2008 Midlands Regional Championship - Third Section: Runners & Riders


A big old field of well matched bands and a great test piece could give Malcolm Brownbill and David Lancaster a most enjoyable headache...

Saturday 8th March
Adjudicator: Malcolm Brownbill & David Lancaster
Test Piece: The Dark Side of the Moon – Paul Lovatt-Cooper
Commences: 11.00am

Audley Brass
S. Farrington 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 13th (C. Fox)
2006: DNC (rel)
2005: 14th (K. Birch)
2004: 11th (K. Birch)
2003: 3rd in Third Section (K. Birch) (prom)
2002: 12th (K. Birch)
2001: 3rd (K. Birch)
2000: 9th (N/K)
1999: Winners of Fourth Section (prom)
1998: 4th
1997: 9th

Audley made their return last year and did well enough in coming 13th.

They have been fairly quiet of late on the contesting front so it will be interesting to see what form they bring with them - hopefully good....... 

AvonbankAvonbank Evesham
G. Smallwood 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 7th (N. Smith)
2006: 5th (N. Smith)
2005: 16th (A. McCrae)
2004: 11th (A. McCrae)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 7th in Second Section (rel)
2000: 5th
1999: 14th
1998: 15th
1997: 6th

Avonbank has upped its game here in the last two years and will surely be looking to make a further move up the prize table. 

The band came 3rd at the West Midlands contest so will know that it will have to be on the top of its form if it is to claim one of the qualification places on offer. 

Bakewell Silver
M. Wilcockson 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 6th (M. Wilkockson)
2006: 15th (M. Wilkockson)
2005: 9th (M. Willcockson)
2004: 14th (M. Wilcockson)
2003: 3rd in Fourth Section (M. Wilcockson) (prom)
2002: 6th
2001: 9th
2000: 15th in Third Section (rel)
1999: 12th
1998: 10th
1997: 17th

Bakewell certainly returned to form last year and leapt up nine places in the results table to claim a well earned 6th place.

More of that and they could be celebrating their best ever result here in over a decade. The win at Derby will have given them extra confidence of doing just that we are sure.   

City of BirminghamCity of Birmingham
W. Belshaw 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 9th (W. Belshaw)
2006: 4th (W. Belshaw)
2005: 12th (J. Cunningham)
2004: 9th (J. Cunningham)
2003: 10th (S. Platford)
2002: 8th
2001: 20th in Second Section (rel)
2000: 16th
1999: 19th
1998: 12th
1997: 9th

City of Birmingham just fell off the pace a touch last year in coming 9th and so they will surely be looking for a return to the form that saw them just miss out on a qualification place in 2006.

They will have to up the ante however after coming 4th at the West Midlands contest.    

Paul Johnson

Last 11 Years:
2007: Winners of Fourth Section (P. Johnson) (prom)
2006: 7th (P. Johnson)
2005: 8th (P. Johnson) 

Cubbington were fine winners of the Fourth Section last year and went on to deliver a solid account  of themselves at Harrogate where they came 13th.

They should be confident of doing well here too and they put in another decent showing at the West Midlands contest where they came runner up. 

DronfieldDronfield (CMW)
Alan Tyler 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 12th (A. Tyler)
2006: 4th in Fourth Section (A. Tyler) (prom)
2005: 7th (A. Tyler)
2004: 6th (R. White)
2003: 7th (N/K)
2002: 14th in Third Section (K. Mackintosh) (rel)
2001: 9th (M. Knowles)
2000: 11th (N/K)
1999: 6th
1998: DNC
1997: 16th in Second Section (rel)

Dronfield put in a solid account last year as they returned back to the Third Section for the first time since 2002. Now they will want to build on that we are sure.  

They have been busy on the contesting scene since that appearance and came 7th at Leicester, 8th at the West Midlands and 11th a few weeks ago at Butlins, so they will come well prepared.   

Kirkby Colliery Welfare
S. Berrill 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 14th (S. Berrill)
2006: 10th (A. Dennis)
2005: 4th in Fourth Section (H. Thomas) (prom)
2004: 8th (S. Berrill)
2003: 5th (S. Berrill)
2002: 15th (S. Berrill)
2001: 22nd (S. Berrill)
2000: DNC

Kirkby will have to pull a decent result out of the hat this weekend if they are to stave off any problems with relegation and after coming 14th last year.

They should however be confident of doing that after they came 8th at Butlins in the Second Section a few weeks ago. Fingers crossed, that could be the prelude to a good result here.   

Roger Jepson 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 2nd (R. Jepson)
2006: 9th (R. Jepson)
2005: Winners of Fourth Section (R. Jepson) (prom)
2004: 3rd (R. Jepson)
2003: 12th (K. Short)
2002: 18th in Third Section (K. Short) (rel)
2001: 15th (N/K)
2000: 10th (N/K)
1999: 8th
1998: 9th
1997: DNC

The mystery of Matlock eh? Each time we have gone to hear the band of late they have really tickled our fancy but have come nowhere in the prizes. Sorry about that.

Last year they were excellent in coming runner up and went on to Harrogate where they performed very well in coming 5th.  Since then they have come 6th at Leicester, 7th at the West Midlands, and with 4BR thinking they had won, 5th at Butlins. We may have to walk out of the room when they take the stage then. 

Moulton 77 Brass
M. France 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 15th (H. Gibbs)
2006: 3rd (H. Gibbs)
2005: 11th in Second Section (H. Gibbs) (rel)
2004: 16th (I. Rainer)
2003: 13th (I. Rainer)
2002: 12th (I. Rainer)
2001: 12th (D. Goswell)
2000: 10th (N/K)
1999: Winners of Second Section
1998: 9th
1997: 10th

Martyn France takes over the helm this year with Moulton and they will definitely be one band that knows that they will have to perform well to avoid any thoughts of relegation.

15th place last year was a major disappointment after the high of coming 3rd the year before. What form they bring here is a little bit of a mystery, but they will surely be determined not to lose their hard won Third Section status. 

Newstead YouthNewstead Youth
Lynden Cooper

Last 11 Years:
2007: 2nd in Fourth Section (P. Whyley) (prom)
2006: 3rd (P. Whyley)

Two years, two great results for Newstead Youth and after coming runner up in the Fourth Section last year they will be treading new contesting ground here. 

Last year’s result meant a trip to North Yorkshire where they came a very good 10th, and with a year’s more experience under their belt they should be confident of putting on a good show on Saturday.   

RushdenRushden Windmill
R. Graves 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 10th (R. Graves)
2006: 8th (R. Graves)
2005: 11th (R. Graves)
2004: Winners of Fourth Section (R. Graves) (prom)
2003: 4th (R. Graves)
2002: 19th in Third Section (rel)
2001: 12th
2000: 3rd
1999: 15th
1998: 3rd
1997: 6th

Richard Graves will lead a Rushden band high on confidence we are sure after their last two contests performances at Leicester and West Midlands saw them victorious.

10th place last year was OK, nothing more, but expectorations will be high and if they play like they have been doing of late then it won’t be misplaced.    

Shirebrook MW Unison
M. Wilcockson 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 11th in Second Section (M. Wilcockson) (rel)
2006: 9th (M. Wilcockson)
2005: 12th (M. Wilcockson)
2004: 8th (M. Wilcockson)
2003: 17th (M. Wilcockson)
2002: 16th (M. Battersby)
2001: 17th in First Section (N/K) (rel)
2000: 18th (N/K)
1999: 6th in Second Section (prom)
1998: 5th
1997: 7th

Another band who will make the trip here with confidence as high as Pete Doherty on a Saturday night out. 

The band were excellent at Butlins where they took the title with a fine performance and they will be looking for a repeat of that here as they take the first step back to gaining their Second Section status.   

stamfordStamford Brass
Martyn Ford

Last 11 Years:
2007: 8th in Second Section (J. Fletcher) (rel)
2006: 11th (D. Hirst)
2005: 10th (G. Wyatt)
2004: 2nd in Third Section (G. Wyatt) (prom)
2003: 7th (R. Prew)
2002: 14th in Second Section (rel)
2001: 17th
2000: 17th
1999: 15th in First Section (rel)
1998: 17th
1997: 5th in Second Section (prom)

Contesting can be a cruel mistress of fortune at times, and that was certainly the case with Stamford last year as they came a solid 8th in the Second Section only to lose their status and drop down a section.

That may not be the worse thing that could have happened to then though (although at the time we bet they didn’t think so) as it could very well set them up for a fine result here if they can repeat that form again.   

Dennis Powell 

Last 11 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: 11th (G. Sutton)
2005: 7th (G. Sutton)
2004: 12th (G. Sutton)
2003: 6th (R. Boulter)
2002: 6th
2001: 6th in Fourth Section (prom)
2000: 6th
1999: 7th
1998: 6th
1997: 6th

A welcome return for Syston under the direction of Dennis Powell.

A year away rebuilding could mean just about anything when they take to the stage of course, but given that they have had a pretty solid track record here over the years then if the hard work has been put in they could well return with a little bit of a bang. Let’s hope they do.    

warwickUniversity of Warwick
Simon Hogg 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 5th (S. Hogg)
2006: 12th (S. Hogg)
2005: 6th (S. Hogg)
2004: DNC
2003: 10th (S. Hogg)
2002: 15th
2001: DNC
2000: 13th
1999: 4th in Third Section (prom)
1998: Winners in Fourth Section (prom)
1997: DNC
The lads and lasses of the Warwick University band have been having a bit of an up and down time of it of late here, but delivered a fine account of themselves in coming 5th last time out.

Since then they have come 6th at the West Midlands contest, so they could be something of a dark horse. Much depends of course what the pressures of exams, student loans and getting up after lunch to watch ‘Countdown’ have on their preparation (sorry – Editor!)  If they do win though, what a celebration that would be at the Students Union bar…   


WellingtonWellington (Telford) Brass
Stephen Curtis 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 3rd (S. Curtis)
2006: Winners of Fourth Section (S. Curtis) (prom)
2005: 2nd (S. Curtis)
2004: 9th (S. Curtis)
2003: 17th (S. Curtis)
2002: 8th (S. Curtis)
2001: 11th (S. Curtis)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
Wellington is really one of the form horses it appears if the results of the past few years are anything to go by.

After coming up from the Fourth Section last year they delivered in fine style to claim 3rd place and enjoyed themselves at Harrogate where they did very well indeed to come home in 12th place. After coming runner up at Pontins late last year we somehow don’t think it is the end of their hot streak.  

Wem Jubilee
Roger Thorne

Last 11 Years:
2007: Winners (R. Thorne)
2006: DNC
2005: 10th (R. Thorne)
2004: 8th (R. Thorne)
2003: 4th (R. Thorne)
2002: Winners of Fourth Section (prom)
2001: 5th
2000: 4th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: 4th

Roger Thorne continues to do a fine job of work at Wem and last year they took the title with a performance full of quality playing.

That led to Harrogate where they didn’t really play to form to come 17th, but they soon pout that right by taking the runner up spot at Pontins. A return trip to North Yorkshire beckons if that type of quality is once more on display here.  

Past Qualifiers: 

2007: Wem Jubilee, Wellington (Telford)
2006: Long Eaton Silver, Leicester Co-op Snibston Charnwood, Moulton '77 Brass
2005: Phoenix West Midlands, Arrow Valley, Daventry
2004: Shirland Welfare Training, Stamford Brass, West Mercia Constabulary
2003: Daventry Brass, Carlton Brass, Audley Brass
2002: Raunds Temperance, Carlton Brass, Arrow Valley
2001: Brass 2000, Raunds Temperance
2000: Warwick University, Porthywaen
1999: Whaley Bridge, Chapel en le Frith
1998: RJB Brass, Charnwood
1997: Kirkby Colliery, Chapel en le Frith
1996: Whaley Bridge, Derwent Brass, Kirkby Colliery
1995: Whaley Bridge, Croft Silver, Derwent Brass
1994: Glossop Old, Bedworth Brass, South Notts Hussars   

Midlands Bands at the Finals:

2007: 12th, 17th
2006: 1st, 4th, 10th
2005: 2nd, 4th, 8th
2004: 5th, 8th, 9th
2003: 3rd, 11th, 18th
2002: 5th, 7th, 8th
2001: 3rd, 13th
2000: 8th, 9th
1999: 12th, 16th
1998: 11th, 12th  

4BR Prediction:

A hard one to call given the quality of the field of bands – there really is a whole batch of bands here who could more than take the contest by the scruff of the neck. Malcolm Brownbill and David Lancaster should have plenty to enjoy then.

As for our tips? On recent form it could be a battle royal between the likes of Shirebrook, Rushden, Wem, Wellington, Kirkby and Matlock with any one of them more than capable of winning. If they all play to form it could be the best contest of the weekend here and possible at this level, of the whole of the regional championships.

We opt for Shirebrook though followed by Rushden and Wellington for the other qualification places, with Wem, Matlock and Kirkby pushing them all the way.

As for our dark horse – the brainy students at Warwick get the nod.  

1. Shirebrook  MW Unison
2. Rushden Windmill
3. Wellington (Telford)
4. Wem Jubilee
5. Matlock
6. Kirkby Colliery Welfare

Dark Horse: University of Warwick


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