2006 Spring Festival - Grand Shield Runners and Riders


We cast our eye over the 19 bands on show this Saturday in Blackpool. Plenty of talented players, determined MDs and lots and lots of pure unbridled ambition to get to Birmingham.

Opera House: 10.30am
Test Piece: Whitsun Wakes Michael Ball
Adjudicators: Not known at present

Aveley and NewhamAveley & Newham
Nigel Taken

4BR Ranking: 41

Principal Cornet: Cliff Pask
Solo Euphonium: Russell Davies
Solo Horn: Trevor Foster
Soprano: Andrew Bannister
Flugel: Dave Lewis
Solo Trombone: Selina Leleu
Tuba: N/K

Blackpool Form:
2005: 10th (N. Taken)
2004: 15th (N. Taken)
2003: 16th (N. Taken)
2002: 4th (N. Taken)
2001: 5th (N. Taken)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC
1995: DNC
1994: 13th (as Aveley) (M. White)
1993: DNC

Form Guide:
Not the best of records at the contest here over the last three years, but they have been moving back in the right direction of sorts.  2006 has been pretty good so far, with a decent 6th place at Yeovil and then the win at the Regional Championships, getting the better of their rivals Redbridge for the first time in half a decade. If they can do that again here they may well be heading for Birmingham.  On their day they certainly have it in them.  

Gwyn Evans

4BR Ranking: 42

Principal Cornet: Paul Hughes
Solo Euphonium: Aled Williams
Solo Horn: Nia Wyn
Soprano: Bari Gwillam
Flugel: Gwyn Evans
Solo Trombone: Jon Harris
Tuba: Owen Davies

Blackpool Form:
2005: 11th (G. Evans)
2004: 11th (M. Hansen)
2003: 6th (G. Evans)
2002: 12th (G. Evans)
2001: 2nd Senior Cup (prom) (G. Evans)

Did not compete in the contests before 2001

Form Guide:
Beaumaris has been rebuilding in the past couple of years under the astute direction of Gwyn Evans. They showed at Swansea that it has been done on solid foundations. 5th place there (conducted by Glyn Williams) was a decent return and with a new generation of talented players now coming through the ranks they should have the ability to push for a possible top ten place. 

Mike Fowles

4BR Ranking: 47

Principal Cornet: Peter Shaw
Solo Euphonium: Jamie Meredith
Solo Horn: Helen Varley
Soprano: Renate Saele
Flugel: Phil Sharples
Solo Trombone: Phil Shatliff
Tuba: Kyle Harrison

Blackpool Form:
2005: 8th (M. Fowles)
2004: 3rd Senior Cup (prom) (M. Fowles)
2003: 15th Grand Shield (rel) (M. Fowles)
2002: 11th (M. Fowles)
2001: 12th (M. Fowles)
2000: 23rd British Open (rel) (P. Bailey)
1999: 16th British Open (P. Bailey)
1998: 2nd (prom) 9th British Open (G. O'Connor)
1997: 8th (A. Lawton)
1996: DNC
1995: 20th (J. Maines)
1994: 4th (J. Maines)
1993: 16th (J. Maines)

Form Guide:
BT have bounced back at this contest since losing their place at the British Open in 2000. They dropped down to the Senior Cup in 2004, but have since returned and came a solid 8th here last year. 2006 has shown they are heading back in the right direction with 8th place at Butlins and then a well earned 6th place at the North West Regional. 

BessesBesses o' th' Barn
John Hinckley

4BR Ranking: 67

Principal Cornet: Tim Hynd
Principal Euphonium: Dan Hunt
Soprano Cornet: Simon Gray
Solo Trombone: Paul Coupe
Solo horn: Rob Kavanagh
Flugel horn: Mike Stott
Tuba: Richard Cookson

Blackpool Form:
2005: 9th (J. Cant)
2004: 14th (S. Sykes)
2003: 12th in British Open (rel) (S. Sykes)
2002: 2nd Grand Shield (prom); 13th British Open (Lynda Nicholson)
2001: 11th Grand Shield (G. Pritchard)
2000: 3rd Grand Shield (G. Pritchard)
1999: 21st British Open (rel) (G. Pritchard)
1998: 17th (D. Broadbent)
1997: 16th (D. Broadbent)
1996: 13th (D. Broadbent)
1995: 9th (A. Briggs)
1994: 20th (P. Andrews)
1993: 19th (T. Halliwell)

Form Guide:
Besses has done well here in the last two years, especially as they have found life pretty hard contest wise elsewhere. 9th place last year was a good result and they will do well to repeat that this year. They have struggled in 2006 and came 6th at Tameside and 13th at the Regional Championships. It could be another hard day at the office here.

Burry Port Town
Michael Thorne

4BR Ranking: 22

Principal Cornet: David James
Solo Euphonium: Ceri John
Solo Horn: Keith Curtis
Soprano: Jayne Thomas
Flugel: Jane Stredwick
Solo Trombone: Jo Hirst
Tuba: Tom Davoren

Blackpool Form:
2005: Winners Senior Cup (prom) (M. Thorne)
2004: 11th (D. Evans)
2003: 14th Grand Shield (rel) (D. Evans)
2002: 3rd Senior Cup (prom) (D. Evans)
Before 2002 the band did not compete in these contests

Form Guide:
Burry Port could be a dark horse here this year if their recent form is anything to go by. Last year they took the Senior Cup title and have used that triumph to set themselves up in fine style. That was confirmed at Swansea where they deservedly took second place and beat some top notch bands into the bargain to book their place at London. Could Birmingham now be beckoning?

Carlton MainCarlton Main Frickley Colliery
Allan Ramsey

4BR Ranking: 21

Principal Cornet: Kirsty Abbotts
Principal Euphonium: Ciaran Young
Soprano Cornet: Claire Taylor
Solo Trombone: Kevin Holdgate
Solo horn: Kate Eggleshaw
Flugel horn: Mark Durham
Tuba: Paul Davies

Blackpool Form:
2005: 13th (B. Grant)
2004: 18th British Open (B. Grant) (rel)
2003: Winners (18th at Open) (W.Rushworth)  
2002: 19th (W. Rushworth) (rel)
2001: 17th (J. Hinckley)
2000: 9th (J. Hinckley)
1999: Winners (14th at Open) (John Hinckley)
1998: DNC
1997: 17th (J. Hinckley)
1996: 14th (J. Davies)
1995: 9th (J. Davies)
1994: 14th (J. Davies)
1993: DNC

Form Guide:
If Carlton Main play to form then they could well book themselves a place at Symphony Hall and take their third Grand Shield title in eight years. They have been making real progress in the past year or so and showed fine form at Butlins were they came runners up and again at the Yorkshire Regioals where they were a touch unlucky not to come better than 7th. The talent is there for sure, but they haven't had the best of luck here in the past two years, so they won't be taking anything for granted.

CwmamanCwmaman Institute Silver (Tower Colliery)
Jonathan Corry

4BR Ranking: 32

Principal Cornet: Tim Malpas
Principal Euphonium: Jeremy Rugman
Soprano Cornet: Steve Barnsley
Solo Trombone: Steve Howells
Solo horn: Brian Connolly
Flugel horn: Rhian Hills
Tuba: Gethin Rees

Blackpool Form:
2005: 12th (J. Hudson)
2004: 16th British Open (rel) (J. Hudson)
2003: 17th (J. Hudson)
2002: Winners (5th at Open) (J. Hudson)
2001: 3rd Senior Cup (prom) (G. O'Connor)
2000: 19th (rel)
1999: 11th

Did not compete before 1999

Form Guide:
12th place last year was a little disappointing for Cwmaman as they were in the middle of having a good 2005 contesting season. This year they will certainly be hoping for better and will be aiming to return to the British Open once again. 2006 hasn't been too good so far though, with 8th place at Yeovil, 4th at Porthcawl and then 8th again at the Regional Championships in Swansea. Time for a change of fortune then.

David Roberts

4BR Ranking: 18

Principal Cornet: John Whitel
Solo Euphonium: Jeff Bell
Solo Horn: Steve Hardy
Soprano: Steven Symonds
Flugel: Patrick Garner
Solo Trombone: Malcolm Gill
Tuba: Anthony Taylor

Blackpool Form:
2005: 14th (I. McElligott)
2004: 10th (I. McElligott)
2003: 4th (G. O'Connor)
2002: 6th (G. O'Connor)
2001: 10th (I. Robinson)
2000: DNC
1999: 14th (I. Robinson)
1998: DNC
1997: 19th (I. Robinson)
1996: 10th (I. Robinson)
1995: DNC
1994: DNC
1993: DNC

Form Guide:
Fishburn ended 2005 in brilliant fashion winning the Scottish Open, and although they had a bit of a hangover at Butlins where they came 10th, they recovered their poise in time for the North of England Regionals where they came runners up and booked their place at the London Finals. Another performance in that vein will help, but they have been somewhat off the pace here in the past two years. 

Paul Dalton

4BR Ranking: 46

Principal Cornet: Alex Thomas
Solo Euphonium: Pat Howard
Solo Horn: Rob Tomlinson
Soprano: Phil Symonds
Flugel: Richard Carradus
Solo Trombone: John  Stevens
Tuba: Peter Lockett

Blackpool Form:
2005: 4th Senior Cup (prom) (P. Dalton)
2004: 13th (P. Dalton)
2003: 19th Grand Shield (rel) (P. Dalton)
2002: 2nd Senior Cup (prom)
2001: 18th Senior Cup

The band didn't compete at these contests before 2001.

Form Guide:
The hard working Freckleton Band made sure they didn't stay too long in the Senior Cup by coming 4th last year and returning once more to the Grand Shield. Paul Dalton has moulded a sold band under his direction and they showed that by coming 7th at the Regional Championships.   Could well feature if they really hit top form.

GUS Band
David Stowell

4BR Ranking: 27

Principal Cornet: Mark Gibson
Principal Euphonium: Robert Woods
Soprano Cornet: Chris Millington
Solo Trombone: Duncan Wilson
Solo horn: Simon Smith
Flugel horn: Clair Tomalin
Tuba: Graham Patterson

Blackpool Form:
2005: 4th (D. Stowell)
2004: 5th (D. Stowell)
2003: 15th in British Open (rel) (1) (P. Parkes)
2002: 17th (B. Grant) (15)
2001: 10th (F. Renton) (1)
2000: 7th (M. White) (6)
1999: 10th (M. White) (23)
1998: 21st (M. White) (1)
1997: 17th (J. Berryman) (12)
1996: 16th (J. Berryman) (5)
1995: 4th (J. Berryman) (8)
1994: 15th (J. Berryman) (12)
1993: 8th (J. Berryman) (N/K)

Form Guide:
GUS must be wondering what they must do here to claim one of the priceless qualification places up for grabs. 5th in 2004 and 4th last year, they will surely be hoping not to come 4tf this time around. They may have to up their game though to do that after starting 2006 with 6th place at Butlins and then a disappointing, but rather unlucky 5th place at the Regional Championships.  

Russell Gray

4BR Ranking: 6

Principal Cornet: Andy Lord
Principal Euphonium: Brendan Wheeler
Soprano Cornet: Ian Twiss
Solo Trombone: Russel Marsh
Solo horn: Leslie Howie
Flugel horn: Janet Lewis
Tuba: Chris Doran

Blackpool Form:
2005: 15th (F. Renton)
2004: 13th (G. Cutt)
2003: 14th in British Open (rel) (P. Bassano)
2002: 11th (G. Cutt)
2001: 9th (B. Grant)
2000: 10th (H. Snell)
1999: 8th (R. Evans)
1998: 6th (R. Evans)
1997: 8th (R. Evans)
1996: 3rd (R. Evans)
1995: 19th (R. Evans)
1994: Winners (R. Evans)
1993: 5th (R. Evans)

Form Guide:
There was a time when the reigning National Champions were given a direct invite to the British Open, but no more. Leyland will have to tough it out with the rest of the hungry bunch, and will have to show a great deal better form here if they are to be successful. The last two years have been a real disappointment, but with the Nationals to look forward to, and on the back of two fine performances to come 6th at the European, don't bet against them.  

Mount CharlesMount Charles
Nigel Weeks

4BR Ranking: 20

Principal Cornet: Ian Thomas
Solo Euphonium: Neil Pascoe
Solo Horn: Graham Barker
Soprano: Jon Small
Flugel: Tim Whitehead
Solo Trombone: Colin Barrett
Tuba: Nick Boy

Blackpool Form:
2005: 6th (N. Childs)
2004: 7th (B. Hurdley)
2003: 3rd (B. Hurdley)
2002: 9th (B. Hurdley)
2001: 14th (B. Hurdley)
2000: 8th (R. Evans)

The band didn't compete at the contest before 2000.

Form Guide:
On their day Mount Charles could take this contest by the scruff of the neck and take the title at a canter. However, they remain an infuriatingly inconsistent band at times as well. 2006 though has started well, with a couple of fine performances at Butlins where they were very unlucky to come 7th and a classy win at Torquay under Nicholas Childs to book their Kensington place in October. If they can repeat the form they show with the Black Dyke man at the helm with this other Welshman then they should be confident of pushing for a place at Birmingham.

Pennine Brass
Ian Porthouse

4BR Ranking: 50

Principal Cornet: JJ Lees
Soprano Cornet: Mark Wears
Flugel: Craig Whitehead
Solo Horn: Laura Lea
Solo Euphonium: Philippe Schwartz
Solo Trombone: Lisa Sarasini
Tuba: Adam Harris

Blackpool Form:
2005: 5th (I. Porthouse)
2004: 2nd Senior Cup (prom) (I. Porthouse)
2003: Winners Senior Trophy (prom) (I. Porthouse)
2002: 12th (I. Porthouse)

The band didn't compete before 2002.

Form Guide:
Pennine may well be contesting in the First Section nationally, but they are definitely a Championship Section band in all but name. 5th place here last year confirmed that and they have since won at Tameside against strong opposition and were 4th at Brass at the Guild. The Regionals was a bit of a nightmare not of their own making, so hopefully they can forget about that and really make a mark once more here. 

Philip Harper

4BR Ranking: 17

Principal Cornet: Chris Howley
Solo Euphonium: Andy Hicks
Solo Horn: Vicki Reynolds
Soprano: Spencer O'Leary
Flugel: Danny Winder
Solo Trombone: Nathan Jenkins
Tuba: Stewart Baglin

Blackpool Form:
2005: 3rd (P. Harper)
2004: 9th (P. Harper)
2003: 7th (P. Harper)
2002: 3rd (P. Harper)
2001: 21st British Open (rel)
2000: 19th British Open (R. Evans)
1999: 19th British Open (B. Hurdley)
1998: Winners (prom); 14th British Open (B. Hurdley)
1997: 10th (B. Hurdley)
1996: 9th (P. Bailey)
1995: DNC
1994: 17th (D. Williams)
1993: DNC

Form Guide:
Another band that on their day can mix it with the very best. PolySteel haven't had a great deal of luck here over the past four years and can count themselves unfortunate not to have qualified on at least three of those occasions. 2006 started very well with a super win and 6k in the bank for winning Butlins, but they went off the boil a bit at Yeovil where they were runners up and then at the Regionals at Torquay where they came 3rd. They will be hoping that is the last near miss they will have this year then.

Major Peter Parkes

4BR Ranking: 24

Principal Cornet: Pete Collins
Solo Euphonium: Neil Wharton
Solo Horn: John Thackrey
Soprano: David Bird
Flugel: Katherine Adams
Solo Trombone: Chris Jeans
Tuba: James Henson

Blackpool Form:
2005: 7th (R. Gray)
2004: Winners Senior Cup (prom) (R.Gray)
2003: 21st Grand Shield (rel) (B. Grant)
2002: 5th (P. Parkes)
2001: DNC
2000: 21st British Open (rel) (R. Gray)
1999: 20th British Open (B. Grant)
1998: 11th British Open (S. Wood)
1997: 2nd (prom) 4th British Open (B. Grant)
1996: DNC
1995: 13th (D. Hirst)
1994: 12th (D. Hirst)
1993: 10th (S. Appleton)

Form Guide:
No better man to have at the helm than Peter Parkes when it comes to winning a major contest, but the galloping major will have to drag a cracking performance out of Ransome if they are to get back to the British Open for the first time since 2000. 2006 saw them come a rather lack lustrer 4th at Butlins and then slip to 9th under Rob Wiffen at the Regionals, so they will be keen to do well here and improve on last year's well earned 7th place.    

Melvin White

4BR Ranking: 31

Principal Cornet: Ralph Brill
Soprano Cornet: Jonathan Hammond
Flugel: Alan Roberts
Solo Horn: Ruth Miller
Solo Euphonium: Lisa James
Tuba: Dave Stokes

Blackpool Form:
2005: 16th (M. White)
2004: 16th (M. White)
2003: 4th in Senior Cup (prom) (M. White)
2002: 5th Senior Trophy (prom) (M. White)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC
1995: 18th Grand Shield (J. Clark)
1994: 7th Grand Shield (J. Clark)
1993: 15th Grand Shield (J. Clark)

Form Guide:
Not the best of records here over the past two years for Redbridge and for a band of their quality, two 16th places are a poor return indeed. 2006 has been a touch disappointing so far, although they did well to come 3rd at Butlins. The lose of their London Regional title after five years was a major blow especially as they failed to even qualify for the Albert Hall. Hopefully that will be the spur to claim a place at Symphony Hall instead.  

Steve Bastable

4BR Ranking: 44

Principal Cornet: Paul White
Solo Horn: Tracey White
Solo Euphonium: Mark Glover
Solo Trombone: N/K
Soprano Cornet: Andy Jennings
Flugel: Jo Todd
Tuba: Ben Gernon

Blackpool Form:
2005: 2nd Senior Cup (prom) (S. Bastable)
2004: Winners Senior Trophy (prom) (D. Maplestone)
2003: 14th Senior Cup (rel) (D. Maplestone)
2002: 3rd Senior Trophy (prom) (D. Maplestone)
2001: 17th Senior Trophy (A. Culshaw)
2000: DNC
1999: 18th Grand Shield (A. Culshaw)
1998: 11th (A. Culshaw)
1997: 7th (A. Culshaw)

Form Guide:
Something of a form band it would appear, and they could well create a bit of their own Spring Festival history this year by becoming he first band to win consecutive promotions to the British Open from the Senior Trophy. 2006 has been a touch up and down, with the real disappointment at the Regional Championships where they came 7th under Nigel Boddice only to bounce back under Steve Bastable by winning the Buxton contest on this test piece. Ones to watch out for perhaps as this seems to be a combination that clicks.

Garry Cutt

4BR Ranking: 14

Principal Cornet: Laura Davies
Principal Euphonium: Darren Morris
Soprano Cornet: Steve Ruck
Solo Trombone: Jonathan Pippen
Solo horn: Michael Franey
Flugel horn: Louise Edgar
Tuba: Wilf Driscoll

Blackpool Form:
2005: 18th (British Open) (T. Wyss) (rel)
2004: 19th (Russell Gray) (15)
2003: 9th (Russell Gray) (18)
2002: 8th (Steve Bastable) (18)
2001: 13th (Steve Bastable) (17)
2000: 8th (Steve Bastable) (12)
1999: 7th (James Scott) (20)
1998: 7th (James Scott) (11)
1997: 6th (James Scott) (3)
1996: 2nd (Nicholas Childs) (9)
1995: 13th (Nicholas Childs) (2)
1994: 16th (Nicholas Childs) (18)
1993: DNC

Form Guide:
Tredegar finally lost its place at the British Open after a 12 year stay that included some fine performances at the contest. The last two years though were a struggle and relegation was somewhat inevitable last year. They have shown remarkable character in 2006 though and have scored wins at Yeovil, Porthcawl and most recently at Ebbw Vale, whilst the only blot was a disappointing 4th place at Swansea at the Regional Championships. Still rebuilding, it may be asking a lot of them to get back to the Open straight away, but they are sure to put in a strong performance.  

SovereignWooley Pritchard Sovereign Brass
Stephen Roberts

4BR Ranking: 53

Principal Cornet: David Maplestone
Soprano: Alan Thomas
Euphonium: Mark Hadlington
Flugal: Claire Mumford
Solo Horn: Robert Allen
Trombone: Carl Fletcher
Tuba: Phil Green

Blackpool Form:
2005: 3rd Senior Cup (prom) (T. Jones)
2004: 15th (T Jones)
2003: 11th (W. Ruston)
2002: 14th (J. Hinckley)
2001: 10th (D. Beckley)
2000: DNC
1999: 13th Grand Shield (rel) (S. Roberts)
1998: DNC
1997: 15th Grand Shield (D. Maplestone)
1996: 7th Grand Shield (D. Maplestone)
1995: 7th Grand Shield (D. Maplestone)
1994: 6th Grand Shield (D. Maplestone)
1993: 12th Grand Shield (D. Maplestone)

Form Guide:
WP Sovereign booked their place in the Grand Shield last year by coming a well deserved 3rd place at the Senior Trophy and they started 2006 well by coming 3rd in the strong Yeovil field. The Regional Championships just saw them miss out on the trip to Kensington when they came 4th under Peter Parkes at Burton on Trent. Stephen Roberts takes over this time and they will be keen to make a real mark at the Grand Shield on their first appearance back since 1999.  


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