2008 Midlands Regional Championship - Fourth Section: Runners & Riders


The usual huge field for the judges to ponder over, but which of the bands can make the most of their musical travels around Rodney Newton's score to head for Harrogate?

Sunday 9th March
Adjudicators: Malcolm Brownbill & Kevin Wadsworth
Test Piece: Four Cities Symphony – Rodney Newton
Commences: 10.30am

W. Kendrick 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 3rd (W. Kendrick)
2006: 2nd (W. Kendrick)
2005: DNC
2004: 16th

Wesley Kendrick and his band has a fine record to uphold here and they will surely be one of the favourites to at least return to Harrogate or even win the title.

They have shown they are in top form too with a win at the West Midlands contest. There is no sure fire bookies favourite ever at this level, but they should be worth a few bob or two given that form.    

BestwoodBestwood Black Diamonds
D. Clark

Last 11 Years:
2007: 8th (B. Draper)
2006: =18th (B. Draper)
2005: 10th (B. Draper) 

Bestwood come to the contest headed by a new MD and they will be looking to build on the improvement of form they showed last year when they came home in 8th place.

10th at Leicester but a fine 5th at Butlins may suggest they could well do just that.   

BurbageBurbage (Buxton)
S. Critchlow

Last 11 Years:
2007: 9th (S. Critchlow)
2006: 6th (S. Critchlow)

Two good solid performances in the last two years from Burbage under Steve Critchlow and the band will want to carry that on this time too we are sure.

They haven’t been too busy on the contesting front so perhaps they are storing it all up for the weekend. We will have to wait and see.   

A. Howgate

Last 11 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 13th in Second Section
2000: N/K
1999: 2nd in Third Section (prom)
1998: 5th
1997: 2nd

What a welcome return for Chapel-en-le-Frith after six years away from the contest.

Hopefully this weekend will be the start of an extended run of appearances and they will return on the back of a very encouraging 3rd place at the Derby contest.   

Corby Silver
K. Espin 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 16th (K. Espin)
2006: DNC
2005: 12th (C. Stevens)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: 14th
2001: 6th
2000: 13th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Corby return again this year and will be looking to push their way up the results table after putting in a good effort last time out.

16th place on paper doesn’t perhaps mean as much as the actual performance itself but with a 3rd place at Leicester we think that the foundations are now in place for a real assault on a top ten place.   

CreswellCreswell Colliery

Last 11 Years:
2007: 15th (R. Woffinden)
2006: 8th (R. Woffinden)
2005: DNC
2004: 14th (A. Wood)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

A famous sold banding name fell off the pace a bit last year when they dropped from 8th in 2006 to 15th last time out.

The band will want to reverse that as son as possible and starting making an impression on the top half of the results table.    

CroftCroft Silver
I. Needham

Last 11 Years:
2007: 13th (S. Burton)
2006: 17th (S. Burton)
2005: 18th in Third Section (S. Burton) (rel)
2004: DNC
2003: 11th (C. Jones)
2002: 17th in Second Section (rel)
2001: 11th
2000: 20th
1999: 7th
1998: 7th
1997: 3rd in Third Section (prom) 

Croft are starting to move slowly but surely in the right direction it seems after pushing their way four places up the results table last year.

More of that should see them battle for a top ten place as they try to regain a place back in the Third Section once more.   

Dunchurch Silver
Mark Dutton

Last 11 Years:
2007: 17th (M. Dutton)
2006: DNC
2005: 15th (N. Thompson)
2004: 11th (N. Thompson)
2003: 10th (G. Smallwood)
2002: 13th (G. Smallwood)
2001: 12th (G. Smallwood)
2000: 16th (N/K)
1999: 10th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC 

It was great to see Dunchurch return to the contesting fold last year and they did themselves proud even though they eventually came home in 17th place.

Mark Dutton will be determined to build on that we are sure and a push towards the top ten could be within their grasp.   

Fairfield (Buxton)
C. Kitchen 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 12th (C. Kithcen)
2006: 16th in Third Section (C. Kitchen) (rel)
2005: 19th (C. Kitchen)
2004: 13th (C. Kitchen)
2003: 19th (C. Kitchen)
2002: 11th
2001: 19th
2000: 15th
1999: 4th
1998: 4th in Third Section (prom)
1997: 8th

Fairfield more than held their own here last year when on their return to the Fourth Section they came home in 12th place.

If they have been able to build on that performance during the past 12 months then another step back towards the Third Section may well beckon.  

Ilkeston Brass
Dave Jones 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 23rd (D. Jones)
2006: =18th (D. Jones)
2005: 6th (D. Jones)
2004: 5th (D. Jones)
2003: 15th in Third Section (D. Jones) (rel)
2002: 17th (D. Jones)
2001: 18th in Second Section (D. Jones) (rel)
2000: 19th
1999: 12th
1998: 13th
1997: 18th

Lets hope Ilkeston has touched the bottom of their contesting form here after coming 23rd last time out. The only way is up now and it says something about their character that they return here determined to do just that.

Hopefully then the hard work and the determination of the players will pay off with a good result.    

Ireland Colliery (Chesterfield)
Ian Knapton 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 18th (I. Knapton)
2006: =20th (I. Knapton)
2005: 17th (I. Knapton)
2004: 15th (I. Knapton)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
Ireland are making small but significant steps in the right direction here it seems and popped up two places in the results table to come 18th last time out.

Since then they have come 11th at Leicester and 3rd at Butlins so things are looking rosy. An outside bet for success here then this weekend?  

Malvern Mills & District
M. West 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 16th in Third Section (M. West) (rel)
2006: 14th (M. West)
2005: 13th (N. Hall)
2004: 7th (M.West)
2003: 5th (M.West)
2002: 10th
2001: 10th
2000: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
1999: 2nd
1998: 16th in Third Section (rel)
1997: 13th

Malvern Hills has dropped somewhat off the pace at this contest over the last few years and after coming 16th in the Third Section last year fell through the relegation trap door.

Hopefully that will turn out to be a chance to rebuild and start making the right moves back towards the Third Section.    

Market RasenMarket Rasen RPC
Alan Needham 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 10th (A. Needham)
2006: 14th (A. Needham)
2005: 3rd (B. Mathews)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: 9th in Third Section (rel)
2001: 7th
2000: 14th
1999: 11th
1998: 3rd in Fourth Section (prom)
1997: 5th

Alan Needham and his band are moving up the results table quite nicely once more after falling away from a great 3rd place on their contesting return in 2005. 

7th place at Butlins may well signal another few steps in the right direction once more on the weekend.    

Melton Borough
L. Blankley 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 21st (C. Hartley)
2006: =22nd (C. Hartley)
2005: 18th (C. Hartley) 

Melton has bobbled about a bit at the bottom end of the table in the last three years but its great to see them back again more determined than ever to push upwards and onwards.

A new MD at the helm may well mean a change of fortune – you never know, so fingers crossed.  

A. Morris 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 11th in Third Section (M. Phillips) (rel)
2006: 13th (M. Phillips)
2005: 15th (M. Phillips)
2004: 2nd in Fourth Section (M. Phillips) (prom)
2003: 9th (M. Phillips)
2002: 5th
2001: 8th in Third Section (rel)
2000: 12th
1999: 16th
1998: 7th
1997: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)

Another famous old name in banding, Newhall return to the Fourth Section this year after spending three hard old seasons in the Third Section.

Hopefully they will find the atmosphere here more conducive and as they have shown in the past they are more than capable of doing well.  

Pleasley Colliery Welfare
D. Cutting 

Last 11 Years:
Pleasley hasn’t competed at this contest for over a decade so it is wonderful news for both the band and the Midlands region that they return this year.

What form they bring we don’t know, but who cares. Lets hope they enjoy the experience and get the taste for contesting again. 

Ratby Co-op 'Mid' Band
G. Newman 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 11th (G. Newman)
2006: 10th (G. Newman)
2005: 17th in Third Section (G. Newman) (rel)
2004: 18th (G Newman)
2003: 9th (G. Newman)
2002: 16th
2001: 8th in Fourth Section (prom)
2000: 10th
1999: 12th
1998: 14th
1997: DNC

Doing quite nicely Ratby will be looking to make another push towards the top ten and even a possible top six place this time out we feel.

5th place at the Leicester contest will have given them something to build on we are sure and they could well just up their form enough to post their best result here since 2001. 

Rolls Royce (Derby)
G. Cardwell

Last 11 Years:
2007: 4th (G. Cardwell)
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: =16th (M. Heywood)
2003: 13th (N. Eden)
2002: 9th
2001: 14th
2000: 7th
1999: 25th
1998: 9th
1997: 8th

One of the form horses perhaps? After last year just missing out on a trip to Harrogate Roll Royce will be determined to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again. 

Given their recent form they should be confident – no doubt about it, with a win at Leicester and two runner up spots at Derby and Butlins. Let the good time roll... (sorry for the pun)    

RushdenRushden Town
P. Lewsey

Last 11 Years:
2007: 5th (P. Lewsey)
2006: 11th (P. Lewsey)
2005: 13th (P. Vine)

Rushden are certainly moving in the right direction and jumped into the top six last year with a fine performance. 

More of that will do nicely we are sure especially if they can use the experience of coming 9th at Leicester and 6th at West Midlands to boost their challenge.   

ShipstonShipston Town
H. Gibbs 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 20th (H. Gibbs)
2006: 5th (H. Gibbs)
2005: 16th (H. Gibbs)
2004: 17th  (D. Grant) (rel)
2003: 18th (G. Coleman)
2002: 20th in Second Section (rel)
2001: DNC
2000: 13th
1999: 5th in Third Section (prom)
1998: 6th
1997: 9th

Don’t know what went wrong last year at Shipston as they fell from the high of 5th place in 2006 back down to 20th.

Hopefully that can be put to the back of their minds as they take to the stage on the weekend and a return to that 2006 form can be shown once more.   

ThoresbyThoresby Colliery Youth
Christine Gent 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 7th (C. Gent)
2006: =20th (C. Gent)

Christine Gent and her young charges return once more and should be confident of clawing their way further up the prize table now that they are gaining invaluable contesting experience.

6th place at Leicester and 11th at Butlins showed that they are starting to get the taste for it – so lets see if they can push for a qualification place. 

Trentham Brass
M. Caveney

Last 11 Years:
2007: 6th (M. Caveney)
2006: 12th (M. Caveney)
2005: 11th (M. Cavaney)

Trentham made a real move up the prize table last year when they came home in 6th place. More of that form and they could well be looking to book B & B in Harrogate.

4th place at Derby means they have something to build on, but they will have to play to the top of their form against a strong field of rivals.  

WhitwellWhitwell Brass
D. Fretwell 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 14th (D. Fretwell)
2006: 17th in Third Section (D. Fretwell) (rel)
2005: 14th (K. Vernon)
2004: 16th (K. Vernon)
2003: 13th (K. Vernon)
2002: 15th
2001: 4th in Fourth Section (prom)
2000: 11th
1999: 15th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Whitwell delivered a decent enough return here last year on their first appearance back at this level since 2001.

They have however taken the chance to build on that and came 8th at Leicester, won at Derby and came12th at Butlins. A top six place on that type of form shouldn’t be beyond them then.  

Past Qualifiers: 

2007: Cubbington Silver, Newstead Youth, Amington
2006: Wellington (Telford), Amington, Newstead Youth
2005: Matlock, Wellington (Telford), Market Rasen*
2004: Rushden Windmill, Newhall and Matlock
2003: Phoenix West Midlands Brass, Long Eaton Silver, Bakewell Silver
2002: WEM Jubilee, Leicester Cooperative, Long Eaton
2001: Carlton Brass, Shirland Miners Training, West Mercia Constabulary
2000: Raunds Temperance, Malvern Hills
1999: Audley Brass, Malvern Hills, Raunds Temperance
1998: University of Warwick, Porthywaen
1997: Porthywaen, Newham
1996: Alcester Victoria, Chapel en le Frith
1995: Kirkby Colliery, Rushden Windmill, Chapel en le Frith
1994: Banovallum Brass, Kirkby Colliery 

* Market Rasen did not compete at Finals

Midlands bands at the Finals: 

2007: 2nd, 10th, 13th
2006: 10th, 11th, 20th
2005: 12th, 17th
2004: 7th, 11th, 5th
2003: 2nd, 9th, 12th
2002: 6th, 9th, 18th
2001: 1st, 5th, 6th
2000: 3rd, 6th
1999: 11th, 16th, 19th
1998: 4th, 9th    

4BR Prediction: 

A great old contest looks to be in store here with a whole host of bands in with a real chance of a qualification place or even the title.  Malcolm Brownbill and Kevin Wadsworth may have a long days work ahead of them, but it should be an interesting and enjoyable one.

There are quite a few bands showing good recent form but we think it could well be a battle for glory between the likes of Amington, Ireland, Market Rasen, Rolls Royce, Thoresby, Whitwell with a dark horse of Rushden Town.
1. Rolls Royce (Derby)
2. Ireland Colliery (Chesterfield)
3. Amington
4. Market Rasen
5. Whitwell
6. Thoresby Youth

Dark Horses: Rushden Town


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