2008 Pontins Championship - Harry & Margaret Mortimer Championship: Runners & Riders

21-Oct-2008

18 bands line up to try and become the 2008 Pontins champion by overcoming the classic test of Cloudcatcher Fells.


BactiguardBactiguard Wire Brass
Conductor:
Paul Andrews
4BR Ranking: 62

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Mike Jones
Euphonium: Kim Holly-Thorp
Soprano: Billy Parkinson
Horn: Annabel Stapleton
Flugel: Andrea Egginton
Baritone: Marianne Cliff
Trombone: Adam Taylor
Eb Bass: Chris Parkinson

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: 8th (P. Andrew)
2006: 13th (P. Andrews)
2005: Winners of Second Section (P. Andrews)
2004: DNC
2003: 2nd in Second Section (J. Hinckley)
2002: Winners of Third Section (P. Andrews)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

2008 Form Guide:
Butlins: 10th
Brass at the Guild: 14th
Regional Championships: 8th
Senior Cup: 2nd
Fleetwood: Winners

It has been a decent old year for Wire Brass.  They made their top section debut at Butlins in January and whilst they came last, they were up against some strong opposition.

They never gelled at Brass at the Guild or the Regionals, but 2nd place at the Senior Cup and the recent win at Fleetwood (on this test piece) shows that they have now found their feet.  That should bode well. 


CwmamanCwmaman Institute
Conductor:
Nigel Seaman
4BR Ranking: 57

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: John Evans
Principal Euphonium: Jeremy Rugman
Soprano Cornet: Carol Flannery-Davies
Trombone: Steve Stonelake
Horn: Karen Fletcher
Baritone: Bill Cross
Eb Bass: Martin Davies

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: DNC
2006: 7th (N. Seaman)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC 

2008 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 8th
Senior Cup: 8th
Wychavon: 7th

Bit of a quiet year for Cwmaman on the contesting stage in 2008, but that has been understandable given that they are still very much in the rebuilding process after a couple of lean years.  

They didn’t make it to the starting line here last year, but put in two encouraging shows at both the Welsh Regional and the Senior Cup, and had a solid outing at Wychavon. It may be asking a bit for them to come away with a prize this year, but another step in the right direction is on the cards. 


DerwentDerwent Brass
Conductor:
Keith Leonard
4BR Ranking: 109

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: David Neville
Euphonium: Adam Rutter
Soprano: Dai Roberts
Horn: Graham Johnson
Flugel: Pam Davis
Baritone: Adrian Drewitt
Trombone: Martyn Johnson
Eb Bass: Paul Foster

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: 11th in First Section (K. Leonard)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC 

2008 Form Guide:
Brass at the Guild: 7th
Regionals: 10th
Bolsover Entertainment: Winners

Debutants here at this level and they'll get a fine welcome in North Wales on the weekend. 

Under the experienced Keith Leonard the band has been finding its feet with solid results at the Regional championship and Brass at the Guild Hall, before really hitting their boot straps at Bolsover a couple of weeks ago. Confidence should be getting higher then. 


EnderbyEnderby
Conductor:
Jonathon Mott
4BR Ranking: outside top 200

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet:
Euphonium:
Soprano:
Horn:
Flugel:
Solo Baritone:
Trombone:
Eb Bass: 

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: 23rd in First Section (M. Vause)
2004: 18th in First Section (D. Broadbent)
2003: 20th in First Section (S. Cooper)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC 

2008 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 10th
The thriving Enderby organisation has a great deal to shout about and the senior outfit has come a long way in recent years.

That progress can be measured in the fact that they were towards the bottom end of the First Section in 2005 here, but have since taken solid steps to progress to the Championships Section where they made an encouraging start to life at the Regionals in March. Another step in the right direction is expected then. 


FellingFelling
Conductor:
Graeme Tindall
4BR Ranking: 80

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Will Earl
Euphonium: James Emberley
Soprano: Yvonne Malcolm
Horn: Trevor Winch
Flugel: Stacey Ghent
Baritone: Phil Richardson
Trombone: Don Fairley
Eb Bass: Graham Wilson

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

2008 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 3rd
Picnic in the Park: Winners

2008 has been a significant year for the Felling Band as they acquired Championship Section status. 

They certainly showed that they were keen to make a mark at this level and were more than a little unlucky not to have booked a place at the National Finals in Darlington where they came a well deserved 3rd.  A neat bit of picnic playing in the summer also gave them a confidence boost, so watch out.


FishburnFishburn
Conductor:
P. Rosier
4BR Ranking: 44

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: John White
Euphonium: Jeff Bell
Soprano: Malcolm Usher
Horn: Martin Armstrong
Flugel: Melissa Maddison
Baritone: Caroline Bell
Trombone: Malcolm Gill
Eb Bass: Colin Shaw

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: 13th (R. Gray)
2006: DNC
2005: 3rd (C. Bentham)
2004: DNC
2003: 3rd (G. O'Connor)
2002: DNC
2001: 19th (I. Robinson)
2000: DNC

2008 Form Guide:
Brass at the Guild: 9th
Regional Championships: 4th
Senior Cup: 7th
English Championship: 15th

Fishburn have made the trip to North Wales on alternative years since 2001 but they've broken that habit and return this year determined to repeat the form that has seen two podium finishes. 

Not the greatest of contesting years on paper for the band, but there was a decent showing at the Regionals, a much more promising one at the Senior Cup and a solid outing against high class opposition at Preston. This should be a little easier for them and a return to the top end of the results table should be within their grasp. 


LindleyLindley
Conductor:
Neil Jowett
4BR Ranking: outside top 200

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David Karran
Euphonium: David Smith
Soprano: Derek Ruffell
Horn: Neville Kay
Flugel: Nicola Sanderson
Baritone: Martin Gledhill
Trombone: Paul Cryer
Eb Bass: Charles Hindemarsh

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: 11th (N. Jowett)
2006: 15th (N. Jowett)
2005: 8th (N. Jowett)
2004: 14th (N. Jowett)
2003: 9th (N. Jowett)
2002: 11th (N. Jowett)
2001: Winners of First Section (N. Jowett)
2000: 9th in First Section (N. Jowett)

2008 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 14th
Senior Cup: 18th

There’s still plenty of experience within the ranks at Lindley, who continue to have a bit of an up and down record at Pontins in the last few years. They finished 11th last year but they'll be looking to better their 8th place of 2005. 

Neil Jowett continues to develop homegrown talent, and despite two lowly finishes in the major events so far this season there is plenty of optimism in the ranks. 


MarsdenMarsden (Ossett Brewery)
Conductor:
Glyn Williams
4BR Ranking: 53

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Alan Hobbins
Euphonium: Lewis Muson
Soprano: Andrew Lofthouse
Flugel: Jason Evans
Horn: Debbie Lea
Baritone:
Trombone: Andrew Eastwood
Eb Bass: Matthew Schofield

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: 2nd (G. Williams)
2006: 12th in First Section (G. Williams)
2005: Winners of First Section (G. Williams)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC 

2008 Form Guide:
Brass at the Guild: 12th
Regional Championships: 6th
Senior Trophy: 3rd
Whit Friday: Local Saddleworth and Oldham Winners
Halifax and Calderdale March and Hymn: Winners
Brighouse March and Hymn: Winners
Easingwold: Winners
Morley March and Hymn: Winners

Glyn Williams and his band continue to make a bit of a name for themselves with another contesting season that has gone from strength to strength.

Not a great start at Brass at the Guild but a superb result at the Yorkshire Regionals has seen their confidence bloom. They come here on the back of a run of successes anyone would be proud of, and with the determination to go one better than last year too. All they need then is a good draw after picking out Kelly’s Eye twelve months ago. 


Milton Keynes Brass
Conductor:
Paul Fensom
4BR Ranking: 181

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Matt Ball
Euphonium: David Scott
Soprano: Craig Patterson
Flugel: John Mudway
Horn: Kath Cockerill
Solo Baritone: Staurt Cockerill
Trombone: Stewart Ivory
Eb Bass: Steve Earley

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: 6th in Second Section (P. Fensom) (as Broseley Brass)
2002: DNC
2001: 6th in Third Section (P. Fensom) (as Broseley Brass)
2000: DNC 

2008 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 3rd

Another top section debutant this weekend with Milton Keynes Brass making the long journey up from the London area.

Paul Fensom continues to do fantastic work with the band (formerly known as Broseley Brass) and that dedication was rewarded with 3rd place at the London & Southern Counties Regional in Stevenage in March. They have come a long way under his baton and it should continue in the right direction this weekend too.


NorthopNorthop
Conductor:
Thomas Wyss
4BR Ranking: 52

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Geraint Jones
Euphonium: Aled Williams
Soprano: Arwell Williams
Flugel: Carol Hughes
Horn: Louise Skillander
Baritone: Gwyrfai Williams
Trombone: Daniel Shield
Eb Bass: John Williams

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: 3rd in First Section (T. Wyss)
2006: 8th (T. Wyss)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

2008 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 5th
Senior Trophy: 8th
Wychavon: 8th

Northop continue to improve with a sense of assuredness under the baton of Thomas Wyss, and after last year’s 3rd place in the First Section they will be looking for more of the same as their return to the top flight.

They showed pretty good form at the Welsh Regional contest in Swansea and again at the Senior Trophy, but were off the pace somewhat at Wychavon. The quality is there though to secure a good finish on their home patch. 


HatfieldPowerfuel Hatfield Colliery
Conductor:
Graham O’Connor
4BR Ranking: 56

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Trevor Kendall
Euphonium: John Smith
Soprano: Mike Kilmartin
Horn: Miles Davison
Flugel: Becky Nixon
Baritone: Simon Brookes
Trombone: Andrew Groom
Eb Bass: Robert Browne

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: Winners (G. O’Connor)
2006: DNC
2005: 8th in First Section (G. O’Connor)
2004: 6th in First Section (G. O’Connor)
2003: DNC
2002: 9th in Second Section (G. O’Connor)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

2008 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 11th
Senior Trophy: Winners

The defending champion will relish coming to North Wales with the intention of upsetting the odds and winning once again.  We didn't tip them last year but they really did produce the goods and that’s the key to a band led by Graham O'Connor.

You can be sure they will be well prepared and as they showed in taking the Senior Trophy title at Blackpool, they are not a band to be underestimated – by 4BR or anyone else for that matter. 


EsingtonRMT Easington Colliery
Conductor:
Stuart Gray
4BR Ranking: 104

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet:
Euphonium:
Soprano:
Horn:
Flugel:
Baritone:
Trombone:
Eb Bass: 

Past Record at Pontins:
2006: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

2008 Form Guide:
Brass at the Guild: 11th
Regional Championships: 7th
Land O' Burns: 3rd
Fife Festival: 2nd

The band that recently had the fantastic backing from the ‘Secret Millionaire’ on Channel 4, will be hoping to repay some of that investment here in Prestatyn as they make their Championship Section debut at the contest.

Not a bad season so far, with a couple of encouraging results at the Land O’ Burns and Fife Festival contests balanced with a couple of disappointing shows at the Regionals and Brass at the Guild. A midfield place or better could be on the cards if they play to form. 


SovereignSovereign Brass
Conductor:
Major Peter Parkes
4BR Ranking: 67

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Claire Hutchinson
Euphonium: Mark Hadlington
Soprano: Bob Stradling
Horn: Robert Allen
Flugel: Sarah Matthews
Baritone: Steve Parsons
Trombone: Mike Wallbridge
Eb Bass: Phil Green

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: 3rd (P. Parkes)
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: 19th (B. Hurdley)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

2008 Form Guide:
Yeovil: 11th
Regional Championships: 3rd
Grand Shield: 12th

Sovereign were champions in 1996 but since then their appearances have been more fleeting, although they resurfaced twelve months ago under Peter Parkes and delivered a fair old showing to come 3rd.

Not great at Yeovil earlier in the season, but a huge improvement at the Regionals and a decent return at the Grand Shield suggests they may well be in with a sniff of the top prizes come Sunday night. A win would give the Major the one title currently missing from his amazing CV. 


StaffsStaffordshire
Conductor:
Huw Thomas
4BR Ranking: 45

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Paul White
Euphonium: Sarah Frownes
Soprano: Andy Jennings
Horn: Tracey White
Flugel: Rob Smith
Baritone: Michelle Swift
Trombone: Roger Norish
Eb Bass: Paul McGhee

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: 15th (M. Fowles)
2006: 6th (S. Bastable)
2005: Winners (S. Bastable)
2004: Winners (S. Bastable)
2003: DNE
2002: 16th (D. Maplestone)
2001: 16th (D. Maplestone)
2000: 13th (A. Culshaw)

2008 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 4th
Grand Shield: 20th
Buxton Contest: 5th

Huw Thomas is taking the band to Pontins after the departure of Simon Kerwin. The band seems to be in a state of flux at present and after a promising start to the year when they came 4th at the Regionals it has been downhill somewhat since.

20th place and relegation at the Grand Shield and a poor result at Buxton was followed by the pull out of the English Nationals. Let’s hope they take to the stage with some strength then and show once again just how good a band they are.


StocksbridgeStocksbridge
Conductor:
Dave Nesbitt
4BR Ranking: 88

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Matthew Knowles
Euphonium: Ian Wright
Soprano: NK
Horn: Trevor Goodison
Flugel: Jen Fawcett
Baritone: Isobel Radford
Trombone: NK
Eb Bass: Don Jones

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: 2nd in First Section (D. Nesbitt)
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 17th (D. Renshaw)
2003: DNC
2002: 7th (D. Renshaw)
2001: 4th in First Section (D. Nesbitt)
2000: DNC

2008 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 12th
Senior Cup: 14th
Bolsover Entertainment: 5th

Stocksbridge are without question a decent outfit but they've found life in the top tier tough going in 2008, as was evident at the Yorkshire Area in March. 

They competed in the Senior Cup and were unlucky to have come 14th, but were once again off the pace at Bolsover a couple of weeks ago. Lots of experience and quality in the ranks as was shown last year in the First Section, but this is a step up in class so a repeat of their 1994/95 double triumphs may have to wait another year. 


TongTongwynlais Temperance
Conductor:
Philip Harper
4BR Ranking: 36

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Gareth Hann
Euphonium: Martyn Patterson
Soprano: Morgan James
Horn: Alyn James
Flugel: David James
Baritone: Ceri Isfryn
Trombone: Robin Hackett
Eb Bass: Nick Wills

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: 5th (G. Pritchard)
2006: 3rd (G. Pritchard)
2005: DNC
2004: 2nd (B. James)
2003: 17th (S. Sykes)
2002: DNC
2001: 8th in First Section) (C. Hogg)
2000: DNC

2008 Form Guide:
Butlins: 3rd
Regional Championships: 7th
Grand Shield: 11th
SWEBBA: 2nd
Ammanford: 4th
Wychavon: 4th

The highest ranked band at the contest is also the band with the best record here over the last few years.

It’s been a hit or miss year so far for the band with a great hit at Butlins at the start of the season followed by a disappointing showing at the Welsh Regional. Since then its been decent enough without quite setting the contest stage on fire, but the new combination with Philip Harper is full of promise. Could be well in with a shout if the two click on Sunday. 


WantageWantage Brass
Conductor:
Philip Bailey
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Steve Chapman
Euphonium:
Soprano: Brian Thomas
Horn: Judith Chapman
Flugel: Nicola Morell
Baritone: Eddie Yarker
Trombone: Mark Tribble
Eb Bass: Steve Sizeland

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: DNC
2006: 10th in First Section (P. Bailey)
2005: DNC
2004: 13th in First Section (M. Pegram)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 6th in Second Section (M. Pegram)
2000: 8th in Second Section  (R. White)

2008 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 9th
Bugle: 3rd

Great to see Wantage making the long haul from the London area once again, and this time they will be looking to make a mark in the top section.

They have made great strides under the direction of Philip Bailey in the past few years and after coming 10th here in the First Section in 2006, they have made solid progress. 9th at the Regionals was a decent enough return. 3rd at Bugle was a good showing and another step in the right direction could well be on the cards to round off a year of progress. 


WREXHAMWrexham Brass (NEWI)
Conductor:
Wayne Ruston
4BR Ranking: 99

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Graham Taylor
Euphonium: Chris Aubrey
Soprano: Rachel King
Horn: Alison Ruston
Flugel: Steve Curtis
Baritone: Mike Amplett
Trombone: Aled Davies
Eb Bass: Malcolm Peach

Past Record at Pontins:
2007: 17th (W. Ruston)
2006: 7th in First Section (W. Ruston)
2005: 10th in First Section (W. Ruston)
2004: Winners of First Section (W. Ruston)
2003: Winners of First Section (W. Ruston)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

2008 Form Guide:
Regional Championships: 9th
Senior Trophy: 7th

Wrexham have enjoyed their short sojourn to Pontins over the past few years having done extremely well in the First Section in particular. 

Wayne Ruston continues to build the band with solid virtues, and although they found life a bit tough at the Welsh Area this year, they certainly upped their form in coming 7th at the Senior Trophy. More of that will pay dividends, and a vast improvement on last year’s 17th place may be a realistic goal.  

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