2008 London & Southern Counties Regional Championship - Runners & Riders: Championship Sect


The top bands south of the Watford Gap line up to get to grips with Eric Balls excellent work and to see which of them will tickle David Horsfields fancy.

Sunday 16th March
Adjudicator: David Horsfield
Test Piece: Festival Music – Eric Ball

Commences: following Second Section Results
Draw: 1.30pm

AveleyAveley and Newham
Nigel Taken
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007:  2nd (N. Taken)
2006: Winners (N. Taken)
2005: 2nd (N. Taken)
2004: 3rd (N. Taken)
2003: 3rd (N. Taken)
2002: 2nd (N. Taken)
2001: Winners (N. Taken)
2000: Winners (N. Taken)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners
1997: 2nd
1996: 6th

Aveley and Newham have continued to demonstrate they can do the business in the Gordon Craig Theatre in recent years and book themselves a trip to Kensington.

When they went to London last October they finished 14th beating the likes of Hepworth and Kirkintilloch.  Away from this contest though, they’ve found life a bit tougher over the past year with 17th place at Cambridge and they’re back in the Grand Shield this May after two tough years in the British Open. They feel more at home here though and should be more than capable of booking their place at the old cake tin hall once more. 

BedfordBedford Town
John Berryman
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: 3rd in First Section (J. Berryman) (prom)
2006: 6th (C. Reeves)
2005: 4th (G. Bennet)
2004: 8th in Championship Section (G. Bennett) (rel)
2003: 9th (G. Bennett)
2002: 9th (G. Bennett)
2001: 8th (J. Berryman)
2000: Winners of First Section (J. Berryman) (prom)
1999: 12th (rel)
1998: 5th in First Section (prom)
1997: 7th
1996: 2nd

Bedford return to the top tier after four years away and having narrowly missed out on a trip to Harrogate last year, John Berryman will once again lead the band’s challenge for glory. 

He’ll know the piece blindfolded of course and once again they’ll be thoroughly prepared with the promise of a musical interpretation from the maestro.  Whether they can mount a serious challenge for a podium place remains to be seen though as they came a lowly 8th at the West Midlands contest late last year. 

Clacton on Sea Co-operative
Terry Brotherhood
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: 8th (R Nunnery)
2006: 8th (R. Wiffin)
2005: 2nd in First Section (M. White) (prom)
2004: 3rd (M. White)
2003: 10th in Championship Section (M. White) (rel)
2002: 8th (M. White)
2001: 9th (M. White)
2000: 4th (N/K)
1999: 6th
1998: 4th
1997: 4th
1996: 4th

Since getting promoted into the Championship Section in 2005, the Essex outfit have given a pretty decent account of themselves finishing 8th in 2006 and again last year. 

Having maintained stability in this section, it will be interesting to see if Clacton can continue their improvement (they were 5th at the Leicester contest) and give their regular MD Rob Nunnery a boost as he recovers from a bout of ill health.  There could well be something come Sunday night to perk him up. 

Haverhill Silver
Mark Ager
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: 5th (M. Ager)
2006: Winners of First Section (M. Ager) (prom)
2005: 8th (M. Ager)
2004: 7th (M. Ager)
2003: 10th (M. Ager)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: 8th (C. Shipp)
1999: Winners of First Section
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: 2nd in Second Section (prom)

One of the most eye catching results across the whole of the Championship Section contests twelve months ago was the fifth placing of Haverhill in their debut appearance at this level. 

A great achievement and it only remains to wait until Sunday to discover if last year was a flash in the pan or if they can reproduce another solid performance. Mark Ager is a talented MD and his hard working band could well enjoy another good result if they have continued to improve. 

KidlingtonKidlington Concert Brass
Catherine Underwood
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: 4th (C. Underwood)
2006: 3rd (C. Underwood)
2005: 9th (C. Underwood)
2004: 5th (C. Underwood)
2003: 6th (C. Underwood)
2002: 7th (C. Underwood)
2001: 2nd (C. Underwood)
2000: 9th (C. Underwood)
1999: 4th (C. Underwood)
1998: 5th (C. Underwood)
1997: 6th (C. Underwood)
1996: 7th (C. Underwood)

There is only word that can be used to describe Kidlington’s form in the Championship Section – consistent. There has been the occasional dip now and again, but overall it is a record to be very proud of.

Last year they were many people’s tip for a possible qualification place after they had played, so it will be interesting to see how they get on this tome around and if they have continued the good form of late last year when they came runner up at the Leicester Contest. 

MedwayKM Medway
Melvin White
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: 4th in First Section (M. White) (prom)
2006: 2nd (G. Wilson)
2005: 11th in Championship Section (G. Wilson) (rel)
2004: 10th (G. Wilson)
2003: 4th in First Section (G. Wilson) (prom)
2002: 9th (D. Cutting)
2001: 3rd (N/K)
2000: DNC
1999: 8th in Championship Section (rel)
1998: 5th
1997: N/K
1996: 3rd
Melvin White returns with KM Medway this year and he will be looking to make an immediate impression with them after their promotion up from the First Section.

Last year’s 4th place was enough to send them up, but they will surely know that they will have ti up the ante again if they are to make more of a mark than they did on their last visit here. Knowing the MD they may well do just that. 

Milton Keynes Brass
Paul Fensom
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: Winners First Section (P. Fensom) (prom)
2006: 8th (P. Fensom)
2005: 6th (P. Fensom)
2004: 6th (P. Fensom)
2003: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (P. Fensom)
2002: 3rd (P. Fensom)
2001: 6th (P. Fensom)
2000: 5th in Third Section (P. Fensom) (prom)
1999: 8th
1998: 2nd in
1997: N/K
1996: 6th in Second Section (rel)

What a terrific success story Milton Keynes Brass continues to be.  Paul Fensom has done a great job with the band and last year they not only won the First Section here and qualified for Harrogate but did it off the number one draw too.

They produced a fine account of themselves at Harrogate too in coming 12th against a strong field of rivals, but they know they will have to up their form again if they are to take more than a few scalps this weekend. 

RedbridgeRedbridge Brass
  Rob Wiffin
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: Winners (M. White)
2006: 4th (M. White)
2005: Winners (M.White)
2004: Winners (M. White)
2003: Winners (M. White)
2002: Winners (M. White)
2001: 4th (M. White)
2000: 6th (N/K)
1999: 2nd
1998: 3rd
1997: Winners
1996: Winners

It will be an interesting one for Redbridge at the Regionals this year.  Their long term MD Melvin White has departed and it’s a new era for the band. 

They didn’t compete at Butlins this year as a result of that parting of the ways but they should have enough quality within the band to be a serious challenger if not a victor once again.  You just never know though do you, but the quality remains surely to do enough to get to the Royal Albert Hall again. 

StainesStaines Brass
Melvin White
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: 2nd (I. McElligott)
2005: Winners of First Section (I. McElligott) (prom)
2004: Winners (I. McElligott)
2003: 11th in Championship Section (I. McElligott) (rel)
2002: 11th (M. White)
2001: 2nd in First Section (M. White) (prom)
2000: 2nd (E. Campbell)
1999: 13th in Second Section (rel)
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: 2nd

It will be good hopefully to see Staines back at the contest after they missed coming here last year.  

The Ian McElligott era is at an end as well so its all change but it is understood that Melvin White has been lending his vast experience to them to get them in shape for an appearance here – and that may bode well indeed, if not quite for a repeat qualification but for a solid appearance and performance. 

WantageWantage Silver
Philip Bailey
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: 6th (P. Bailey)
2006: 3rd in First Section (P. Bailey) (Prom)
2005: 3rd (M. Pegram)
2004: 8th (M. Pegram)
2003: Winners of Second Section (M. Pegram) (prom)
2002: 8th (M. Pegram)
2001: 3rd (M. Pegram)
2000: 8th (R. White)
1999: 8th
1998: 11th
1997: N/K
1996: 12th in First Section (rel)

Wantage under Philip Bailey continue to make good progress since he first led them at the Areas in 2006. Promotion into the Championship Section  saw them put in a solid show last year finishing 6th and they certainly have the capabilities to repeat that performance this time around.

The MD has been on his travels last weekend to gain an insight into the standards in Wales and after coming 4th at the Leicester contest late last year it may well come in handy. 

WelwynWelwyn Garden City
D. Stokes
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: 7th (S. Tighe)
2006: 10th (D. Jones)
2005: 5th (D. Jones)
2004: 7th (D. Jones)
2003: 7th (D. Stokes)
2002: 2nd in First Section (D. Stokes) (prom)
2001: 4th (D. Stokes)
2000: 10th (D. Stokes)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1997: 5th
1996: 10th in First Section (rel)

Welwyn Garden City has continued to do well here in recent years against some tough opposition and holding their own is an achievement in itself. 

David Stokes returns this year to lead the band once again where they will be hoping to break into the top 6 or even better. 

Zone OneZone One Brass
Paul Archibald
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: 3rd (P. Archibald)
2006: 5th (S. Dobson)
2005: 4th (S. Dobson)
2004: 5th in First Section (S. Dobson) (prom)
2003: 2nd (S. Dobson)
2002: DNC

Zone One Brass is a band that is certainly on the up and with Simon Dobson at the helm they built the foundations that the band and its current MD, Paul Archibald stand upon today.

3rd place last year was a terrific achievement and this talented bunch of musicians certainly love contesting. 

In February they made their contesting debut at Yeovil coming 12th and less than 24 hours later finished 3rd at Brass at the Guild having played ‘Music for Battle Creek’.  You can’t say they won’t be prepared then and it could pay dividends.

Past Qualifiers:

2007: Redbridge, Aveley and Newham
2006: Aveley and Newham, Staines Brass
2005: Redbridge Brass, Aveley and Newham
2004: Redbridge Brass, Alliance Brass
2003: Redbridge Brass, Alliance Brass
2002: Redbridge Brass, Aveley and Newham
2001: Aveley and Newham, Kidlington Concert
2000: Aveley and Newham, First City Brass
1999: First City Brass, Redbridge Brass
1998: Aveley and Newham, City of Oxford
1997: Redbridge Brass, Aveley and Newham
1996: Redbridge Brass, Staines Brass
1995: John Laing Hendon, Aveley and Newham
1994: Regent Brass, John Laing Hendon
1993: John Laing Hendon, Aveley
1992: London Electricity Redbridge, Asphaltic Newham
1991: London Electricity Redbridge, Alder Valley Aldershot
1990: John Laing Hendon, London Electricity Redbridge, Aveley
1989: Asphaltic Newham, John Laing Hendon

*Pre Qualified 

How London & SC bands did at the Finals:

2007: 14th, 15th
2006: 11th, 18th
2005: 7th, 18th
2004: 12th, 15th
2003: 15th, 19th
2002: 11th, 12th
2001: 12th, 20th
2000: 7th, 9th
1999: 12th, 13th
1998: 18th, 20th
1997: 17th, 18th
1996: 13th, 18th
1995: 12th, 17th
1994: 15th, 19th
1993: 14th, 19th
1992: 13th, 19th
1991: 18th, 21st
1990: 15th, 18th, 21st
1989: 5th, 7th  

4BR Prediction:

So who will be celebrating on Sunday night then? To be honest we can’t see outside the usual suspects of Redbridge and Aveley once more, but Zone One and Kidlington may push them harder than they may think.

Whether Redbridge retains their title though after the end of the old era and beginning of a new one remains to be seen. They should just have enough about them we feel to pip Aveley once more with Zone One breathing hard on their necks.

After that its Kidlington, Haverhill and Welwyn with our dark horse being Bedford.

1. Aveley and Newham
2. Redbridge
3. Zone One Brass
4. Kidlington
5. Haverhill
6. Welwyn Garden City

Dark Horse: Bedford


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