2006 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: 22

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Gavin Hall
Principal Euphonium: Sophie Rhodes
Soprano Cornet: Andrew Bannister
Solo Trombone: Shawn Kissane
Solo horn: Trevor Foster
Flugel horn: Dave Lewis
Solo Baritone: Brian Vincent
Eb Tuba: David Kline

Appearances: 19th time (5 as Aveley and Newham)
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

2006 Qualification: Winners at London and Southern Counties Regional Championships conducted by Nigel Taken.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
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)

Form Guide:  
The Grand Shield triumph now seems a long time ago for the Londoners and there are those critics who might well be sharpening their pencils to suggest that Aveley may have done the banding equivalent of a Wimbledon when winning the FA Cup. 

They were excellent that day, but at the Masters they were poor and last month at the Open they were nervous and error prone. Are they a one contest trick or can they really show that type of quality once more.

Last year here they were poor again and limped home in 18th place, so the jury may well take a bit of persuading unless they can get close to repeating their excellent 7th place of 2000 once more.

Player to watch out for: Gavin Hall (Principal cornet). A new man in the hot seat and one who comes with a glowing reputation from the Coldstream Guards.  

DykeBlack Dyke
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking: 1

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Richard Marshall
Principal Euphonium: David Thornton
Soprano Cornet: Peter Roberts
Solo Trombone: Brett Baker
Solo horn: Martin Armstrong
Flugel horn: Camilla Sjovold
Solo Baritone: Gareth Brindle
Eb Tuba: Joseph Cook

Appearances: 74th time
Debut: 1900
Best Result: 20 Wins
Last Year: 2nd

2006 Qualification: 2nd place at Yorkshire Regional Championships (Pre-qualified) conducted by Dr. Nicholas Childs.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
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: 17 times - 1900, 1923, 1924, 1930, 1932, 1936, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 2005
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:
Another piece of Black Dyke history could very well be created this weekend if they take the title here. The last time they did the double was back in 1995 and many believe that the current band is now fast approaching its peak and could well emulate that Watson inspired triumph.

A fabulous record here and they were on tremendous form at the Open where they were the clearest winners for many a year after a stunning performance. A repeat of that and it will all fall neatly into place, but they have played very well here in the past and come away with nothing too - notably last year. Rumours suggest that a few faces may be making a swan song in London too, so can the 2006 vintage round off a memorable season in style and claim title number 21?

Player to watch out for: Camilla Sjovold (Flugel). With John Doyle away and unable to play this weekend, one of the best Norwegian flugel players has been drafted in to play with the band, and exceptionally good she is too.

Burry Port Town
Michael Thorne
4BR Ranking: 27

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David James
Principal Euphonium: Ceri John
Soprano Cornet: Jayne Thomas
Solo Trombone: Johanna Hirst
Solo horn: Keith Curtis
Flugel horn: Jane Stredwick
Baritone: Daren John
Eb Tuba: Gareth Jon

Appearances: 2nd time
Debut: 2003
Best Result: 18th
Last Year: DNQ

2006 Qualification: 2nd place at Welsh Regional Championship, conducted by Michael Thorne.

Last 10 years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2005: DNQ
2004: DNQ
2003: 18th (David Evans) (14)

Form Guide:
A second appearance for the Band from West Wales (or third if you count a National contest appearance in 1903 in a lower section at Crystal Palace) and one that confirms that they are now real challengers at the Championship level.

Excellent value for their qualification at Swansea and they put a solid performance in at the Grand Shield too to come 9th off an early draw. They added a couple of Welsh titles to their CV in recent months too and had a confidence boost at Ammanford a few weeks back too.

Lots of excellent young players in the ranks and a fine conductor who will work their socks off. A much more mature band than the one that came 18th in 2004 and one that could be inspired to a fine result.

Player to watch out for: David James (Principal cornet) The best young cornet player in the Principality by far and already a fine soloist and band leader.

bayvBuy As You View
Dr. Robert Childs
4BR Ranking: 2

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: Gavin Saynor

Appearances: 45th time
Debut: 1924
Best Result: 5 Wins
Last Year: 3rd

2006 Qualification: Winners Welsh Regional Championships (Pre-qualified) conducted by Dr. Robert Childs

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
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: 1 time - 2004
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:
The perennial Welsh champions it seems, but no major title to their name now since 2002. They have had their fair share of bad luck though (the Europeans being a case in point) and they surely must have used up their quota for the rest of the 21st century by now.

They have been on excellent form all year and were the one band to push Black Dyke at the Open, but at times perhaps they try too hard to impress with the technical brilliance at their disposal. A bit more relaxation and their thrilling ability to creat real passion will surely come through.

Their recent record suggests they should be due a victory, but they also have space for a 6th place too since 2000. It should be shorter odds on them getting the former rather than the latter come Saturday night.

Player to watch out for: Owen Farr (Solo horn) Perhaps the best tenor horn player in the country? There would be few who could argue against him at his brilliant best.

CamborneCamborne Town
Frank Renton
4BR Ranking:  50

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Chris Leonard
Principal Euphonium: Robert Jose
Soprano Cornet: Les Kneebone
Solo Trombone: Nick Abbott
Solo horn: Mark Letcher
Flugel horn: Andrew Mitchell
Baritone: Gavin Knowles
Eb Tuba: Timmy Joslin

Appearances: 37th time
Debut: 1946
Best Result: 4th place (1977 and 1982)
Last Year: DNQ

2006 Qualification: 2nd place at the West of England Championships conducted by Frank Renton.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2005: DNQ
2004: 9th (Frank Renton) (16)
2003: 11th (Paul Murrell) (18)
2002: 19th (Paul Murrell) (7)
2001: 19th (Brian Grant) (19)
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: 9th (Leonard Adams) (1)
1997: DNQ
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
No wins:
Fourth place: 2 times - 1977, 1982
Fifth place: 1 times - 1973
Sixth place: 2 times - 1951, 1965
Unplaced: 31 times - 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1972, 1978 (14th=), 1980 (12th=), 1983 (16th), 1984 (13th), 1985 (9th), 1986 (14th=), 1988 (12th), 1989 (12th), 1990 (8th), 1993 (18th), 1994 (17th), 1998, (9th) 2001 (19th), 2002 (19th), 2003 (11th), 2004 (9th)

Form Guide: 
On their day Camborne have all the right ingredients to match any of the top bands in the country, but after a fine qualification under Frank Renton at Torquay they were rather insipid at Blackpool where they could only come 7th at the third tier Senior Trophy and were really disapponting at Bugle against their local rivals where they could only come 3rd.

What will London bring them then? Frank Renton can blow hot or cold, but you get the feeling that this one may well be right up his street and if he really can get the bit between his teeth this band, with a big and bold bass led sound could shine. 9th on their last outing in 2004 shows what could be possible, but so too is a history of very low placings also.

Player to watch out for: Mark Letcher (Solo horn) He may look as if he would rather be in the pub enjoying a few pints with his mates, but this is one heck of a fine player and as good as any in the country on his day.

faireyFairey Band
Simon Stonehouse
4BR Ranking: 8

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Steve Wilkinson
Principal Euphonium: David Belshaw
Soprano Cornet: Alan Hobbins
Solo Trombone: Lisa Sarasini
Solo horn: Chris Pannell
Flugel horn: Lucy Murphy
Solo Baritone: Katrina Marzella
Eb Tuba: Richard Evans

Appearances: 44th time
Debut: 1945
Best Result: 9 wins
Last Year: 8th

2006 Qualification: 2nd place at North West Regional Championships conducted by Simon Stonehouse.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2005: 8th (Simon Stonehouse) (9)
2004: 10th (David Evans) (19)
2003: Winners (Allan Withington) (19)
2002: Winners (Allan Withington) (14)
2001: 4th (Howard Snell) (2)
2000: 8th (James Gourlay) (9)
1999: 5th (James Gourlay) (14)
1998: 3rd (James Gourlay) (16)
1997: 2nd (James Gourlay) (13)
1996: 4th (James Gourlay) (7)

Overall Record:
Wins: 9 times - 1945, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1965, 1986, 1993, 2002, 2003
Second place: 4 times - 1946, 1947, 1994, 1997
Third place: 5 times - 1966, 1978, 1980, 1992, 1998
Fourth place: 4 times - 1984, 1987, 1996, 2001
Fifth place: 4 times - 1962, 1975, 1988, 1999
Sixth place: 6 times - 1953, 1958, 1959, 1982, 1990, 1991
Unplaced: 11 times 1948 (N/K), 1955 (N/K), 1957 (N/K), 1963 (N/K), 1972 (N/K), 1979 (15th), 1983 (8th), 1995 (8th), 2000 (8th), 2004 (10th), 2005 (8th)

Form Guide:
A band really on the brink of glory once more or still a few years away from claiming another major title? All the signs are there that the ground work has been done and now should come the easy bit, but winning major championships is a bit more complex than that.

Fairey's were decent enough in qualifying, produced a classy performance at the Masters and were good value for their 5th place at Birmingham, but they were still some way off the winners enclosure nonetheless. They have a fine mix of talent in the ranks and an excellent MD so perhaps this could well the time for that last step up in class.

A fine record here over the years, including those back to back victories in 2002 and 2003. May be not this time for another win, but soon we are sure.

Player to watch out for: Alan Hobbins (Soprano) A class act who has gone through the mill in recent years. One his day, the next best thing to Peter Roberts.

Richard Evans
4BR Ranking: 23

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: John Gill
Principal Euphonium: Jeff Bell
Soprano Cornet: Mal Usher
Solo Trombone: Malcolm Gill
Solo horn: Steve Hardy
Flugel horn: Melissa Maddison
Solo Baritone: Caroline Bell
Eb Tuba: Anthony Taylor

Appearances: 9th time
Debut: 1985 (as National Fuel Distributors)
Best Result: 15th (1988)
Last Year: DNQ

2006 Qualification: 2nd place at North of England Regional Championships conducted by Russell Gray.

Last 10 years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2005: DNQ
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: DNQ
2001: 18th (Ian Robinson) (5)
2000: 19th (Ian Robinson) (5)
1999: DNQ
1998: DNQ
1997: DNQ
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Unplaced: 8 times 1985 (18th), 1988 (15th), 1989 (20th), 1992 (15th), 1993 (20th), 1995 (16th), 2000 (19th), 2001(18th)

Form Guide:
Great to see Fishburn back at London after an extended period of absence. The reigning Scottish Open Champions have had a bit of an up and down season in 2006 with a solid qualification under Russell Gray off set by disppointing shows at the Grand Shield (13th) and Butlins (10th).

On their day though they can really mix it with the top bands and with Richard Evans at the helm they won't be lacking in confidence for sure. Some fine players in and around the stands and a big, bold bass led sound that could enhance things in the caverous spaces of the Albert Hall.

Not the best of records here over the years, with a best of 15th, but hope springs eternal, especially with Tricky Dicky conducting.

Player to watch out for: Mal Usher (Soprano) He has been around a fair old time, but has always been highly regarded by his fellow high wire artists as a player of very high class.

FodensFodens Richardson
Gary Cutt
4BR Ranking: 4

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Mark Wilkinson
Principal Euphonium: Glyn Williams
Soprano Cornet: Alan Wycherley
Solo Trombone: John Barber
Solo horn: George Thackray
Flugel horn: Helen Fox
Solo Baritone: Helen Tyler
Eb Tuba: Les Neish

Appearances: 57th time
Debut: 1909
Best Result: 12 Wins
Last Year: DNQ

2006 Qualification: Winners of the North West Regional Championships conducted by Gary Cutt.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
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: 5 times 1922, 1956, 1978, 1983, 1985
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: 
What a season 2006 has been so far for Fodens. More ups and downs than the drawers on a Parisian madam, they will surely be one of the bands to beat here if they can repeat the form of Cambridge and Salford.

On both those occassions they sounded so impressive whilst at the Open they once again oozed classy intent even if the men in the box missed it. They have the sound, the players and the MD to claim a 13th title here too and will also be looking to make up for lost time after not qualifying for the past two years.

A bit of luck and a good draw may be all that is needed for them to make it number 13 - as long as they don't break any mirrors in the changing rooms before they go in stage.

Player to watch out for: Helen Tyler (Baritone) Cynics may say its easy to see why we picked her out, but by heck she is a wonderful player and a linchpin of the middle of the band. She could well lead Fodens home on the weekend.

GrimethorpeGrimethorpe Colliery UK Coal
Allan Withington
4BR Ranking: 5

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Roger Webster
Principal Euphonium: Michael Dodd
Soprano Cornet: Kevin Crockford
Solo Trombone: Richard Brown
Solo horn: Philip Randall
Flugel horn: Ian Shires
Solo Baritone: Robert Blackburn
Eb Tuba: Shaun Crowther

Appearances: 27th time
Debut: 1962
Best Result: 2 wins
Last Year: 4th

2006 Qualification: Winners at Yorkshire Regional Championships conducted by Allan Withington.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
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: 2 times - 1970, 1992
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:
Could 2006 finally see the ghost of 1992 put to rest? It has been 14 long years since Grimethorpe last won here and although the fairey story would be a triumph amidst adveristy sort of angle once more as the band prepare for life without their sponsor, that would be a bit wide of the mark.

This time Grimey's future looks to be much more rosy and with a superb set of players for the MD to call upon they should be one of the bands to beat here this year for sure. The MD knows what it takes to win here and so too do this bunch of no nonsense players. Hard to find fault in any section, they were more than unlucky at the Open and will view this as a chance to round off their year in some style.  If they are inspired then they are nigh on unbeatable.

Player to watch out for: Shaun Crowther (Eb tuba) The whole bass team in fact are worth watching, but this man leads them with real class. When they open their lungs even the hounds from hell whimper by comparison.

JaguarJaguar (Coventry)
Dave Lea
4BR Ranking: 62

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Bob Bagott
Principal Euphonium: Rob Hunt
Soprano Cornet: Darren Lea
Solo Trombone: Kevin Lea
Solo horn: Lynette Wild
Flugel horn: Andrew Bates
Baritone: Keith Wilkinson
Eb Tuba: Mick Wild

Appearances:  Debut
Debut: 2006
Best Result: N/A
Last Year: DNQ

2006 Qualification: 2nd place at the Midlands Counties Regional Championship conducted by Dave Lea.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)

Overall Record:
No Wins:

Form Guide: 
Nice to see Dave Lea and his hard working band make a debut at the Royal Albert Hall. Over the years Dave has done wonderful work, including appearances at the British Open, so its another fine achievement to qualify here.

Qualification was well deserved, although they were disappointing at the Senior Cup where they were quite a way off the pace and came 15th. Lots of talented players around the stands and they certainly have ambition what with a trip to the US open in a few weeks time. Could find it hard to make a mark here against this class of bands but don't bet against them.

Palyer to watch out for: Rob Hunt (Solo Euphonium) Has been an integral part of the band for many a year and always performs with confidence a sheen of class.

Steve Bastable
4BR Ranking: 14

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Les Wood
Principal Euphonium: Andy Mclean
Soprano Cornet: David Prentice
Solo Trombone: Marion Brackpool
Solo horn: Alan Wardrope
Flugel horn: Martyn Ramsay
Baritone: Jim Corrigan
Eb Tuba: Andy McKreel

Appearances: 10th time
Debut: 1968
Best Result: 4th in 1997
Last Year: DNQ

2006 Qualification: 2nd place at Scottish Regional Championships conducted by Steve Bastable.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
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: 8 times - 1968, 1984 (9th), 1985 (13th), 1990 (19th), 1998 (12th), 1999 (11th), 2002 (14th), 2003 (8th)

Form Guide:
A band that on their day could well throw a musical cat amongst the pidgeons. Kirkintilloch can be one of the most exciting bands to listen to on a contest stage - at time a little too over excitable perhaps, but always well worth taking the time to catch.

Led by Steve Bastable they were excellent at the British Open off the dreaded number 2 slot to come home in 7th place and a repeat of that level of performance could well set them up for a top six place at least.  If they get it right then look out as they have lots of quality in the ranks, but if not they could well end up in midfield as they do take risks. It could be a thrill a minute ride.

Player to watch out for: David Prentice (Soprano) The former Principal cornet is now plying his stuff on the high wire and doing it with real swagger and panache.

Russell Gray
4BR Ranking: 7

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Andrew Lord
Principal Euphonium: Brenden Wheeler
Soprano Cornet: Ian Twiss
Solo Trombone: Becky Smith
Solo horn: Leslie Howie
Flugel horn: Janet Lewis
Solo Baritone: Jeff Lewis
Eb Tuba: Chris Doran

Appearances: 21st time
Debut: 1981
Best Result: Winners 2005
Last Year: Winners

2006 Qualification: 3rd place at North West Regional Championships (pre qualified) conducted by Russell Gray.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
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: 1 time 2001
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:
The reigning champions. Will they still be that after the results on Saturday though? Wait and see because they will surely fancy their chances on this one, perhaps more than they did pre contest on 'Eden'.

2006 hasn't been too bad so far (the Regionals saw them understandably a bit uninterested), but the failure to win through to the Open was a major disappointment, although that was offset somewhat by the quality of their playing at the Europeans and the English Nationals. During that period they were running on fumes at times, so back and refreshed they will be determined not to relinquish their crown. Lots of quality around the stands and an MD with a bit of a Midas touch when it comes to claiming major titles. A repeat performance may just be beyond them, but you never know.

Player to watch out for: Leslie Howie (Solo horn) Has fitted into the Leyland set up brilliantly and has been on top class form all year. An outstanding performer.

Mount CharlesMount Charles
Nigel Weeks
4BR Ranking: 24

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ian Thomas
Principal Euphonium: Neil Pascoe
Soprano Cornet: Andrew Jay
Solo Trombone: Nick Hudson
Solo horn: Sarah Whitehead
Flugel horn: Tim Whitehead
Baritone: Terry Sleeman
Eb Tuba: Shawn Woodward

Appearances: 2nd time
Debut: 2004
Best Result: 7th in 2004
Last Year: DNQ

2006 Qualification: Winners at the West of England Regional Championship conducted by Dr. Nicholas Childs.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2005: DNQ
2004: 7th (Bryan Hurdley) (5)

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Unplaced: 1 time 2004 (7th)

Form Guide: 
Interesting to see what Mount Charles make of themselves here. On their day they are a thrilling band to listen to, but that has usually been in the hands of Nicholas Childs, such as at the Regionals where they won in fine style.

Away from that partneship and things haven't been so good, with an OK 7th place at the Grand Shield and a somewhat non descript 11th at the English Nationals. Add to that the disappointment of the Mineworkers earlier in the year and you do wonder which of their musical Jekyll or Hyde personas will appear here.

Plenty of talent in and around the stands and a gifted MD, they have the equipment to more than make a mark and perhaps better their 7th place of 2004, but do they have the belief?

Player to watch out for: Tim Whitehead (Flugel horn) A very gifted performer who on his day can lift the most moribund piece of music into something special.

NewsteadNewstead Welfare
Duncan Beckley
4BR Ranking: 38

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Mark Young
Principal Euphonium: Lyndon Cooper
Soprano Cornet: Philip White
Solo Trombone: Andrew Banniston
Solo horn: Sandra Kowalenco
Flugel horn: Michael Cordon
Baritone: Mark Astle
Eb Tuba: Paul Whyley

Appearances:  Debut
Debut: 2006
Best Result: N/A
Last Year: DNQ

2006 Qualification: Winners at the Midlands Counties Regional Championship conducted by Duncan Beckley.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)

Overall Record:
No Wins:

Form Guide: 
A debut for one of the most hard working bands in the country and a long overdue one it is too for both them and their conductor.

Thier qualification did come as something of a surprise to many on the day at Burton upon Trent, but they then showed that it was no fluke by winning the Senior Cup in Blackpool in fine style. They are now just one step away from the British Open, so you can see why they will be approaching this particular contest with sky high confidence.  

Lots of quality in the ranks and a conductor who will leave no stone unturned in his approach to the preperation on this one.

Player to watch out for: Mark Young (Principal cornet) An underated player who has a stamp of confidence about his playing both as a soloist and a leader.

Parc and DareParc & Dare
Peter Parkes
4BR Ranking: 45

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Carl Saunders
Principal Euphonium: Helen Kinder
Soprano Cornet: Paul Eddy
Solo Trombone: James Voros
Solo horn: Mike Saunders
Flugel horn: Andrea Lewis
Baritone: Shoko Morimoto
Eb Tuba: Wayne Davies

Appearances:  21st time
Debut: 1920
Best Result: 3rd in 1945
Last Year: DNQ

2006 Qualification: 3rd place at the Welsh Regional Championship conducted by Craig Roberts.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
1996 - 2005: DNQ
Last qualified in 1989

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Third place: 1 time 1945
Fifth place:  1 time - 1947
Sixth place: 1 time - 1920
Unplaced: 17 times 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 158, 1961, 1970, 1975 (19th=), 1976 (8th), 1983 (10th), 1985 (11th), 1986 (10th), 1987 (18th), 1989 (16th)

Form Guide: 
A famous old name in Welsh banding finally makes it back to the big time after 17 years away. Parc have gone through many an up and down in the past few years, but under the direction of Craig Roberts they have slowly but surely improved year on year and deserved their place here after qualifying in Swansea. 

Didn't do too well at the Senior Trophy where they came 10th and have stuttered a touch in local contests too in the past few months, but the surprise move to engage Peter Parkes may turn out to be inspired if his special brand of musicianship can rub off on his players, many of whom have experienced this stage before.

Not a bad record here either over the years, but it would be a major surprise if they were to repeat those performances of the the mid 1940's this time around.

Player to watch out for: Andrea Lewis (Flugel horn) A little gem of a performer, solid and very musical and with a wicked sense of humour to go with her fine playing talent.

Reg VardyReg Vardy 
Ray Farr
4BR Ranking: 15

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

Appearances: 39th time
Debut: 1963 as Craghead Colliery, 1969 as Ever Ready
Best Result: 3rd (2004)
Last Year: 10th

2006 Qualification: Winners of North of England Regional Championships conducted by Ray Farr.

Last 10Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
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)

Form Guide:
If the Reg Vardy of 2004 turn up then the National title could well be finding itself a new home in the North East this year. That year they were brilliant, but ever since they have not quite touched the same heights, even if they have become a very solid performer at all the major contests.

Qualification was achieved well, and there was a quality about their performance at Salford which gained them a solid 6th place. The Open though was a major disappointment and 17th place was a fair return for a poor showing. Last year here they were just off the pace and came home in 10th spot, but if they can click as they have done in the past a top six place at least is well on the cards as they have plenty of talented players and a MD who is not afraid of taking the odd musical risk or two.

Player to wach out for: Bryan Tait (Principal cornet) A fine performer and one of the best section leaders around. In 2004 he was inspiring and if he can do that again then look out.

RothwellRothwell Temperance
David Roberts
4BR Ranking: 11

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: James McCabe
Principal Euphonium: Andy Marsh
Soprano Cornet: Paul Argyle
Solo Trombone: Simon Powell
Solo horn: Catherine Roberts
Flugel horn: John Ward
Baritone: Andy Padgett
Eb Tuba: Edward Hodkin

Appearances:  2nd time
Debut: 1999
Best Result: 6th in 1999
Last Year: DNQ

2006 Qualification: 4th place at the Yorkshire Regional Championship conducted by David Roberts.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2005: DNQ
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: DNQ
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: 6th (David Roberts) (17)
1998: DNQ
1997: DNQ
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Sixth place: 1 time - 1999

Form Guide: 
Interesting this one. If they perform like they did at the All England Masters then they will be in with a shout of a top six prize at the very least as they have all the component parts to make a real impression here. They have an excellent bass led sound, lots of quality in the ranks, some super solo players and an MD who just lets the music do the talking.

If however they play like they did at the Open then they could well find themselves in the midfield Bermuda Triangle, as there they were strangely bland and uninspired.  This then is a real test to see if that Masters win has given them the inner confidence to really mix it with the big boys.

They have shown here that they can do well, even if that was seven years ago, but you sense that this may be the chance they have been looking for to stamp their authority once more.

Player to watch out for: Andy Padgett (Baritone) The former Dyke man has been enjoying himself here of late and on his day is still one of the very best baritone players around. 

Scottish CoopScottish Co-op
Alan Ramsay
4BR Ranking: 6

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Jim Hayes
Principal Euphonium: Allison Bonner
Soprano Cornet: Caroline Tennant
Solo Trombone: Paul Kiernan
Solo horn: Rachel Love
Flugel horn: Andrea Casey
Baritone: Lyndsay Smith
Eb Tuba: John Gawn

Appearances: 38th time
Debut: 1929
Best Result: 2 Wins
Last Year: DNQ

2006 Qualification: Winners of the Scottish Regional Championships conducted by Dr. Nicholas Childs

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2005: DNQ
2004: 17th (Ian McElligott) 14)
2003: 9th (James Scott) (8)
2002: DNQ
2001: 10th (James Gourlay) (15)
2000: 6th (Nicholas Childs) (1)
1999: DNQ
1998: 7th (Howard Snell) (18)
1997: 11th (Howard Snell) (14)
1996: Winners (Howard Snell) (18)

Overall Record:
Wins: 2 times - 1990, 1996
Second place: 4 times - 1929, 1933, 1934, 1958
Fourth place: 1 time - 1992
Fifth place: 1 time - 1960
Sixth place: 5 times - 1930, 1937, 1993, 1994, 2000
Unplaced: 24 times - 1931, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1945, 1948, 1954, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1971, 1979 (16th=), 1985 (10th), 1988 (11th), 1989 (10th), 1991 (12th), 1997 (11th), 1998 (7th), 2001 (10th), 2003 (9th), 2004 (17th)

Form Guide: 
A bit of a mixed bag of results here at the Royal Albert Hall since they won the second of their National titles in 1996, but they come this year as a band full of confidence - and it is not misplaced.

They won the Regional title with a bit to spare earlier in the year and they were good value for their 4th place at the Masters too. The Open though saw them really up their game to come in 4th and there they played with a real sense of assuredness under the baton of Allan Ramsay.

The MD will certainly have done his homework on this one and with players of quality all around the stands this could the chance for them to stake their claim for the National title once more.

Player to watch out for: Paul Kiernan (Trombone) A class act if ever there was one and the heartbeat of the current band.

Ian McElligott
4BR Ranking: 70

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Geoff Lawrence
Principal Euphonium: Steve Clarke
Soprano Cornet: Richard Evans
Solo Trombone: Mike Ashton
Solo horn: Simon Angel
Flugel horn: Gareth Lancaster
Baritone: Matt Hill
Eb Tuba: John Truscott

Appearances:  2nd time
Debut: 1996
Best Result: 18th in 1996
Last Year: DNQ

2006 Qualification: 2nd place at the London and Southern Counties Regional Championship conducted by Ian McElligott.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
1997 - 2005: DNQ
1996: 18th (S. Gaudion) (8)

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Unplaced: 1 time - 1996 (18th)

Form Guide: 
They may be the lowest ranked band here this year, but such has been the progress made by Staines over the last couple of years that you wouldn't put it past them if they take more than a handful of higher ranked scalps back home with them.

The cosmopolitan nature of the band has raised a few eyebrows in some quarters, but the proof has been in the playing so to speak and they were good value for their qualification at Stevenage. This though is a further step up in class and they may find it a bit tougher going here than there or at the Senior Trophy where they came runners up. Don't put it past them though as the MD has a neat habit of drawing out the most of his resources.

Player to watch out for:  Richard Evans (Soprano) Not the other one, but a player of high quality on the hardest instrument of them all.

Professor David King
4BR Ranking: 3

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Stuart Lingard
Principal Euphonium: Steve Walsh
Soprano Cornet: Bert van Thienen
Solo Trombone: Andrew King
Solo horn: Sheona White
Flugel horn: Leon Renilson
Solo Baritone: Rob Richardson
Eb Tuba: Ken Ferguson

Appearances: 19th time
Debut: 1957 (as Hammonds Sauce)
Best Result: 2nd (1995, 1998, 2004)
Last Year: 5th

2006 Qualification: 3rd place at Yorkshire Regional Championships (Pre-qualified) conducted by Professor David King.

Last 10 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
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: 2 times -1994, 2001
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:
Can this be the year then? We seem to say that every time we come to the Nationals with YBS, but for the first time in quite a few years now this represents the best chance of them finally doing it.

They were decent enough in qualifying in Bradford, although their chances of Euro glory were undermined by a repeat of long term problems in certain high profile positions.  They were unlucky at the English Nationals though and deserved much better, whilst the decision to engage a real soprano star in Bert van Thienen should have been rewarded with a higher placing than 8th at the British Open where they were excellent - and very exciting.

That partnership continues this time and you sense the old swagger may be back with YBS on a piece that may see them thrill the pants off the audience. David King has come everywhere but first here, so perhaps the time has come for that long overdue victory at last.

Player to watch out for: Bert van Thienen (Soprano) A great player  - no doubts and this may be the opportunity to show us just why.  


2016   2015   2014   2013   2012
2011   2010   2009   2008   2007
2006   2005   2004 (1)   2004 (2)   2003
2002   2001