2007 North of England Regional Championship - Third Section


Seven bands take to the stage here to try and impress David Lancaster and book their place at Harrogate. Who will be the most jubilant come the results time?

Saturday 17th March
Adjudicator: David Lancaster

Test Piece: Prelude & Jubilate Darrol Barry
Commences: 12.30pm

Barrow Concert
J. Kendall

Last 11 Years:
2006: 4th in Fourth Section (A. Garbutt) (prom)
2005: 5th (A. Garbutt)
2004: 3rd (A. Garbutt)
2003: DNC (rel)
2002: 8th in Third Section (J. Kendall)
2001: 7th in Second Section (rel) (J. Kendall)
2000: 8th in Second Section (J. Moore)
1999: N/K
1998: 5th in Second Section
1997: Winners of Third Section (prom)
1996: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)

Barrow has done well to gain promotion after a few near misses of late. The contest could go two ways for them either finding it too tough to hold form against more experienced rivals, or using the confidence of promotion to produce a performance that holds its own against the rest. Another very interesting contender.

Barton Town
Mark Bentham

Last 11 Years:
2006: Winners in Fourth Section (M. Bentham) (prom)

Last year's Fourth Section champions take the stage in the Third Section this year after an excellent 6th placing at the National Fourth Section Finals - something which should give them lots of confidence going to Darlington. Other results last year were not memorable, but Barton is a committed lot who should push hard to gain a podium place.

With the talented Mark Bentham (fresh from his own regional triumph) at the helm, Barton Town will definitely be worth going in for a listen to, and don't count against them causing something of an upset here. 

bILINGHAMBillingham Silver
Vaughan Evans

Last 11 Years:
2006: 6th (V. Evans)
2005: 7th (V. Evans)
2004: Winners of Fourth Section (prom) (V. Evans)
2003: 3rd (V. Evans)
2002: 10th in Third Section (rel) (V. Evans)
2001: 10th in Second Section (rel) (V. Evans)
2000: 7th in Second Section (V. Evans)
1999: N/K
1998: 3rd in Third Section
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

In terms of contest results, 2006 was not as successful as Billingham would have liked it to be, so hopefully the band can build on their experiences last year and move up the placings in this section.

With a settled team and a very experienced conductor in Vaughan Evans, this could be Billingham's year, although they will have to put in a performance of top notch quality to impress the judge, David Lancaster.

Carlisle St. Stephens
D. Dye

Last 11 Years:
2006: 5th (D. Dye)
2005: 6th (D. Dye)
2004: 2nd (D. Dye)
2003: 5th (D. Dye)
2002: 8th in Second Section (rel) (G. Kydd)
2001: 9th in Second Section (G. Kydd)
2000: 9th in First Section (rel) (A. Lewis)
1999: N/K
1998: DNC
1997: 3rd in Second Section
1996: Winners of Second Section

All seems to have been quiet on the contesting front for Carlisle St. Stephens since their solid 5th placing at last year's competition. The band has always been there or thereabouts at this event, and a good 2nd place in 2004 could be achieved or bettered this time around. A famous name going strong and heading back in the right direction.  

Five RiversFive Rivers Brass
Duncan Beckley

Last 11 Years:
2006: 7th (D. Beckley)
2005: Winners of Fourth Section (prom) (D. Beckley)
2004: 4th (T. Griffiths)
2003: 7th (T. Griffiths)
2002: 7th (T. Griffiths)
2001: 8th (T. Griffiths)
2000: DNC
1999: N/K
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Five Rivers Brass had a good end to 2006 when they claimed victory in the D Section of the Durham League contest, making a clean sweep of the prizes on offer there. Several new signings have joined the band in recent months, and the team there will be desperate to prove their worth in Darlington.

Duncan Beckley's leadership should pay dividends, so this should be an interesting performance from a forward looking band looking to improve on last year's 7th position.    

rIPONRipon City
L. Whitworth

Last 11 Years:
2006: DNC
2005: 5th (L. Whitworth)
2004: 6th in Fourth Section (prom) (L. Whitworth)
2003: 2nd (J. Shepherd)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: N/K
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Ripon City are a band who under conductor Lee Whitworth seem to have a real sense of spirit about them at the moment, and the back end of last year saw the band taking on many engagements which will have no doubt strengthened the team spirit they have.

With a hectic rehearsal schedule planned for the Area this year, they will be looking to build on 2005's 5th place. Will the lack of contesting last year take its toll though? 

StapeStape Silver
M. Breckon

Last 11 Years:
2006: 2nd (G. Hallas)
2005: 8th (M. Breckon)
2004: 5th (M. Breckon)
2003: 2nd (M. Breckon)
2002: 3rd in Fourth Section (prom) (M. Breckon)
2001: 4th in Fourth Section (M. Breckon)
2000: 6th in Fourth Section (M. Breckon)
1999: N/K
1998: 10th
1997: 4th in Fourth Section (prom)
1996: 4th in Fourth Section

Last year saw Stape making the trip to the National Finals, where although they didn't set the world on fire, still had an achievement to be proud of nonetheless in coming 17th. 2006 was a good year for the band, having a great day at Malton Contest where they claimed 5 out of 6 prizes in their class.

With confidence from their good form of last year still running high, the band could be among one of the front runners this time around.    

Past Qualifiers:
2006: Durham Constabulary, Stape Silver
2005: Dearham, Hetton Silver
2004: Lockwood Brass, Carlisle St. Stephens
2003: Wansbeck's Ashington, Stape Silver
2002: Houghton Brass, Ellington Colliery
2001: Ferryhill Town, Langbaurgh
2000: Felling, Westoe (STHCT)
1999: Langbaurgh, South Milford Brass
1998: Yarm and District, Vaux Samson Band
1997: Barrow Concert, Yarm and District
1996: Cottingham, Harrogate
1995: GT Group Peterlee, Greggs Bakery 

North of England bands at the Finals:
2006: 15th, 17th
2005: 14th, 19th
2004: 3rd, 12th
2003: 14th, 16th
2002: 16th, 18th
2001: 4th, 16th
2000: 12th, 13th
1999: 4th, 13th
1998: 7th, 8th  

4BR Prediction:

Should be a great little contest and one that could be difficult to predict. Small fields of bands tend to be evenly matched and this seems to be the case here. Still we have to put our necks on the block and we go for Stape to take the title with Barton pushing them all the way.

1. Stape Silver
2. Barton Town
3. Five Rivers Brass
4. Ripon City
5. Barrow Concert
6. Billingham Silver

Dark Horses: Carlisle St. Stephens


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