, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1988, 1990, 1991, 2001
Third place: 7 Times - 1912, 1923, 1947, 1954, 1959, 1997, 2000
Fourth place: 5 times - 1928, 1957, 1989, 1998, 2002
Fifth place: 6 times – 1922, 1956, 1978, 1983, 1985, 2006
Sixth place: 3 times - 1925, 1931, 1961
Unplaced: 14 times – 1913, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1955, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1972, 1976 (13th=), 1977 (15th) , 1980 (16th=), 1993 (11th)

Form Guide:
Coming to the boil at the right time? If Fodens can just up the ante from their performance at Symphony Hall to the level that is currently being played by the likes of Cory, Dyke and Grimethorpe then a win here is not out of the question by any means.

They now regularly produce very high class shows, but just need that extra little sprinkling of magic dust that can make the difference between a victory and a well deserved podium place. They have the personnel around the stands and a fine MD in the middle and have shown all year that they are perhaps just a step or two away from a major victory. Can they just take them here we wonder?  

Player to watch out for: Les Neish – Eb tuba. Given just a moment to shine he commands the attention. A real artist.  

GrimethorpeGrimethorpe Colliery
Allan Withington
4BR Ranking: 4
2007 Winnings: £5,500

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Roger Webster
Principal Euphonium: Michael Dodd
Soprano Cornet: Kevin Crockford
Solo Trombone: Richard Brown
Solo horn: Martin Armstrong
Flugel horn: Andrew Holmes
Solo Baritone: Robert Blackburn
Eb Tuba: Shaun Crowther

Appearances: 28th time
Debut: 1962
Best Result: 3 wins
Last Year: Winners
2007 Qualification: 8th at Yorkshire Regional Championships (pre-qualified) conducted by Allan Withington. 

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: Winners (Allan Withington)
2005: 4th (Allan Withington) (20)
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: 7th  (James Gourlay) (11)
2001: DNQ
2000: 10th (Garry Cutt) (2)
1999: DNQ
1998: DNQ
1997: 7th   (Major Peter Parkes) (8)
1996: 2nd  (Major Peter Parkes) (19)

Overall Record:
Wins: 3 times - 1970, 1992, 2006
Second place: 3 times - 1974, 1977, 1996
Third place: 3 times - 1972, 1978, 1991
Fourth place: 7 times - 1962, 1967, 1969, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2005
Fifth place: 1 time – 1976
Sixth place: 1 time – 1964
Unplaced: 9 times – 1963 (N/K), 1968 (N/K), 1973 (N/K), 1981 (=10th), 1984 (10th), 1989 (9th), 1997 (7th), 2000 (10th), 2002 (7th)

Form Guide:
Ready to explode. Grimey were thrill a minute at Symphony Hall in a performance that would have taken the roof off the Albert Hall – and crucially, was perhaps more suited to here than Birmingham.

Allan Withington knows just what is needed to win at London – and so do his players, so when they stamp their class on the opposition it is like being run over by a rampaging herd of rhinos – nothing can stop them. All the quality, all the class. If you hear the rumble of hooves, take cover, it will be a Grimethorpe victory parade.  
Player to watch out for:  Roger Webster – principal cornet. ‘nuff said. 

Hepworth (Cookson Homes)
Mark Bentham
4BR Ranking: 14
2007 Winnings: £7,700

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Robert Westacott
Principal Euphonium: James Fieldhouse
Soprano Cornet: Huug Steketee
Solo Trombone: Yvonne Embury
Solo horn: Rebecca Landon
Flugel horn: Maria Beazer
Solo Baritone: Nicholas Young
Eb Tuba: Matthew Broadbent

Appearances: Debut
Debut: 2007
Best Result: N/A
Last Year: DNQ
2007 Qualification: Runners-up at Yorkshire Regional Championships conducted by Mark Bentham.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
Debut this year

Overall Record: N/A
Form Guide:
Impressive. Indeed they were at Birmingham where they could perhaps count themselves a touch unlucky that their detailed and balanced performance didn’t receive the accolade it deserved in coming 8th. 

That was the second highly impressive contest in a row and if they carry on down that path and don’t get tempted by trying to mimic their bigger blowing rivals then a top six placing is well within their grasp.  They have shown they can do it now from Bradford to Birmingham, so why not here?

Player to watch out for: Robert Westacott – principal cornet. The rock on which Hepworth’s recent performances have been built. And he made out of musical granite too.  

Nigel Boddice
4BR Ranking: 19
2007 Winnings: £1,350

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dave Prentice
Principal Euphonium: Neil Philip
Soprano Cornet: Steve Stewart
Solo Trombone: Marion Brackpool
Solo horn: Alan Wardrope
Flugel horn: Martyn Ramsay
Baritone: Jim Corrigan
Eb Tuba: Andy McKreel

Appearances: 11th time
Debut: 1968
Best Result: 4th in 1997
Last Year: 8th
2007 Qualification: Winners at Scottish Regional Championships conducted by Nigel Boddice. 

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: 8th (Steve Bastable) (19)
2005: DNQ
2004: DNQ
2003: 8th (Frank Renton) (9)
2002: 14th (Frank Renton) (16)
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: 11th (Frank Renton) (3)
1998: 12th (Frank Renton) (6)
1997: 4th (Frank Renton) (17)
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Fourth place: 1 time -1997
Fifth place:
Sixth place:
Unplaced: 9 times - 1968, 1984 (9th), 1985 (13th), 1990 (19th), 1998 (12th), 1999 (11th), 2002 (14th), 2003 (8th), 2006 (8th)

Form Guide:
In need of a boost. After a year which promised so much after their fine win at the Scottish Championships, Kirky are in need of a good result after the wheels came off at Symphony Hall.

That said, they were unlucky to come 18th and last, but they were a touch cautious on the day and this piece is anything but that. If they do throw caution to the wind then they have the key personnel to thrill the pants off and an MD who can bring a fine lyrical presence to just about any music. The Albert Hall is not a place for the faint hearted, so time for Kirky to strut their stuff.   

Player to watch out for: David Prentice – principal cornet. A high class player and one who goes about his business with an understated sense of musical authority.  

Russell Gray
4BR Ranking: 9
2007 Winnings: £600

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Andy Lord
Principal Euphonium: Brenden Wheeler
Soprano Cornet: Bert Van Thienen
Solo Trombone: Richard Walker
Solo horn: Aidan Smith
Flugel horn: Nicky Longden
Solo Baritone: Katrina Marzella
Tuba: Chris Doran

Appearances: 22nd time
Debut: 1981
Best Result: Winners 
Last Year: 6th
2007 Qualification: 2nd place at North West Regional Championships conducted by Russell Gray.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: 6th (Russell Gary) (20)
2005: Winners (Russell Gray) (5)
2004: 16th (Garry Cutt) (13)
2003: 17th (Garry Cutt) (5)
2002: 15th (Garry Cutt) (6)
2001: 6th (Garry Cutt) (8)
2000: 14th (Howard Snell) (16)
1999: 10th (Richard Evans) (6)
1998: 8th (Richard Evans) (4)
1997: DNQ
1996: 7th (Richard Evans) (9)

Overall Record:
Wins: 1 time - 2005
Third place: 1 time - 1984
Fourth place: 1 time - 1990
Fifth place: 2 times - 1993, 1995
Sixth place: 2 times – 2001, 2006
Unplaced: 14 times 1981 (=10th), 1982 (8th), 1985 (8th), 1987 (9th), 1991 (7th), 1994 (7th), 1996 (7th), 1998 (8th), 1999 (10th), 2000 (14th), 2002 (15th), 2003 (17th), 2004 (16th)

Form Guide:
Not quite firing on all cylinders at present. Leyland has had one of those years so far when there has been plenty of promise but disappointingly little to show for their efforts.

The qualification for London was well enough achieved, but failure to qualify for the British Open was a major let down and Preston was OK but nothing more in coming 5th. All hopes are pinned on here then and in the past two years they have certainly enjoyed the experience. Quality performers in every corner (including the obligatory ‘import’ from Europe) and a MD who brings out the music from every note, Leyland have all the attributes to do very well indeed.

Player to watch out for: Brenden Wheeler – euphonium. No longer a player of promise and potential – now the real deal.  

Mount CharlesMount Charles
Andrew Duncan
4BR Ranking: 23
2007 Winnings: £600

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ian Thomas
Principal Euphonium: Neil Pascoe
Soprano Cornet: John Small
Solo Trombone: Martin Saunders
Solo horn: Sarah Whitehead
Flugel horn: Yasmin Stevens
Baritone: Terry Sleeman
Eb Tuba: Shawn Woodland

Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2004
Best Result: 7th
Last Year: 9th
2007 Qualification: Runners-ups at the West of England Regional Championship conducted by Andrew Duncan.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: 9th (Nigel Weeks) (17)
2005: DNQ
2004: 7th (Bryan Hurdley) (5)

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Unplaced: 2 times – 2004 (7th), 2006 (9th)

Form Guide:
In need of a good run. There will be little doubting the amount of hard work and commitment that will have gone into this performance, but given the quality of the opposition this weekend, will it be enough?

On their day Mount Charles fight well above their weight (and produced a fine performance to qualify) but they failed to impress greatly at the Grand Shield or the English Nationals and there is a sense that they are still a little way off the form that took them to 9th place last year. It won’t be for the lack of trying though, but it is asking a bit for a repeat result.
Player to watch out for: John Small – soprano. A quality act and as solid a performer as they come.   

Philip Harper
4BR Ranking: 13
2007 Winnings: £5,570

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Chris Howley
Principal Euphonium: Andrew Hicks
Soprano Cornet: Spencer O’Leary
Solo Trombone: Nathan Jenkins
Solo horn: Vicki Reynolds
Flugel horn: Danny Wilder
Baritone: Carolyn Chandler
Eb Tuba: Robin Norman

Appearances: 9th time
Debut: 1991
Best Result: 10th
Last Year: DNQ
2007 Qualification: Winners at the West of England Regional Championship conducted by Philip Harper.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: DNQ
2005: DNQ
2004: DNQ
2003: 16th (Philip Harper) (4)
2002: DNQ
2001: 9th (Philip Harper) (11)
2000: 16th (Richard Evans) (4)
1999: 14th (Bryan Hurdley) (2)
1998: DNQ
1997: 10th (Paul Cosh) (1)
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
Unplaced: 8 times – 1991 (13th), 1994 (11th), 1995 (14th), 1997 (10th), 1999 (14th), 2000 (16th), 2001 (9th), 2003 (16th)

Form Guide:
A touch of the Icarus syndrome about them perhaps? All year PolySteel had been playing very well it seemed – right up to the time they lost their heads at Symphony Hall and paid the penalty for believing they could fly as high as the very top bands in the land without controlling the enthusiasm.

All they needed was to concentrate on what had made them such a super band and another top result was theirs for the taking. They didn’t, got their wings burnt and fell to earth in 17th place.  They won’t make the same mistake again we think, especially as it is the first time five years that they have made it to the finals.  If the feet are planted on the ground then their quality could well shine through.

Player to watch out for: Chris Howley – principal cornet. An experienced top class performer who rarely delivers below his best.  

Redbridge Brass
Melvin White
4BR Ranking: 50
2007 Winnings: £200 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ralph Brill
Principal Euphonium: Lisa James
Soprano: Ed Clarke
Solo Horn: Simon Jones
Flugel: Tim Hammond
Solo Trombone: Suzanne Cordiner
Tuba: Simon Roberts
Baritone: Iain Parkhouse

Appearances: 12th time
Debut: 1988
Best Result: 7th
Last Year: DNQ
2007 Qualification: Winners of London and Southern Counties Regional Championships conducted by Melvin White

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: DNQ
2005: 7th (Melvin White) (4)
2004: 12th (Melvin White) (3)
2003: 15th (Melvin White) (20)
2002: 11th (Melvin White) (15)
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: 20th (Melvin White) (12)
1997: 18th (Graham Wilson) (16)
1996: 13th (Graham Wilson) (10)

Overall Record:
Unplaced: 11 times 1988 (19th), 1990 (18th), 1991 (18th), 1992 (19th), 1996 (13th), 1997 (18th), 1998 (20th), 2002 (11th), 2003 (15th), 2004 (12th), 2005 (7th)

Form Guide:
Another competitor in need of a good run.  Although Redbridge returned to winning ways at the Regionals they were not up against a very strong field and come the Grand Shield and Masters they failed somewhat to make any sort of mark against decent opposition, eventually coming home in the midfield placings.

They have enjoyed good form here in their last three appearances and there were signs this year that the band were starting to find its way again. There is quality in the ranks and a crafty and experienced MD at the helm, but that may not be enough this year to worry their rivals.

Player to watch out for: Suzanne Cordiner – trombone. A quality player who produces the goods for her band time and time again.  

Reg VardyReg Vardy
Ray Farr
4BR Ranking: 20
2007 Winnings: £200

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Bryan Tait
Principal Euphonium: Paul Robinson
Soprano Cornet: Tom Glendinning
Solo Trombone: Chris Bentham
Solo horn: Andrew Hall
Flugel horn: Joanne Winspear
Solo Baritone: Laura Boyle
Eb Tuba: Steve Malcolm

Appearances: 40th time
Debut: 1963 as Craghead Colliery, 1969 as Ever Ready
Best Result: 3rd
Last Year: 16th
2007 Qualification: Winners of North of England Regional Championships conducted by Ray Farr.

Last 11Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: 16th (Ray Farr) (10)
2005: 10th (Ray Farr) (8)
2004: 3rd (Ray Farr) (18)
2003: 12th (Ray Farr) (15)
2002: 9th (Ray Farr) (8)
2001: DNQ
2000: 13th (Stephen Roberts) (3)
1999: 19th (Robert Childs) (8)
1998: DNQ
1997: 5th (Stephen Roberts) (10)
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
Third place: 1 time - 2004
Fourth place: 1 time - 1976
Fifth place: 2 times - 1982, 1997
Sixth: 3 times -1970, 1973, 1988
Unplaced: 31 times – 1963 (N/K), 1964 (N/K), 1965 (N/K), 1966 (N/K), 1967 (N/K), 1968 (N/K), 1969 (N/K), 1972 (N/K), 1974  (=11th), 1975 (7th), 1977 (7th), 1978 (9th), 1979 (9th), 1980 (11th), 1981 (16th), 1984 (11th), 1985 (12th), 1986 (12th), 1987 (13th), 1989 (17th), 1990 (14th), 1991 (8th), 1992 (16th), 1993 (17th), 1994 (16th), 1995 (19th), 1999 (19th), 2000 (13th), 2002 (9th), 2003 (12th), 2005 (10th), 2006 (16th)

Form Guide:
Signs of a revival? If Reg Vardy was a horse then there would have been a steward’s enquiry into why they have performed so poorly at major contests over the last couple of years. 

Even the regional win was a bit of a struggle and although they showed signs of improvement at the Open it still wasn’t enough to prevent them from being relegated. It has been a pretty wretched year so far, but if they can finally grab some sort of form they have the talent and determination to more than make a mark once more. It is a big ask though. 
Player to watch out for: Bryan Tait – principal cornet. If he performs like he did in 2004 then Reg Vardy will surely be inspired.  

Michael Fowles
4BR Ranking: 28
2007 Winnings: £200

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Paul White
Solo Horn: Tracey White
Solo Euphonium: Mark Glover
Solo Trombone: N/K
Soprano Cornet: Andy Jennings
Flugel: Julia Telling
Tuba: Eric Handford
Baritone: Michelle Swift

Appearances: 4th time
Debut: 1991
Best Result: 13th
Last Year: DNQ
2007 Qualification: Winners of Midlands Regional Championships conducted by David Maplestone.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: DNQ
2005: DNQ
2004: 13th (Steve Bastable) (12)
2003: DNQ
2002: DNQ
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: 14th (Andy Culshaw) (2)
1997: DNQ
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
Unplaced: 3 times – 1991 (23rd), 1998 (14th), 2004 (13th)

Form Guide:
Moving in the right direction. Staffordshire may be a bit of an outside bet for many observers, but it would be wrong to write off heir chances of making a real mark on the weekend.

2007 has been another year of steady progress and the regional victory and a decent 8th place at the Grand Shield show that they are a band to take note of. Michael Fowles has some talented players at his disposal and the MD himself knows how to get the best out his resources. May surprise a few people.
Player to watch out for: Julia Telling – flugal horn. One of the best flugel players on the circuit – a class act.  

Ian Porthouse
4BR Ranking: 21
2007 Winnings: £220

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dewi Griffiths
Principal Euphonium: Darren Morris
Soprano Cornet: Steve Barnsley
Solo Trombone: Steve Turton
Solo horn: Chris Davies
Flugel horn: Andrea Lewis
Solo Baritone: John Bound
Eb Tuba: Mark Carter

Appearances: 21st time
Debut: 1964
Best Result: 2nd
Last Year: DNQ
2007 Qualification: Runners-up at Welsh Regional Championships conducted by Michael Fowles.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: DNQ
2005: DNQ
2004: 5th (Russell Gray) (10)
2003: 2nd (Steve Bastable) (11)
2002: DNQ
2001: 7th (Steve Bastable) (14)
2000: 5th (Steve Bastable) (13)
1999: 3rd (Thomas Wyss) (11)
1998: DNQ
1997: DNQ
1996: 11th (Nicholas Childs) (4)

Overall Record:
Second place: 2 times – 1993, 2003
Third place: 1 time - 1999
Fifth place: 3 times - 1994, 2000, 2004
Sixth place: 2 times - 1977, 1979
Unplaced: 12 times - 1964, 1967, 1974, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2001 

Form Guide:
Steady as she goes. Nice to see Tredegar back at the Albert Hall after a few years away.  They have a fine record here over the past decade, but they are not the band they once were even though there are encouraging signs of good quality rebuilding work taking place.

Played well in getting to London at the Welsh regionals, but that has been the only real highlight of the year so far. Ian Porthouse will make sure they are well prepared, but they are perhaps a year or so away from being back to becoming challengers for the prizes.
Player to watch out for: Dewi Griffiths – principal cornet. A top quality top man leading from the front. 

Steven Mead
4BR Ranking: 19
2007 Winnings: £4,650

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Chris Bradley
Principal Euphonium: Richard Kidd
Soprano Cornet: Scott Forrest
Solo Trombone: Alex Philip
Solo horn: Iain Fleming
Flugel horn: Jim Chamberlain
Solo Baritone: Anne Crookston
Eb Tuba: Graham Fraser

Appearances: 26th time
Debut: 1968
Best Result: 3rd
Last Year: DNQ
2007 Qualification: Runners-up at Scottish Regional Championships conducted by Andrew Duncan.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: DNQ
2005: 11th (Andrew Duncan) (2)
2004: 8th (Andrew Duncan) (2)
2003: DNQ
2002: 10th (Phillip McCann) (19)
2001: 8th (Phillip McCann) (6)
2000: DNQ
1999: 9th (Phillip McCann) (9)
1998: 13th (Major Peter Parkes) (10)
1997: 11th (Richard Adams) (3)
1996: 17th (Chris Houlding) (5)

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Third place: 2 times - 1981, 1989
Fifth place: 2 times -1990, 1991
Unplaced: 21 times – 1968 (N/K), 1971 (N/K), 1972 (N/K), 1974 (=13th), 1975 (=16th), 1976 (20th), 1977 (19th), 1980 (18th), 1982 (10th), 1986 (7th), 1987 (17th), 1992 (11th), 1993 (8th), 1996 (17th), 1997 (11th), 1998 (13th), 1999 (9th), 2001 (8th), 2002 (10th), 2004 (8th), 2005 (11th)

Form Guide:
Interesting. Whitburn did have a large dose of good fortune at Birmingham when they came 6th at the British Open, but perhaps that was luck that was long overdue.

They surely won’t complain of the same thing happens here (and if they get a decent draw) and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that if they do hit top form they have the quality in ensemble and solo lines to push for another mention off the stage. The choice of Steven Mead as MD could well hold the key, as he knows what it takes to sparkle on this piece better than most.

Player to watch out for: Richard Kidd – euphonium. One of the brightest young talents in the UK, he is now playing very much like the finished article.  

Richard Evans
4BR Ranking: 7
2007 Winnings: £2,000

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Alex Kerwin
Principal Euphonium: Morgan Griffiths
Soprano Cornet: Claire Taylor
Solo Trombone: Danny Brookes
Solo horn: Kate Eggleshaw
Flugel horn: Sian Linney
Solo Baritone: Rob Richardson
Eb Tuba: Ken Ferguson

Appearances: 20th time
Debut: 1957 (as Hammonds Sauce)
Best Result: 2nd
Last Year: 5th
2007 Qualification: 11th place at Yorkshire Regional Championships (pre-qualified) conducted by Alan Ramsay.

Last 11 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2006: 3rd (David King) (4)
2005: 5th (David King) (12)
2004: 2nd (David King) (7)
2003: DNQ
2002: 6th (David King) (17)
2001: 3rd (David King) (18)
2000: 17th (David King) (17)
1999: 8th (David King) (1)
1998: 2nd (David King) (7)
1997: DNQ
1996: 5th (David King) (1)

Overall Record:
Second place: 3 times -1995, 1998, 2004
Third place: 3 times -1994, 2001, 2006
Fourth place: 1 time - 1972
Fifth place: 2 times – 1996, 2005
Sixth place: 2 times - 1979, 2002
Unplaced: 8 times - 1957 (N/K), 1968 (N/K), 1969 (N/K), 1975 (8th), 1976 (=13th), 1980 (14th), 1999 (8th), 2000 (17th) 

Form Guide:
Blandly encouraging. It may seem a touch strange that we say that but the performances of late under Richard Evans have been all the better for the band for being a touch safe rather than excitingly sorry.

The Open performance is particular was one that showed that here was a band determined to carry on the name of YBS with pride, despite the more obvious limitations in monetary backing and obvious star players. There was still something about them though that suggested that they were not too far off the pace to mix it back in the top end of the results table. Could be a real dark horse this weekend.

Player to watch out for: Morgan Griffiths – euphonium. They don’t make ‘em like him anymore – mores the pity.


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Alan FernieAlan Fernie

Arranger, composer, adjudicator, conductor