2007 Midlands Regional Championship - First Section


A large field of nineteen bands line up to battle it out on Eric Ball’s effervescent Sinfonietta and David Read and Alan Morrison are sure to have their work cut out for them in the box.

Saturday 10th March
Adjudicator: David Read & Alan Morrison
Test Piece: Sinfonietta – The Wayfarer - Eric Ball
Commences: 11.00am
Split Draw: 10.00am & 12.00pm

Bedworth Brass
Colin Randle

Last 10 Years:
2006: 8th (C. Randle)
2005: 2nd (C. Randle)
2004: 13th (D. Williams)
2003: 10th (D. Williams)
2002: 6th
2001: 16th
2000: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1999: 15th in Second Section
1998: Winners of Second Section
1997: N/K

Bedworth Brass has threatened an assault on the Championship Section on more than one occasion although their results have tended to the erratic. There are some very experienced players around the stands though and Colin Randle, a veteran of City Coventry's 1981 British Open win on Variations on a Ninth will enjoy the prospect of getting to grips with The Wayfarer. If they play to form they could be serious challengers. 

Brackley & District
Jason Glynn

Last 11 Years:
2006: 11th (J. Glynn)
2005: 6th (J. Glynn)
2004: 7th (J. Glynn)
2003: 9th (J. Glynn)
2002: 3rd in Second Section (prom)
2001: 6th in Second Section
2000: 4th in Second Section
1999: 12th in Second Section
1998: 4th in Second Section
1997: 14th in Second Section

A consistent mid table performer, Brackley and District just blipped slightly last year when they slipped back to eleventh place. It might be a tall order to expect the band to challenge for the top six but to get themselves back up to the levels they achieved in 2003-2005 will be a serious step in the right direction for Jason Glynn and his Northamptonshire players.

dERWENTDerwent Brass
Keith Leonard

Last 10 Years:
2006: 6th (K. Leonard)
2005: 10th in Championship Section (rel) (K. Leonard)
2004: 10th (K. Leonard)
2003: 4th in First Section (prom) (K. Leonard)
2002: 3rd (K. Leonard)
2001: 12th (K. Leonard)
2000: 7th (K. Leonard)
1999: 5th
1998: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1997: 3rd in Second Section

Derwent Brass would have been disappointed with their sixth place in last year's contest having dropped down from the Championship Section in 2005. They have been quiet on the contest scene of late but Keith Leonard will be determined to get his band back into a position to challenge for Championship status once again. 

H. Thomas

Last 10 Years:
2006: 5th (H. Thomas)
2005: 10th (M. Vause)
2004: 9th (S. Cooper)
2003: 13th (S. Cooper)
2002: 7th
2001: 7th
2000: 11th
1999: 10th
1998: 9th in Championship Section (rel)
1997: 11th in Championship Section

Enderby's 2007 contest campaign got off to a modest start with an eleventh place at Butlins and they will be keen to improve on that here. Fifth last year was a good result for the band and got them their best placing since they dropped down from the Championship Section way back in 1998. The competition is going to be stiff though and they will need to be at the top of their game to get themselves into the top six once again.   

ForestersForesters Brass 2000
Peter Collins

Last 10 Years:
2006: Winners of Second Section (P. Collins) (prom)
2005: 4th (P. Collins)
2004: 12th (P.Collins)
2003: 4th (L. Baker)
2002: 7th (D.Blakeson)
2001: Winners of Third Section (D. Blakeson)
2000: 3rd in Fourth Section (N/K)
1999: 11th in Fourth Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Foresters Brass 2000 turned in an excellent performance of the Howard Snell's challenging Images of the Millennium last year to win the Second Section in convincing style and followed it up with a well deserved fifth at the Harrogate finals. Seventeenth at Butlins was an inauspicious start to their First Section contesting but there is a good deal of experience around the stands and Pete Collins and his players will be hoping to mount a decent challenge in Burton on Trent.   

glossopGlossop Old
Jon Davies
Last 10 Years:
2006: 4th (J. Davies)
2005: DNC (rel)
2004: 13th in Championship Section (J. Cant)
2003: 7th (J. Cant) (11)
2002: 6th
2001: 10th
2000: 4th
1999: 3rd
1998: 4th
1997: 2nd

Following relegation from the Championship Section and a year of absence in 2005, last year's contest saw a successful return for Glossop with a fourth place that reconfirmed their status as a band to be reckoned with. They could well be a serious challenger for qualification this time round and will no doubt have their sights set on Championship Section banding once again.     

gresleyGresley Old Hall
Richard Grantham

Last 10 Years:
2006: 10th (D. Hutchinson)
2005: 13th (D. Hutchinson)
2004: 11th (D. Hutchinson)
2003: 3rd (D. Hutchinson)
2002: 17th
2001: 8th
2000: 16th
1999: 17th
1998: 9th in Second Section (prom)
1997: 2nd in Second Section

Gresley Old Hall go into the contest with a new MD in the shape of Richard Grantham who has taken over from the long serving Dave Hutchinson. Recent form brought them tenth place at Butlins and the band should have a good chance of improving on last year's tenth place at Burton.     

Dave Newman

Last 10 Years:
2006: 15th (D. Newman)
2005: 11th (D. Newman)
2004: Winners of Second Section (D. Newman) (prom)
2003: 16th in First Section (rel) (R. Evans)
2002: 13th
2001: 9th
2000: 9th
1999: 7th
1998: 12th in Championship Section (rel)
1997: 9th in Championship Section

Since Hathern's brief period in the Second Section and subsequent promotion in 2005 the band has struggled to make a serious mark on the First Section. They will not want to see their ranking decline any further from last year's disappointing fifteenth and will no doubt have their sights on a top ten placing at this year's contest, a result which they should be capable of on their day. 

BlidworthHopkins Solicitors Blidworth
Geoff Hawley

Last 10 Years:
2006: 2nd in Second Section (G. Hawley) (prom)
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 in First Section (rel)
1997: 17th in First Section

Alongside Foresters, Geoff Hawley and Blidworth were one of the few bands that truly got to grips with Howard Snell's Images of the Millennium in the Midlands last year although their subsequent performance in the Harrogate final was a disappointing one. Life in the First Section will prove a challenge but if the band can recapture any of the musicality that went into last years Regional performance they could make an impression.  

IbstockIbstock Brick Brass
G. Sutton

Last 10 Years:
2006: 14th (D. Jones)
2005: 7th (D. Jones)
2004: 14th (D. Jones)
2003: 11th (P. Northey)
2002: 11th
2001: 10th
2000: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1999: 3rd in Second Section
1998: 10th in Second Section
1997: 15th in Second Section

The position of fourteenth seems to be a recurring one in Ibstock's recent history with the band occupying the position in last year's Regional contest as well as more recently at Pontins. This year sees a new chapter with a fresh man in the middle and there is enough experience in the band to push them up the table if they can pull things together on the day.

Jackfield Elcock Reisen
John Maines

Last 10 Years:
2006: 11th in Championship Section (J. Maines) (rel)
2005: 4th in First Section (prom) (I. Viney)
2004: 4th (C. Lewis)
2003: 12th in Championship Section (rel) (C. Lewis)
2002: 5th in First Section (prom)
2001: 3rd in First Section
2000: 10th in First Section
1999: 16th in First Section
1998: 3rd in First Section
1997: 12th in First Section

In John Maines, Jackfield have an MD who has a vast amount of experience and the band will be keen to get itself back to the Championship Section after suffering the drop last year. A promising fourth place at the Butlins Mineworkers will have boosted early confidence and for our money the band is likely to be the early favourite for victory in Burton.    

Brian Grant

Last 10 Years:
2006: 3rd (K. Stewart)
2005: 12th in Championship Section (rel) (J. Davis)
2004: 2nd in First Section (prom) (J. Davis)
2003: 2nd (S. Jones)
2002: 9th  (J. Davis)
2001: 9th in Championship Section (rel) (J. Davis)
2000: 10th in Championship Section (J. Davis)
1999: 2nd in First Section (prom)
1998: 6th
1997: 10th

Brian Grant will bring his wealth of experience to bear as he takes the baton at Riddings who will be gunning to better last year's third placing and a slot back in the Championship Section. It should be a cracking battle and Riddings will certainly be one of the fancied front runners on the day.

ShirlandShirland Welfare Training
Marie Smith

Last 10 Years:
2006: 7th in Second Section (prom)
2005: Winners of Second Section
2004: Winners Third Section (M. Smith) (prom)
2003: 8th (M. Smith)
2002: 5th
2001: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
2000: 9th in Fourth Section
1999: 13th in Fourth Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

One of the great pleasures of last year's second section contest was Marie Smith and her young band, the success of which has gone from strength to strength since their ascent from the Fourth Section in 2001. With a mixture of youthful enthusiasm and a few experienced heads around the stands the First Section should welcome them with open arms and the band will be keen to rise to the challenge.  

ShirleyShirley Band
Martyn Ford

Last 10 Years:
2006: 7th (M. Ford)
2005: 8th (D. Lea)
2004: 10th (D. Lea)
2003: Winners of Second Section (prom) (D. Lea)
2002: 2nd
2001: 9th
2000: 19th in First Section (rel)
1999: 13th in First Section
1998: 14th in First Section
1997: 12th in Championship Section (rel)

Shirley are another band that have been consistent in their mid table placings over recent years. It has been a slow but steady progression from tenth to eighth since 2004 and this could well be the year that the band breaks into that long awaited top six slot.    

Snibston & Desford
Kevin J. Steward

Last 10 Years:
2006: DNC
2005: 6th in Second Division (K. Steward) (prom)
2004: 4th (K. Steward)
2003: 8th (K. Steward)
2002: 7th (K. Steward)
2001: 16th (W.Ruston)
2000: 13th in First Section (rel) (N/K)
1999: DNC
1998: 11th in First Section
1997: DNC

It's a welcome return for Kevin "Sid" Steward and Snibston and Desford after their absence last year as well as a return to the First Section after a five year period in the Second. A few new faces around the band will add to the interest and there are bound to be a few people around the hall keen to hear how they get on, particularly as they have been consistent performers in the past.     

StouportStourport on Severn
D. Morgan

Last 10 Years:
2006: 12th (B. Pope)
2005: 8th in Second Section (prom) (S. Gittins)
2004: 3rd (D. Maplestone)
2003: 3rd (D. Maplestone)
2002: 13th (D. Maplestone)
2001: 6th in Third Section (prom) (D. Maplestone)
2000: 8th in Third Section (N/K)
1999: 3rd in Third Section
1998: 12th in Third Section
1997: 11th in Third Section

Last year the experienced Barry Pope of Sun Life vintage steered Stourport to a slightly disappointing twelfth place, whilst recent form saw the band finish fourteenth at Pontins. With a new man in the middle the band will be keen to do well but it could be a tough task with a piece as challenging as The Wayfarer. 

D. Shutter

Last 10 Years:
2006: 13th (D. Shutter)
2005: 12th (D. Shutter)
2004: 5th (D. Shutter)
2003: 12th (D. Shutter)
2002: 10th
2001: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
2000: 7th in Second Section
1999: 10th in Second Section
1998: 18th in First Section (rel)
1997: DNC

Despite a below par showing for the last two years at Burton, Tintistle will be feeling newly confident after achieving a creditable fifth place at Pontins in November. They could well be one of the bands more than capable of shaking off the last two years to achieve a significant improvement in their regional ranking.   

Towcester Studio
B. Johnson

Last 10 Years:
2006: DNC
2005: 11th in Championship Section (A. Sellers)
2004: 3rd in First Section (A. Sellers) (prom)
2003: 7th (A. Sellers)
2002: 4th (A. Sellers)
2001: Winners of Second Section (prom) (A. Sellers)
2000: 8th in Second Section (A. Sellers)
1999: 7th in First Section (rel)
1998: 16th in First Section
1997: 18th in First Section

Recent times have not been the easiest for Towcester after two years in the Championship section followed by relegation and absence last year.  The band has been a steady First Section performer in the past though and if they can recreate previous form could do well on the day.   

WigstonWigston Band
Garry Sleath

Last 10 Years:
2006: 4th in Second Section (G. Sleath) (prom)
2005: 2nd (G. Sleath)
2004: 15th in First Section (G. Sleath) (rel)
2003: 15th (G. Sleath)
2002: 5th in Second Section (prom)
2001: 4th in Second Section
2000: 9th in Second Section
1999: 16th in Second Section
1998: 14th in Second Section
1997: 13th in Second Section

Under the ever present direction of Garry Sleath, Wigston make a deserved return to the First Section this year after a strong Second Section showing in 2005 and 2006. The band's MD will draw on his wealth of experience and Eric Ball's music could well suit both band and conductor alike.  

Past Qualifiers:
2006: Foss Dyke, Kibworth, Riddings
2005: Raunds Tempeance, Bedworth Brass
2004: Langley, Riddings
2003: Kibworth, Riddings, Gresley Old Hall
2002: Staffordshire, City of Coventry, Derwent Brass
2001: Kibworth, Ratby Co-operative
2000: Ratby Co-operative, Thoresby Colliery
1999: Kibworth, Riddings
1998: Thorntons Brass, Unity Brass
1997: Ratby Co-operative, Glossop Old, Thorntons Brass
1996: Glossop Old, Hathern, Enderby
1995: Rolls Royce (Coventry), Kibworth
1994: Ancient Order of Foresters, Rolls Royce (Coventry) 

Midlands Bands at the Finals:
2006: 1st, 6th, 14th
2005: 13th, 17th
2004: 15th, 17th
2003: 7th, 9th
2002: 1st, 4th, 6th
2001: 5th, 10th
2000: 1st, 5th
1999: 8th, 9th
1998: 12th, 13th  

4BR Prediction:

This should prove to be another closely fought battle, which will fully test the vast combined experience of David Read and Alan Morrison.

An outright winner here is mighty difficult to pick but Jackfield will be hoping for a swift return to the Championship Section following last year's drop and with the experience of John Maines in the middle should do well.

Riddings and Glossop Old should be up there in the mix but beyond that there are half a dozen capable bands that could well figure. Watch out for our dark horse, Snibston and Desford. They are bound to have a number of very experienced players around the band.

1. Jackfield Elcock Reisen
2. Riddings
3. Glossop Old
4. Tintwistle
5. Derwent Brass
6. Enderby

Dark Horse: Snibston and Desford


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