2008 North of England Regional Championship - Runners & Riders: Fourth Section


Some new faces boost the Fourth Section this year up to an encouraging 13 bands, and it should prove to be a cracking contest on a cracking piece.

Saturday 29th March
Adjudicator: Colin Hardy

Test Piece: Four Cities Symphony – Rodney Newton
Commences: 12.00pm

Ayecliffe and Brancepeth
Maurice Priestley 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 6th (M. Priestley)
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 8th (M. Priestley)
2003: DNC
2002: 6th
2001: DNC
2000: 12th
1999: N/K
1998: 8th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

The joint forces of Ayecliffe (formed in 1960) and Brancepeth (formed way before!) came together in 1990 and have had a bit of an on/off relationship with the contest ever since.

Great to see them back again this year though under the baton of Maurice Priestley, and they will be looking to build on the solid 6th place they achieved last year.  

BackworthBackworth Colliery
Colin Harris

Last 12 Years:
2007: 7th in Third Section (D. Beckley) (rel)
2006: 7th (D. Beckley)
2005: Winners of Fourth Section (D. Beckley) (prom)
2004: 4th (T. Griffiths)
2003: 7th (T. Griffiths)
2002: 7th (T. Griffiths)
2001: 8th (T. Griffiths)
2000: DNC
1999: N/K
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K
 (Formerly called Five Rivers Brass until 2007)

Even with the reversion to their original name, Backworth Colliery are as busy as ever on the contesting front it seems.

7th place last year  in the Third Section meant relegation but was a solid performance, and since that time they have come 11th at the Borders contest, 6th at Brass at the Guild Hall in Preston and 8th at Butlins. All that experience should hopefully put them in fine fettle ahead of the contest here then and a podium finish or even better may be on the horizon.       

Bearpark and Esh
V. Eckerman

Last 12 Years:
2007: 10th (V. Eckerman)
2006: 5th (A. Hall)
2005: 4th (A. Hall)
2004: 8th in Third Section (rel) (A. Hall)
2003: 9th (T. Minnis)
2002: 6th (B. Oxlee)
2001: 2nd in Fourth Section (J. Foxcroft) (prom)
2000: 3rd (A. Hall)
1999: Winners of Fourth Section
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

’The band that makes the North East Rock!’ – according to their website that is, returns this year hoping to improve on the disappointing result of 10th a year ago.

The Esh Band was originally formed in 1950 and joined forces with Bearpark in 1979, but its not clear from which date they started the rock and roll. Hopefully on Saturday night we may find out if they can really live up to their proud boast!  

Chester le streetChester– le- Street Riverside Concert Brass
M. Humphrey

Last 12 Years:
Debut appearance.

Always great to report a band making their debut appearance at a contest and so the carpet will be rolled out for the development arm of the Chester-le-Street band.

They were formed in 2004 with help from the Durham Foundation and has been making excellent progress since building up numbers, undertaking concerts and even the odd contest appearance such as at Brighouse last year. We wish them well and hope it will herald the first of many appearances to come.  

Craghead Colliery
John Robson

Last 12 Years:
2007: 8th (J. Robson)
2006: 9th (J. Robson)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: 14th (R. Wallace)
2002: 4th
2001: 12th
2000: DIS
1999: N/K
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

A band with a famous old name in these parts has been making steady progress under the baton of John Robson since returning to the contesting fray in 2006.

More of the same would do very nicely indeed and they have a good foundation to work from after coming runner up at the Durham contest late last year.  

cLEETHORPEKingsway Printers Cleethorpes
S. Askew

Last 12 Years:
2007: 9th (S. Askew)

The band which boasts the printers stamp is in fact well over 100 years old and has a very proud history, despite it seems the odd up and down.

Last year they returned to the contest arena for the first time in a number of years and came a very creditable 9th, so hopefully they can build on that and push further up the results table. They came 12th at the Leicester Contest late last year and 13th at Butlins so there is something to build on for sure.  

Kirkby Lonsdale
A. Greenwood 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 3rd (A. Greenwood)
2006: 8th (A. Greenwood)
2005: 10th in Third Section (A. Greenwood) (rel)
2004: 9th (A. Greenwood)
2003: 6th in Fourth Section (A. Greenwood) (prom)
2002: 2nd (A. Greenwood)
2001: DNC
2000: 8th (A. Greenwood)
1999: N/K
1998: 6th in Third Section (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Kirkby just missed out last year on a trip to the National Finals, and we are sure they will want to put that right this time out.

They seem to be finding their feet here now after relegation in 2005, so they could well be a band to watch out for come the announcement of the results.      

J. Fenwick

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: Withdrew (rel)
2003: 8th in Third Section (G. Tindall)
2002: 3rd (G. Tindall)
2001: 3rd (G. Tindall)
2000: 2nd in Fourth Section (G. Tindall) (prom)
1999: N/K
1998: 5th (G. Tindall)
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

It’s a big welcome back for Lanchester who have missed the last four years here.

Founded in County Durham in 1978 they have tasted success here in the past, coming runner up in the Fourth Section in 2000. Let’s hope this is the first of numerous appearances back at the contest then.   

MarskeMarske Brass
A. Prest

Last 12 Years:
2007: 2nd (A. Prest)
2006: 3rd (A. Prest)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: 10th (M. Fowles)
2002: 11th  (A. Prest)
2001: 7th in Third Section (A. Prest) (rel)
2000: 9th (A. Prest)

Marske will be looking to take the final step up the Fourth Section ladder this weekend we are sure, after two years in which they have produced well deserved podium finishes.

Formed in 1875 and with proud Quaker roots they win the Durham contest late last year, so their immediate last form is pretty good.      

South Milford Brass
R. Wilton 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 5th (R. Wilton)
2000-2006: DNC
1999: 2nd
The band formed by Graham Walker, the former principal cornet at Yorkshire Imps all those years ago in 1982, returned to the contest last year and came a very creditable 5th.

More of that will do nicely, but perhaps they could be an outside bet for a possible podium place too. 

StanhopeStanhope Silver
Steve Robson

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: 6th (S. Robson)
2005: 7th (S. Robson)
2004: 9th (S. Robson)
2003: 4th (S. Robson)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: N/K
1998: 10th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

The excellent Steve Robson returns with Stanhope after a year’s leave from the contest and they will be looking to deliver another solid account of themselves – something they were coping with regularity before their break. 

The band came 5th at the Durham contest late last year so the foundation is there to build on this weekend. 

Swinton and District Excelsior
N. Sutherland 

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: 9th in Third Section (P. Carter) (rel)
2005: 9th (R. Rutter)
2004: 6th (R. Rutter)
2003: 6th (R. Rutter)
2002: 9th (R. Rutter)
2001: Winners 4th Section (R. Rutter) (prom)
2000: 5th (R. Rutter)
1999: N/K
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Another returnee – this time after a break and a relegation from the Third Section for Swinton, who hail from near Malton in North Yorkshire.

Hopefully the young band can make a mark once more at the contest (only a few years ago they won the Fourth Section here) and start another long run of potential success. 

Trimdon Concert
B. Wright

Last 12 Years:
2007: 7th (A. Holmes)
2006: 10th (A. Holmes)
2005: 6th (A. Holmes)
2004: 7th (A. Holmes)
2003: 12th (A. Holmes)
2002: 5th (G. Vardy)
2001: 10th (B. Wright)
2000: 13th (B. Wright)
1999: 2nd
1998: 10th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Trimdon return this year to the contest with a new MD at the helm, and they wil be looking to improve on a very solid record here over the past few years.

Nothing quite as spectacular as their runner up spot in 1999 this Millennium, but there have been glimpses of real potential now and again – so can this weekend be one of them? 

Past Qualifiers:

2007: Flookburgh, Marske Brass
2006: Barton Town, Barnard Castle
2005: Five Rivers Brass, Dunston Silver
2004: Billingham Silver, Durham Constabulary
2003: Lockwood Brass, Ripon City
2002: Hetton Silver, Kirkby Lonsdale
2001: Swinton and District Excelsior, Bearpark and Esh
2000: Ferryhill Town, Lanchester
1999: Bearpark and Esh, Trimdon Concert
1998: Westoe (STHCT), Dearham
1997: Murton Colliery, Marske Brass
1996: Ovington Tyndale, Barrow Concert
1995: Kirkby Lonsdale, Ovington Tynedale  

North of England bands at the Finals:

2007: 6th, 14th
2006: 4th, 6th
2005: 14th, 15th
2004: 16th, 17th
2003: 5th, 20th
2002: 16th, 17th
2001: 8th, 15th
2000: 8th, 20th
1999: 8th, 9th
1998: 13th, 15th   

4BR Prediction: 

A hard one to call, but great that we are able to sit back and enjoy 13 bands giving it a good go on a test piece that they should all enjoy playing.

Of the contenders it would we think be a fight between Marske, Backworth and Kirkby Lonsdale for the qualification places, although there may be a surprise or three on the horizon!

We’ll plumb for these three for the podium places with Kingsway Printers, Bearpark & Esh and Trimdon for the top six places. Dark horses for us are Craghead Colliery.

1. Marske
2. Backworth Colliery
3. Kirkby Lonsdale
4. Bearpark & Esh
5. Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes
6. Trimdon Concert

Dark Horse: Craghead Colliery


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