2007 North West Regional Championship - First Section


Will any of the bands here will get to grips with Eric Ball’s work, and most importantly, who will tickle Roy Roe’s fancy on Sunday morning.

Sunday 11th March
Empress Ballroom
Adjudicator: Roy Roe
Test Piece: Sinfonietta – The Wayfarer – Eric Ball
Commences: 10.30am
Draw: 9.30am

AshtonAshton Under Lyne
Philip Chalk

Last 11 Years:
2006: 7th in First Section (P. Chalk)
2005: 2nd (P. Chalk)
2004: DNC
2003: 9th in Championship Section (rel) (J. Maines)
2002: 2nd in First Section (J. Maines)
2001: 9th (rel) (M. Evans)
2000: 9th (M. Evans)
1999: Winners of First Section (prom)
1998: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1997: Winners of Third Section (prom)
1996: DNC

2006 wasn't a bad year for Ashton but they will be hoping to up their form after coming a very disappointing 7th in the First Section last time out. That wasn't the band at their best by any means, but a repeat of that cannot be allowed to happen again.

They have plenty of quality players around the stand, and a talented MD, but they will all need to be on top form to make the right impression.  

BessesBesses o' th' Barn
John Hinckley

Last 11 Years:
2006: 13th in Championship Section (J. Cant) (rel)
2005: 9th (J. Cant)
2004: 8th (S. Sykes)
2003: 8th (L. Nicholson)
2002: 4th (L. Nicholson)
2001: 6th (G. Pritchard)
2000: 8th (G. Pritchard)
1999: 5th
1998: 8th
1997: 7th
1996: 5th

Besses have been through a tough time in the past year or so and have been very out of sorts on the contesting stage – the relegation was inevitable even though it must still have come as a major disappointment to their legion of supporters.

The drop may not be too much of a band thing though and it could well give them the chance to regroup and return all the stronger – just look what happened to Yorkshire Imps. Wait and see – a new era for a famous band starts here perhaps? 

Les Beevers

Last 11 Years:
2006: 4th (N. Law)
2005: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (N. Law)
2004: 5th (N. Law)
2003: Winners of Third Section (prom) (N. Law)
2002: 9th (D. Morris)
2001: 4th (D. Morris)
2000: Winners of Fourth Section (prom) (D. Morris)
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Diggle played exceptionally well last year to come 4th and they'll be looking to finish even higher this time around.  They're a very solid and experienced band and having come up from the depths of the Fourth Section in such a short space of time they find themselves just a step or two away from the Championship Section. It's not beyond them.  

Haslingden and Helmshore
David Holland

Last 11 Years:
2006: 5th (D. Holland)
2005: 12th (D. Holland)
2004: 3rd in Second Section (D. Holland) (prom)
2003: 5th (D. Holland)
2002: 3rd (D. Holland)
2001: 5th in Third Section (prom)  (D. Holland)
2000: 3rd in Third Section  (D. Holland)
1999: 6th in Fourth Section (prom)
1998: 2nd in Fourth Section
1997: 9th in Fourth Section
1996: DNC

David Holland has done a fantastic job in recent years with Haslingden and has turned the fortunes of the band around. 

They put on a good performance to come 5th last year and at Butlins they finished in 8th place against some excellent bands from around the country.  If they can repeat that form, then they could be in the mix come the announcement of the results. 

Hoover (Bolton)
Robbie Cargill

Last 11 Years:
2006: 3rd in Second Section (prom) (R. Cargill)
2005: 4th (C. Wormald)
2004: Winners of Third Section (C. Wormald)
2003: 3rd (C. Wormald)
2002: 13th in Second Section (rel) (S. Talbot)
2001: 12th in Second Section (S. Talbot)
2000: 16th in Second Section (S. Talbot)
1999: 6th in Second Section
1998: 4th in Second Section
1997: 4th (prom)
1996: 4th

The solid foundations and success that Chris Wormald brought to the Hoover (Bolton) Band certainly have not been lost since his departure. 

Robbie Cargill took over the reigns last year and has done a cracking job with the band, finishing 3rd last year on the difficult Images of the Millennium to gain their promotion.  The band will be a mix of youth and experience, but if they play to potential, they could surprise a few. 

P. Lockett

Last 11 Years:
2006: =10th in Championship Section (G. Pritchard) (rel)
2005: 8th (S. Booth)
2004: 10th (S. Booth)
2003: 3rd in First Section (prom) (B. Baker)
2002: 10th in Championship Section (rel) (S. Booth)
2001: DNC
2000: Winners of First Section (M. Cotter)
1999: 5th in First Section
1998: 11th in Championship Section (rel)
1997: 9th in Championship Section
1996: 2nd in First Section (prom)

Longridge did well in 2005 finishing 8th here, but the demands of Journey to the Centre of the Earth last year proved to be a tough ask and they dropped through the relegation trap door. 

That said, the last time they were in this section, Brett Baker conducted them into 3rd place and they went up into the Championship, so its fingers crossed for a repeat. The test piece will probably suit them better, so lets wait and see how it goes. 

maxiMaxilead Metals Tyldesley
Robert Taylor

Last 11 Years:
2006: 9th (R. Taylor)
2005: 5th (R. Taylor)
2004: 5th (R. Taylor)
2003: 8th (S. Booth)
2002: 7th (M. Peacock)
2001: 12th (D. Barry)
2000: 3rd (D. Barry)
1999: 3rd in Second Section (prom)
1998: 7th in Second Section
1997: 2nd in Second Section
1996: DNC

Robert Taylor is the gifted MD in front of the Maxilead sponsored band and he has certainly led the band in the right direction here in the last couple of years where they've had a couple of fifth places. 

Last year's 9th place though means they go to Blackpool in need of a solid result to maintain their first section status, although if they repeat the form shown in coming 6th at Pontins late last year they should be more than OK. 

D. Byers

Last 11 Years:
2006: DNC
2005 12th in Championship Section (M. Evans) (rel)
2004: 3rd in First Section (M. Evans) (prom)
2003: 10th in Championship Section (rel) (M. Evans)
2002: 11th (J. Davies)
2001: Winners of First Section (prom) (S. Stonehouse)
2000: 2nd in First Section (S. Stonehouse)
1999: 4th in First Section
1998: 7th in First Section
1997: 10th in First Section
1996: 2nd in Second Section (prom)

Mossley return to Blackpool having been absent last year and they've been through some tough times but hopefully seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

They've yo-yoed between Championship and First Section in recent years but perhaps they return a stronger band after their enforced break.  Duncan Byers is now at the helm and they'll be looking for a good solid show on Sunday. 

Steve Tarry

Last 11 Years:
2006: 6th (S. Tarry)
2005: 9th (S. Tarry)
2004: 7th (S. Tarry)
2003: 7th (S. Tarry)
2002: 4th in Second Section (prom) (G. Clough)
2001: 2nd (G. Clough)
2000: 4th (G. Clough)
1999: 14th
1998: 7th in Third Section (prom)
1997: 5th in Third Section
1996: 7th in Third Section

Having produced solid performances in 2003 and 2004, Poulton dipped to 9th in 2005 but hit back strongly with 6th place last year. 

They mixed it with the Championship Section bands at Preston in February, finishing 7th and if they can maintain that standard they should make their short journey home happy. 

RobetsRoberts Bakery
Colin Cranson

Last 11 Years:
2006: 8th (R. Evans)
2005: 4th (R. Evans)
2004: 10th (C. Cranson)
2003: 10th (C. Cranson)
2002: 3rd (C. Cranson)
2001: 11th (C. Cranson)
2000: 10th in Championship Section (rel) (C. Cranson)
1999: 9th in Championship Section
1998: 7th in Championship Section
1997: 3rd in First Section (prom)
1996: 3rd in First Section (prom)

Colin Cranson returns to conduct the Bakery Band after a couple of year's absence where Richard Evans has been at the helm.  They finished 8th last year and struggled somewhat even with Tricky Dicky trying his hardest to pull something out of the hat, but they've shown they can mix it at the top end of the results table finishing 4th in 2005.   

Silk BrassSilk Brass AstraZeneca (Macclesfield)
James Cant

Last 11 Years:
2006: 6th in Second Section (M. Obermuller) (prom)
2005: 5th (K. Mackintosh)
2004: 4th (K. Mackintosh)
2003: 10th (K. Mackintosh)
2002: 2nd in Third Section (K. Mackintosh) (prom)
2001: 3rd in Third Section (K. Mackintosh)
2000: 10th in Third Section (K. Mackintosh)
1999: 6th in Third Section
1998: 9th in Third Section
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

6th place in the Second Section last year was enough to gain Silk Brass promotion and continue their steady rise through the sections in recent years.  Ex-Faireys man, James Cant is at the helm this weekend and we are sure everyone will be looking to give a good account of themselves. They finished 9th out of eleven bands at Preston in a section mixed with Championship and first section bands so that should stand them in good stead. 

David Evans

Last 11 Years:
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 9th (C. Whiteoak)
2003: 4th (G. Hetherington)
2002: Winners 4th Section (G. Hetherington)
2001: 6th 4th Section (G. Hetherington)
2000: 9th 4th Section (G. Hetherington)
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

David Evans will lead Timperley's charge this weekend as the Cheshire based outfit make a return to Blackpool after a couple of years absence.  They're a bit of an unknown quantity though although they will be confident of doing well. They played well enough at Pontins in November in the Championship Section finishing half way in coming 11th.  If they've put the work in, they could do the business this weekend. 

CreweUnited Co-op (Crewe)
Jef Sparkes

Last 11 Years:
2006: 2nd (J. Sparkes)
2005: 8th in Championship Section (rel) (J. Sparkes)
2004: 11th (J. Sparkes)
2003: Winners of First Section (prom) (J. Sparkes)
2002: 5th (J. Sparkes)
2001: 2nd (J. Sparkes)
2000: 7th (J. Sparkes)
1999: 8th
1998: 8th
1997: 5th
1996: 5th

The best thing you can do when you come down a section is show real determination and Jef Sparkes' band certainly did that last year missing out by a whisker on the top prize before coming 3rd at the Nationals. A good solid show once again though should see them return to the Championship Section but they won't be complacent, but success down at the NEMBBA contest a couple of weeks ago will have given them a timely boost of confidence. 

Past Qualifiers:
2006: Wire Brass, United Co-op (Crewe)
2005: Freckleton, Ashton Under Lyne
2004: Pemberton Old Wigan, Vernon Building Society Poynton
2003: United Co-op (Crewe), United Norwest Co-op Milnrow
2002: Pemberton Old, Ashton Under Lyne
2001: Mossley, United Co-op Crewe
2000: Longridge, Mossey
1999: Ashton Under Lyne, Stalybridge
1998: Congleton, Dobcross
1997: Freckleton, Berisford Cardway
1996: British Aerospace, Longridge
1995: United Norwest Co-op, British Aerospace  

North West Bands at the Finals:
2006: 2nd, 3rd
2005: 3rd, 9th
2004: 1st, 6th
2003: 2nd, 3rd
2002: 5th, 9th
2001: 7th, 8th
2000: 2nd, 13th
1999: 1st, 11th
1998: 6th, 10th  

4BR Prediction:

What a cracking contest this could turn out to be. There are a number of good quality bands here and more than a few of them will fancy their chances of not only a qualification place but also the First Section regional title too. 

Ashton was our favourite last year but it was promoted Wire Brass and United Co-op Crewe who took the spoils.  Besses ‘oth' Barn will be intent on gaining a place at Harrogate and don't rule out Diggle or Haslingden either.  If Timperley hit form they could easily be in the frame and don't discount Longridge just down from the Championship or Hoover (Bolton) either. In fact, don't discount anyone it seems!

1. United Co-op Crewe
2. Diggle
3. Besses
4. Timperley
5. Ashton
6. Haslingden and Helmshore

Dark Horse: Longridge


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