2008 Butlins Mineworkers Championships - Preview: Fourth Section


19 bands line up to see if they can master Simon Dobson's Lydian Pictures. A nice fat cheque for the winners of £1,500 is up for grabs for the band that can.

ButlinsFourth Section:

Saturday 19th January
Venue: Royal Arthur, Butlins Skyline Resort
Adjudicators: David Read & David Lancaster
Draw Time: 8.15am
Start Time: 10.00am

First Prize: £1500.00 + The George Rowell Memorial Trophy & Champions Banner
Second Prize: £900.00
Third Prize: £650.00
Fourth Prize: £450.00
The N.A.C.O.D.S. Challenge Trophy for the Highest Placed Mining Band

There is a very encouraging turn out of 19 bands here for the Fourth Section for what promises to be an enjoyable and keenly fought contest. 

Much of that is once again down to a well chosen set work, Simon Dobson’s excellent ‘Lydian Pictures’ which has proven to be something of a favourite with players and audiences alike since it was first used as the Fourth Section Regional test piece back in 2003.

It’s a cracking test for bands at this level – asking questions of both the basic requirements of good playing as well as of musicianship and musicality. It offers much for a band to excel on but it does have quite a few nasty little traps for those who come under prepared.

Decent shows

All 19 outfits will be confident of putting on a decent show and if they do it could provide them with a real confidence boost ahead of the Regionals in a couple of months time. At this level that is almost as priceless as the prize money in the bank.

David Read and David Lancaster should have plenty to enjoy too and its great to see our most experienced adjudicator in the box at this level. His perceptive remarks should be looked at and analysed the MDs, whilst his partner is also a man who knows just what makes a band tick at this level.

Last year’s champion, Thoresby Colliery Youth return once more to see if they can make it a hat trick of victories, and Christine Gent’s young band should be one of the pre match favourites to do that. 

However, they could well be faced with a very stern battle for the £1,5000 top prize from the likes of last year’s runner –up Market Rasen as well as the bands that came third, fourth, fifth and sixth – Bestwood Black Diamonds, Whitwell, Tewkesbury and Thurcroft respectively.

It’s also good to report a number of debutants too with the likes of Banovallum, Coleshill, Eccles, Ireland Colliery (Chesterfield), Kingsway Printers (Cleethorpes) and Pontypool all dipping their toes into the Skegness waters for the first time. A couple more bands return after a year away so it looks like its going to be a contest with plenty to look forward too.

As for potential winners?

For us it could well be a battle between those bands who did well last year, with the likes of Thoresby and Market Rasen being pushed all the way by the likes of Bestwood, Whitwell and Tewkesbury. Eccles though are a band that has had plenty of good results of late and could well be worth a bet, whilst Watford could be a dark horse worth backing too.

4BR Prediction:

1. Eccles Borough
2. Market Rasen
3. Thoresby Youth
4. Tewkesbury
5. Whitwell
6. Bestwood Black Diamonds

Dark Horses: Watford

BACKWORTHBackworth Colliery
Conductor: Colin Harris

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Verity O’Hara
Euphonium: Terry Fenwick
Soprano: Teresa Harris
Trombone: Robin Nixon
Solo Horn: Catherine McKenzie
Flugel: Maureen O’Hara
Solo Baritone: Aubrey Crowe
Eb Bass: Chris Travis

Butlins Record:
2007: DNC
2006: 11th (Third Section)
2005: 10th

The band that used to delight in the name of Five Rivers returns under its original name this year as Backworth Colliery – and a history that goes back over 120 years.

Last year they didn’t compete here and had a bit of a torrid time on the contesting platform at the Regionals where they came bottom of the pile at Darlington in the Third Section to lose their place in the section. Hopefully the first steps back there are taken this weekend. 

Banovallum Brass
Steve Ingham

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Martin Fleming
Euphonium: Wendy Sharp
Soprano: Rachel Bourne
Trombone: Ian Pinkey
Solo Horn: Sue Grau
Flugel: Sasha Grau
Solo Baritone: Wendy Currie
Eb Bass: Hugh Bourne

Butlins Record:

The Banovallum Band from Horncastle makes its debut at the contest this year, and they will be wanting to kick start their 2008 contesting season off in fine style.

Last year they didn’t’ compete at the areas at Burton Upon Trent so it is especially nice to see them back and raring to go here.  

BestwoodBestwood Black Diamonds
Dave Clarke

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kevin Lee
Euphonium: Nigel Brinkworth
Soprano: Trev Milner
Trombone: Chris Satterley
Solo Horn: Ian Priest
Flugel: Tom Whitehurst
Solo Baritone: Kevin Aldred
Eb Bass: Stuart Sutherland

Butlins Record:
2007: 3rd
2006: 3rd
2005: 11th
2003: DNC

Dave Clarke will be leading the band this weekend as usual MD Brian Draper is unwell, and they return once more to see if they can just up the ante and finally pick up the Mineworkers title.

In the past two years they have put in solid performances to reach the podium places, but last year they fell away after Skegness at the areas. Can this be the year they claim the title and set themselves up Burton Upon Trent? 

Stephen Fagg

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Tim Speakman
Euphonium: Stuart Doughty
Soprano: Dennis Tonks
Trombone: Roger Pilkington
Solo Horn: Claire Pilkinton
Flugel: Laura Speakman
Solo Baritone: Bob Percival
Eb Bass: Paul Callow

Butlins Record:

Nice to see Coleshill back on the contesting track after they didn’t compete at the Regionals in Burton Upon Trent last year.

A band with a proud history, and it seems, a good future ahead of itself now that it is back trying to win prizes. 

EcclesEccles Borough
Les Webb

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Sarah Simpson
Euphonium: Ruth Hollick
Soprano: James McFadyen
Trombone: Ruth Swindell
Solo Horn: N/K
Flugel: Ruth Mulholland
Solo Baritone: Val Davies
Eb Bass: Dennis Bottomley

Butlins Record:

Yet another debutant as the progressive and successful Eccles Borough make their first appearance at Skegness this year.

Last year was a successful one for the band and Les Webb and his team will surely be looking to start off 2008 in the same fashion and perhaps claim a prize here and a qualification place at Blackpool. 

Ireland Colliery (Chesterfield)
Ian Knapton 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Colin Martin
Euphonium: Craig Frost
Soprano: N/K
Trombone: Carrie Sudbury
Solo Horn: Fern Lewis
Flugel: Amy Nixon
Solo Baritone: Bev Smith
Eb Bass: Simon Smith

Butlins Record:

Ian Knapton and his band will be looking for a solid showing to start their season off as they make their debut appearance at the contest this year.

Last year they didn’t get off to the best of starts at the areas where they came a lowly 18th at Burton Upon Trent, so hopefully Skegness will give them an early season fillip. 

Kingsway Printers (Cleethorpes)
Steven Askey

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Richard Jones
Euphonium: Rob West
Soprano: Garrick Hickman
Trombone: Paul Stanley
Solo Horn: Jenny Cobley
Flugel: Suzanne Smith
Solo Baritone: Suzanne Smith
Eb Bass: John Clark

Butlins Record:

Yet another band who will be looking to give themselves that all important early season boost before the regionals in Darlington.

The lads and lasses from the printers in Cleethorpes had been away from the contesting scene for over a decade before they returned last year – so perhaps they are now getting a taste for it! 

MaltbyMaltby Miners Welfare
Terry Clifford

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Louise Toy
Euphonium: Les Sandhan
Soprano: Fran Noon
Trombone: Amanda Noon
Solo Horn: Kerry Toy
Flugel: Samantha Huggins
Solo Baritone: Helen Edwards
Eb Bass: Ernest Brown

Butlins Record:
2007: 14th (Third Section)
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2003: 8th (Third Section)

Terry Clifford and his band dropped down from the Third Section last year after coming bottom of the pile at Bradford.

Although they struggled to make an impression here too last time out, they should be a bit more confident of making a mark this time around. 

MARKETMarket Rasen RPC
Alan Needham

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Rebecca Duncan
Euphonium: Melody Kearney
Soprano: David Picksley
Trombone: Heidi Bradley
Solo Horn: Nicola Hall
Flugel: Brenda Cherry
Solo Baritone: Steven Naylor
Eb Bass: Shaun Donally

Butlins Record:
2007: 2nd

Alan Needham and his band return once more determined we suspect to go one better than 12 months ago and claim the top prize.

That result was a great early season boost for the band although they couldn’t quite go on and make it a double by qualifying for Harrogate at Burton Upon Trent. They will want to make sure that doesn’t happen again then. 

Martlesham Brass
Bruce Eyley 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Sarah Benyon
Euphonium: Jayne Howlett
Soprano: Rachel Robinson
Trombone: Mike Brierley
Solo Horn: Adam Cable
Flugel: Rebecca Ellis
Solo Baritone: Suzanne Lovie/Fred Ixer
Eb Bass: Paul Benyon

Butlins Record:
2007: 10th
Bruce Eyley and his band return to Skegness looking to push themselves up the prize table after they left here in 10th place last time out.

Formed just over a decade ago, they didn’t opt for a regionals appearance at Stevenage last year. A good result here though may well change their minds? 

Pontypool Brass
Patrick O’Leary

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet:
Solo Horn:
Solo Baritone:
Eb Bass:

Butlins Record:
Another debutant, this time from the town that gave the world the famous Welsh rugby front row of Price, Windsor and Faulkner.

None of those three greats play a bass however, but Patrick O’Leary is building a solid band under his command and they will be looking to post an early season result on the scoreboard for certain. 

Rolls –Royce (Derby)
Graham Cardwell

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Andrew Sharpe
Euphonium: Paul Askew
Soprano: Kevin Massey
Trombone: David Costema
Solo Horn: Natalie Pilkington
Flugel: David Sharpe
Solo Baritone: Charles Reed
Eb Bass: William Howarth

Butlins Record:

Another new face to the Skegness contesting stage as Roll-Royce make their first appearance.

Graham Cardwell has opted for an early season run out for his charges in the hope that it will just give them the extra petrol in the tank to push them into the prizes here and into the qualification places at Burton, where they just missed out by a tiny margin last year. 

RoystonRoyston Town
Simon Jones 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Richard Graves
Euphonium: Lisa King
Soprano: Alan Duguid
Trombone: Charmain Hardwicke
Solo Horn: Judy Clarridge
Flugel: Terry Roche
Solo Baritone: Roger Simons
Eb Bass: Owen Simons

Butlins Record:
2007: 8th
2006: = 6th
2005: 5th
2003: DNC

Royston has been putting in solid performances here in the last three years and they will surely be looking to just see if they can force themselves into the podium places this time out.

Last year they couldn’t quite manage to push themselves into the top six at Stevenage either, so they will be looking just to up their form at both contests.  

Skegness Silver
Geoff Weeks 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Jackie Parkins
Euphonium: Ben Oliver
Soprano: Andrew Hewitt
Trombone: Richard Underwood
Solo Horn: Mandy Roberts
Flugel: Charles Hunt
Solo Baritone: Carol Oliver
Eb Bass: John Rusted

Butlins Record:
2007: 11th
2006: 8th
2005: 14th
2003: DNC

The local band hasn’t quite hit top form here in the past three years, but there was evidence that they were developing along the right lines last time out under the baton of Geoff Weeks.

The band didn’t compete at the areas last year so hopefully this year will see them compete well on both fronts.  

TewkTewkesbury Town
Nigel Morgan 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Helen Walters
Euphonium: Martin Warner
Soprano: Kev Bennett
Trombone: Hadrian Walters
Solo Horn: Clive Miles
Flugel: Mandy Hounsome
Solo Baritone: Martyn Sudworth
Eb Bass: George Cullwick

Butlins Record:
2007: 5th
2006: =6th
2005: Winners
2003: DNC

Nigel Morgan and his band are an outfit that is going in the right direction and they have shown here in the last three years that they are strong contenders for the prizes.

5th place was perhaps a touch unlucky last time out and they went on to come 8th at the areas in Torquay. If they have built on that in the past year then they could well be in with a real shout here. 

ToresbyThoresby Colliery Youth
Christine Gent 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Eleanor Sherwood
Euphonium: Gareth Brown
Soprano: Shaun Pepper
Trombone: Matthew Cotton
Solo Horn: Julie Plant
Flugel: Joanna Wilmott
Solo Baritone: Kay Fritchley
Eb Bass: Dean Robson

Butlins Record:
2007: Winners
2006: Winners
2005: 8th
2003: DNC

Can Thoresby make it three out of three? It would be a great achievement for Christie Gent and her young band of talented players that’s for sure.

Last year’s result seemed to set them up for a great year, but they just fell away at the regionals to miss out on a trip to Harrogate. A year on, a year more experience – the signs are looking good then for a possible Skegness hat-trick and Harrogate double? 

ThurcroftThurcroft Welfare
Ken Vernon

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Sarah Vernon
Euphonium: Kiernan Williams
Soprano: Rob Deakin
Trombone: Russ Vernon
Solo Horn: Heather Craney
Flugel: Lizzie Raspin
Solo Baritone: Diane Allison
Eb Bass: Martin Farthing

Butlins Record:
2007: 6th
2006: 4th
2005: 7th
2003: 4th

Ken Vernon and his team make the trip to Skegness once more and they will surely be looking to push themselves onto the podium places at least.

They have a good record here although last year they struggled to make an impression of any sorts at the Regionals in Bradford. Both of those things will hopefully be rectified this time around then. 

WatfordWatford Band
Richard Graves

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Sharon Wells
Euphonium: Andy Snowball
Soprano: Alison Perry
Trombone: Kenny Durbin
Solo Horn: Amy Cross
Flugel: Dave Thomas
Solo Baritone: Alan Pearce
Eb Bass: Robb Cross

Butlins Record:
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: 12th

Nice to see Watford back this time under the baton of their recently appointed conductor Richard Graves.

Just the one appearance here a few years back so the return may herald an upbeat start to the new contesting season as they look to try and break into the top ten at Stevenage too after coming 11th last year.  

WhitwellWhitwell Brass
David Fretwell

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dave Wheatley
Euphonium: Ryan Stacey
Soprano: Chris Smith
Trombone: Stephen Watkins
Solo Horn: Lauren Stacey
Flugel: Nicola Hand
Solo Baritone: Daniel Fretwell
Eb Bass: Janet Watkins

Butlins Record:
2007: 4th
2006: 7th (Third Section)
2005: Winners (Third Section)
2003: 3rd (Third Section)

Whitwell made their debut in the Fourth Section here last year and put in a sterling performance to just miss out on a podium place come the results.

That was a solid result, although they couldn’t quite maintain that form at Burton Upon Trent where they ended up in 14th place. Onwards and upwards at both contests then hopefully this time out.


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