2006 Midlands Regional Championships - Second Section


Twelve bands line up to tackle the very difficult set work from the pen of Howard Snell. Will they be able to overcome it or will it take a number of casualties?

Sunday 12th March
Adjudicator: Stan Lippeatt and Peter Roberts
Test Piece: Images of the Millennium Howard Snell
Commences: 10.00am
Split Draw:  9.00am

No photo? Please send a JPEG to: 
general@4barsrest.com stating the conductors name, your band, your region and section. 

Tony WilsonCarlton Brass
Tony Wilson

Last Ten Years:
2005: 3rd (T. Wilson)
2004: 13th (T. Wilson)
2003: 2nd in Third Section (prom) (T. Wilson)
2002: 2nd (T.Wilson)
2001: Winners 4th Section (prom) (T. Wilson)
2000: 5th 4th Section (N/K)
1999: 21st 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Promoted in 2003, Carlton Brass are certainly a band that doesn't lack ambition. That ambition isn't misplaced either and in the past few years they have made excellent progress. 3rd last time out and 3rd at Butlins just a month or so ago shows that they should be confident of making it back to Harrogate again. 

Nigel HowardDaventry Brass
Nigel Howard

Last Ten Years:
2005: 3rd in Third Section (prom) (P. Northey)
2004: 10th (P. Northey)
2003: Winners (P. Northey)
2002: 13th
2001: 13th
2000: 4th
1999: 17th 2nd Section (rel)
1998: 18th 2nd Section
1997: 12th 2nd Section

Daventry return back to the Second Section for the first time since 1999 on the back of a well merited 3rd place last year here. If they reproduce that type of form they should hold their own, but they are up against a number of strong bands here. A change of MD should bring renewed enthusiasm though, so lets see how they will do.  

Peter CollinsForesters Brass 2000
Peter Collins

Last Ten Years:
2005: 4th (P. Collins)
2004: 12th (P.Collins)
2003: 4th (L. Baker)
2002: 7th (D.Blakeson)
2001: Winners 3rd Section (D. Blakeson)
2000: 3rd 4th Section (N/K)
1999: 11th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Having just missed out on a podium position in 2004, the band finished a disappointing 12th in 2004 but really bounced back last year when they came 4th once more. They also showed very encouraging form at Butlins where they came in 9th against a strong national field, so confidence wouldn't be misplaced about another top six finish.   

Chris Groom

Last Ten Years:
2005: 7th (C. Groom)
2004: 5th (C. Groom)
2003: 12th (C. Groom)
2002: 8th (C.Groom)
2001: 3rd (C. Groom)
2000: 14th (N/K)
1999: 9th
1998: 11th
1997: 8th

What a mixture of results for Harborough and Chris Groom here over the past nine years. Predicting how they will do would tax the patience of a saint as they have come as high as 3rd and as low as 14th! They showed decent enough form at Butlins where the great Trevor Groom, Chris's dad took the band to 10th place. We've stuck a pin in the paper with our eyes closed and come up with a top six finish we think!  

Hopkins Solicitors Blidworth
Geoff Hawley

Last Ten Years:
2005: 9th (G. Hawley)
2004: 6th (G.Hawley)
2003: 9th (G. Hawley)
2002: 10th (M.Wardle)
2001: 5th (K. Wardle)
2000: 12th (N/K)
1999: 8th
1998: 18th 1st Section (rel)
1997: 17th 1st Section

Geoff Hawley has been doing great work with the band over the past few years and after much hard work the fruits of his labours are now starting to show. 9th last year wasn't the best of results but at Butlins only a couple of months ago they were excellent in coming runners up in a strong field. More playing like that and they could be on their way to Harrogate.  

David Bishop RowePhoenix West Midlands Brass
David Bishop Rowe

Last Ten Years:
2005: Winners of Third Section (prom) (D. Bishop Rowe)
2004: 5th (D. Bishop Rowe)
2003: Winners Fourth Section (prom) (D. Bishop Rowe)
2002: 4th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

Having won the Fourth Section here in 2003, the band tested the water in 2004 and then dived full in last year by winning the Third Section in fine style. They went on to come 4th at Harrogate off the number 1 draw a great result as well. David Bishop Rowe is a fine MD and works his band very well. Will they dip theirs toes in again or will it be a great splash come the results? 

David Thomas

Last Ten Years:
2005: 5th (D. Thomas)
2004: 10th (D. Thomas)
2003: 11th (D. Thomas)
2002: 9th (D. Thomas)
2001: 8th (D. Thomas)
2000: 2nd 3rd Section (prom) (N/K)
1999: 4th 4th Section (prom)
1998: 2nd 4th Section
1997: Winners 4th Section

The Welsh sounding English band have found it tough going in recent years in this section but last year they really upped their game and were rewarded with a well deserved 5th place.  David Thomas continues to produce a fine band in his banding outpost and they are more than capable of repeating last years show if they play to form.  

Shirebrook MW Unison
M. Wilcockson

Last Ten Years:
2005: 12th (M. Wilcockson)
2004: 8th (M. Wilcockson)
2003: 17th (M. Wilcockson)
2002: 16th (M. Battersby)
2001: 17th 1st Section (rel) (N/K)
2000: 18th 1st Section (N/K)
1999: 6th (prom)
1998: 5th
1997: 7th

Having been placed in the lower regions of this section in 2002 and 2003, the band bounced back in 2004 coming 8th. Last year though they fell away a little to come 12th and they didn't put in a great show at Butlins where they came 17th either. Could be a hard day at the office if they don't up their form then.  

Marie SmithShirland Welfare Training
Marie Smith

Last Ten Years:
2005: Winners
2004: Winners Third Section (M. Smith) (prom)
2003: 8th (M. Smith)
2002: 5th
2001: 2nd 4th Section (prom)
2000: 9th 4th Section
1999: 13th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Marie Smith and her amazing band of talented youngsters and "older heads" deserve all the success they get, and there is no stopping them at present. Winners here last year and they went on to come 11th at Harrogate although that was off the number 1 draw. Played well at Butlins where they came 5th and were a little unlucky not to have come higher, so we think they will be determined to make it three in a row here. 

David HirstStamford Brass
David Hirst

Last Ten Years:
2005: 10th (G. Wyatt)
2004: 2nd Third Section (G. Wyatt) (prom)
2003: 7th (R. Prew)
2002: 14th 2nd Section (rel)
2001: 17th 2nd Section
2000: 17th 2nd Section
1999: 15th 1st Section (rel)
1998: 17th 1st Section
1997: 5th 2nd Section (prom)

Stamford held their own here last year when they came 10th and that proved to be a solid return for a decent enough show. David Hirst has been brought into help them this time around and his experience will be invaluable in trying to get them closer to a top six finish.  

Unity Brass (FMUFS)
R. Boulter

Last Ten Years:
2005: DNC
2004: 6th (P. Norbury)
2003: Withdrew
2002: 12th
2001: 4th
2000: 9th Championship (rel)
1999: 12th Championship
1998: 2nd 1st Section (prom)
1997: 5th 1st Section

Having been forced to withdraw in 2003, Unity came 6th in 2004 and them failed to make it to the starting line up last year. We hope they return in good shape this year and are able to start the long road to recovery and possible first steps back towards the Championship Section. 

Garry SleathWigston Band
Garry Sleath

Last Ten Years:
2005: 2nd (G. Sleath)
2004: 15th First Section (G. Sleath) (rel)
2003: 15th (G. Sleath)
2002: 5th 2nd Section (prom)
2001: 4th 2nd Section
2000: 9th 2nd Section
1999: 16th 2nd Section
1998: 14th 2nd Section
1997: 13th 2nd Section

Gary Sleath has done wonderful work in picking up the band after their relegation from the First Section in 2004. Last year they came runners up here and went on to come 13th at Harrogate. They didn't quite play to the form they would have hoped to have shown at Butlins though and came 12th, but that was against a strong field of rivals. Another Harrogate appearance may be asking a bit this time then, but you never know.

Past Qualifiers:

2005: Shirland Welfare Training, Wigston
2004: Hathern, Raunds Temperance, Stourport on Severn
2003: Shirley Band, Darley Dale, Stourport on Severn
2002: Langley, Shirley, Brackley
2001: Towcester, Tintwistle, Harborough
2000: Ibstock Building, Bedworth
1999: Moulton Brass '77, City of Stoke on Trent
1998: Bedworth, Derwent, Shirland Miners
1997: Newstead Welfare, Greasley Old Hall, Derwent Brass
1996: Riddings, Premier Brass (Stamford), Ibstock Building Products
1995: Glossop Old, Unity Brass, Harborough
1994: Darley Dale, Unity Brass, City of Stoke

Midlands Bands at the Finals:

2005: 11th, 13th
2004: 1st, 17th
2003: 16th, 17th, 18th
2002: 2nd, 3rd, 7th
2001: 3rd, 6th, 9th
2000: 3rd, 6th
1999: 7th, 11th
1998: 2nd, 6th

4BR Prediction:

A close one for us this. With a number of bands who could do very well indeed. The test piece though is a killer and it could be a question of those bands having the stamina to get through the piece relatively unscathed who could fill the top positions. They won't be alone around the country in that this year though.

With that in mind we think it could well be the likes of Shirland, Carlton, Phoenix West Midlands, Blidworth and Foresters Brass 2000 battling it out for the qualification places and the winners could come from anyone of these. Behind them it could be Wigston to make up the final place in the top six with Porthywaen as our dark horse.

1. Carlton Brass
2. Hopkins Solicitors Blidworth
3. Shirland Miners Training
4. Phoenix West Midlands
5. Foresters Brass 2000
6. Wigston

Dark Horse: Porthywaen


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