2008 West of England Regional Championship - Fourth Section: Runners & Riders


A huge field of bands for Peter Roberts and Rob Wiffin to enjoy and place in order some job, but made the better with a great choice of test piece.

TorquaySaturday 8th March
Adjudicators: Peter Roberts & Rob Wiffin
Test Piece: Four Cities Symphony  – Rodney Newton

Commences: 11.00am


Bideford Town
Gary Taylor 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 19th (G. Taylor)
2006: 15th (G. Taylor)
2005: 20th (G. Taylor)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC

Bideford and Gary Taylor return once more to see if they push themselves further up the results table.

Last year they put in a brave old show and ended up in 19th place, so hopefully they can up their form towards a top 10 place this around.   

Bratton Silver

Last 12 Years:

2007: 16th (M. Winter)
2006: 11th in Third Section (M. Winter) (rel)
2005: 14th (P. Beer)
2004: 2nd in Fourth Section (M. Fricker) (prom)
2003: 5th (V. Beer)
2002: 9th (V. Beer)
2001: 10th (V. Beer)
2000: 14th
1999: 13th in Third Section (rel)
1998: 4th in Fourth Section (prom)
1997: 5th
1996: N/K 

Bratton will surely be looking to improve on last year’s showing which saw them end up in 16th place on their return to the Fourth Section.

Not so long ago they came runner- up here so they have shown they can do it before – so why not again?   

BreamBream Silver
Huw Cole 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 3rd (H. Cole)
2006: 4th (H. Cole)
2005: 14th (H. Cole)
2004: 15th in Third Section (H. Cole) (rel)
2003: 13th (N. Howard)
2002: 10th (N. Howard)
2001: Winners of Third Section (N. Howard)
2000: 13th
1999: 5th
1998: 12th
1997: 4th in Fourth Section (prom)
1996: N/K

Huw Cole will be fairly confident that his band can return once more to Harrogate after they came 3rd last year and went on to come 18th at the finals.

A year on they are a better band it seems after winning the Fourth Section at the Gloucester contest in February. Can they claim a qualification place once more, or even pick up their first title win here since 2001?  

Brunel Brass
John Winterflood

Last 12 Years:
2007: 5th (J. Winterflood) 

What a tremendous debut last year for Brunel – and all off the number 1 draw if we remember right. 

There was plenty to admire about their playing and given the size of the field they could count themselves a touch unlucky they didn’t get to Harrogate. Still, a year later they return and after winning at Wessex last year they should fancy their chances – draw permitting.  

ChalfordChalford Academy Brass
Steve Tubb 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 10th (S. Tubb)
2006: 14th (S. Tubb)
2005: 11th (S. Tubb)
2004: 16th (S. Tubb)
2003: 24th (S. Tubb)
2002: 12th (D. Witts)
2001: 20th (D. Witts)
2000: 26th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: 21st
1996: N/K 

Steve Tubb continues to make sure Chalford has plenty of talented players to draw upon for years to come with his super Academy band.

Last year they showed further improvement in coming 10th with a vibrant performance from a very youthful ensemble. More of the same and with an extra year’s experience could see them come even higher.    

ChelthenhanCheltenham Silver
Matthew Earl

Last 12 Years:
2007: 7th (J. Button)
2006: 26th (J. Button)

What a remarkable improvement from Cheltenham – an incredible 19 places after their mix of old (percussion) and young  (a great little sop player) delivered a fine performance under John Button. 

Another jump like that and they could be looking at a place in Harrogate – now that would be some story, especially under new MD Matthew Earl.     

Roland Wright 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 10th in Third Section (R. Wright) (rel)
2006: 12th (R. Wright)
2005: 10th (R. Wright)
2004: 6th in Fourth Section (R. Wright) (prom)
2003: 2nd (R. Wright)
2002: 11th
2001: 21st
2000: 20th
1999: 18th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K 

Downton could possibly count themselves a touch unlucky that they dropped through the relegation trap door last year after they produced a solid performance in coming 10th – beating five other bands in the process.

Still, that’s the name of the game but it should provide them with plenty of incentive to return to the Third Section as quickly as possible.     

Gosport Silver
R. Sharp

Last 12 Years:
2007: 20th (D. Jones)
2006: 25th (D. Jones)

Good solid progress for Gosport with a five place jump up the prize table last year. 

More of that will be just what they need, although they will hope they won’t have to have a sweaty wait for their trombone player to make it to the stage with 15 seconds to spare this year after enjoying a relaxing swim!   

Hatherleigh Silver
R. Wonnacott

Last 12 Years:
2007: 6th (A. Edwards)
2006: 8th (A. Edwards)
2005: 15th (A. Edwards)
2004: 8th (A. Edwards)
2003: 10th (A. Edwards)
2002: 14th (A. Edwards)
2001: 11th (R. Wonnacott)
2000: 18th
1999: 6th
1998: 16th in Third Section (rel)
1997: 19th
1996: N/K

Hatherleigh are a band moving in the right direction here and produced another fine account of themselves last year in coming 6th. 

That well crafted account had plenty to admire and more of the same could well see them challenge for a possible qualification place.   


Last 12 Years:

2007: 18th (P. Cornford) 

Marshfield certainly made an impression last year even if they did eventually come home in 18th place.

The soprano playing timpanist was perhaps the star of the whole Torquay weekend, so we wonder what the band has in store this time around.    

New Forest Brass
Ian Luxford

Last 12 Years:
2007: 17th (I. Luxford)
2006: 18th (I. Luxford)
2005: 7th (I. Luxford)
2004: 19th in Third Section (Ian Luxford) (rel)
2003: 6th (Ian Luxford)
2002: 4th (J. Floyd)
2001: DNC
2000: 15th in Third Section (rel)
1999: 19th in Second Section (rel)
1998: 16th
1997: 10th
1996: N/K

Gently does it for New Forest as they continue to recover slowly but surely.

17th place last year had its moments from the soprano and solo cornet players in particular, so if the rest of the band can take something from that lead then another move towards the top ten could be theirs for the taking.    

oakOkehampton Excelsior
Des Law 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 14th (D. Law)
2007: 20th (D. Law)
2005: 16th (D. Law)
2004: 15th (D. Law)
2003: 18th (D. Law)
2002: 22nd (R. Beardon)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

Des Law and his band are certainly moving in the right direction and made a leap of six places up the prize table last year coming home in 14th place. 

They also came 3rd in this section at the SWBBA Torquay contest, so they may well be confident of pushing towards the prizes this time around.    

Porthleven Town
E. Ralph

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: 19th (S. Wearne)
2005: 9th (F. Evans)
2004: 14th (F. Evans)
2003: 20th (F. Evans)
2002: 17th (F. Evans)
2001: 12th (F. Evans)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

A welcome return to the contest for Porthleven who have taken a year away to regroup and rebuild. The band has had its moments here over the years - coming as high as 9th in 2005, so they will know what they needed to do to impress the judges. 

Nice to see them back of course and we wish them well. 

shanklinShanklin Town Brass (IOW)
Malcolm Lewis 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 12th (M. Lewis)
2006: 11th (M. Lewis)
2005: 6th (M. Lewis)
2004: 13th (M. Lewis)
2003: 11th (M. Lewis)
2002: 15th (M. Lewis)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

Malcolm Lewis and his band have been more than holding their own in the past few years and the time may well be right for the to try and push towards the top ten or even better once again. 

It’s a short trip across the water, so can they make it worth their while this time around?  

Spinnaker Brass
Derek Jones

Spinnaker Brass is a new band set up in in Fareham, Hampshire, just 3 minutes drive from Junction 11 of the M27.

They launched themselves last September and are now making their debut here. That’s a fantastic way to get things rolling and we wish them well on what is hoped to be the first of many visits to the contest.  

Swindon Brass
Francis Cowley

Last 12 Years:
2007: 11th (F. Cowley)
2006: 9th (F. Cowley)
2005: 2nd (F. Cowley)
2004: 4th  (F. Cowley)
2003: 17th (F. Cowley)
2002: 14th in Third Section (F. Cowley) (rel)
2001: 15th (F. Cowley)
2000: 12th
1999: 17th in Second Section (rel)
1998: DNC
1997: 7th in Second Section
1996: N/K

Swindon has just dropped off the pace in the last couple of years and will be looking to get back to the type of form that saw them come 4th in 2004 and qualify for the finals in 2005.

The good news is that they have started to show decent form in coming 3rd at the Wessex contest in the First Section, so the good times may just be around the corner once more.   

TewkesburyTewkesbury Town
Nigel Morgan 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 8th (N. Morgan)
2006: 10th (N. Morgan)
2005: 12th (N. Morgan)
2004: 13th in Third Section (N. Morgan) (rel)
2003: 10th (N. Morgan)
2002: 15th (N. Morgan)
2001: 4th in Fourth Section (N. Morgan) (prom)
2000: 6th
1999: 3rd
1998: 15th 
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

Tewkesbury hasn’t really had the best of luck in the last couple of years – decent performances haven’t really caught the ears of the judges in the tent, although they have played very well on their travels. 

They came 15th at Butlins – again a touch unlucky – so perhaps they have been walking under too many ladders or kicking the odd black cat?  Time to buy a couple of lucky heathers then… 

Torrington Silver
T. Hutchings 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 15th (T. Hutchings)
2006: 7th (T. Hutchings)
2005: 4th (T. Hutchings)
2004: 10th (T. Hutchings)
2003: 16th in Third Section (T. Hutchings) (rel)
2002: 16th (T. Hutchings)
2001: 9th (T. Hutchings)
2000: 10th
1999: 13th
1998: 11th
1997: 9th
1996: N/K

Torrington didn’t have the best of days last year and fell away to a disappointing 15th place. That was not expected as they had been starting to show real form here in the previous two years in particular.

If they can brush last year aside as a bad day at the office then they should fancy their chances of once more pushing or a top six place.   

Ian Wilkinson

Last 12 Years:
2007: 15th in Third Section (I. Wilkinson) (rel)
2006: 8th (I. Wilkinson)
2005: DNC (rel)
2004: 13th in Second Section (S. Manley) (rel)
2003: 14th in First Section (C. Sproston) (rel)
2002: 11th (S. Davis)
2001: 7th (T. Trehern)
2000: 12th
1999: 3rd in Second Section (prom)
1998: 11th
1997: 3rd
1996: N/K

Totnes fell through the relegation trap door last year and will appear in the Fourth Section for the first time as far as we can tell for many, many years.

The band has experienced both the ups and downs since 1999, from competing in the First Section to now starting the long haul back from the Fourth. 3rd place at the SWBBA Torquay contest in the Third Section should give them a nice boost of confidence though.  

Weymouth Concert Brass
Adam Glynn 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 9th (A. Glynn)
2006: 13th (A. Davies)
2005: DNC
2004: 5th (A. Davies)
2003: 16th (P. George)
2002: 13th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K 

Weymouth is moving nicely along it seems and last year made a nice leap up the results table when they came 9th. 

Adam Glynn and his band will be looking for more of the same then and perhaps a top six finish if they have built on the solid foundations laid down.  

WincantonWincanton Silver
B. Kelloway

Last 12 Years:
2007: 13th (J. Sykes)
2006: 3rd (J. Sykes)
2005: 15th in Third Section (S. Chislett) (rel)
2004: 16th (B. Kelloway)
2003: 14th in Second Section (M. Winter) (rel)
2002: 16th (D. Shead)
2001: 3rd in Third Section (D. Shead) (prom)
2000: 3rd
1999: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
1998: 2nd
1997: 7th
1996: N/K

A bit of a topsy turvy record for Wincanton over the past few years with a high of playing in the Second Section in 2003 but now starting to build from a bit of a low once again.

They were a touch unlucky last year in coming 13th and the year before they came 3rd and qualified for the finals. Now that is a bit topsy turvey, so what will this year bring?   

Past Qualifiers: 

2007: Pendennis Brass, St. Breward Silver, Bream Silver
2006: Verwood Concert Brass, Sidmouth Town, Wincanton Silver, Bream Silver
2005: Verwood Concert Brass, Swindon Brass, AW Parker Drybrook
2004: Pillowell Silver, Bratton Silver, Drybrook and District
2003: Hayle Town, Downton, Camborne B, Calne Silver
2002: St. Dennis, Hayle Town, Pendennis Brass
2001: Saltash Town, St. Dennis, Pendennis Brass
2000: St. Breward Silver, Portishead, Penzance Silver
1999: Lympstone South West Telecoms, Wincanton Silver, Tewkesbury
1998: Test Valley Brass, Wincanton Silver, Lympstone
1997: Lympstone, Phoenix Brass, Test Valley
1996: Pendennis Brass, N/K
1995: City of Bristol, Bideford   

West of England bands at the Finals: 

2007: 4th, 8th, 18th
2006: 5th, 7th, 15th, 16th
2005: 6th, 13th, 19th
2004: 2nd, 10th, 15th
2003: 7th, 14th, 15th, 17th
2002: 1st, 3rd, 19th
2001: 2nd, 7th, 12th
2000: 2nd, 4th, 19th
1999: 1st, 12th, 15th
1998: 1st, 3rd, 12th   

4BR Prediction: 

Great of course to see such a big field taking part – there was a time of course when all regions had bumper Fourth Sections.

If you can take the time to sit through all the performances then there are gems to experience – from great little nippers playing like angles to timpanists playing the soprano – at the same time!

Who will win though? A couple of bands do stand out for us with Brunel Brass our tip if they have built on their impressive debut last year, with Swindon, Bream and Okehampton also well worth a punt for a qualification place. Totnes could well come into the frame if they play to form and Tewkesbury if they get a touch of luck. 

Keeping the horse racing theme going, Cheltenham get our each way bet after their fine result last year to be our dark horse.

1. Brunel Brass
2. Bream Silver
3. Swindon Brass
4. Okehampton
5. Totnes
6.  Tewkesbury

Dark Horse: Cheltenham Silver


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