2008 North of England Regional Championship - Runners & Riders: First Section


A closely matched group of bands get set to tackle Gilbert Vinters test piece, but which of them will come to grips with a work that is proving to be a very stern test indeed around the country.

Sunday 30th March
Adjudicator: Colin Hardy

Test Piece: James Cook– Circumnavigator – Gilbert Vinter
Commences: Following Second Section results

Broughton's Brass
David Hirst

Last 12 Years:
2007: 5th (A. Exley)
2006: 8th (B. Grant)
2005: 8th in Championship Section (B. Grant) (rel)
2004: 9th (J. Bell)
2003: 7th (K. Bolton)
2002: 4th (B. Grant)
2001: 2nd in First Section (C. Bentham) (prom)
2000: 3rd (B. Holden)
1999: 5th
1998: 6th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Broughton’s turn to the experienced David Hirst to lead their challenge this year and they will be looking to continue on their record of improvement since being relegated to the First Section in 2006.

Runner up at the Durham contest and 10th at the Wilkinson contest late last year may mean they still have a little work to do if they are to leave here with a qualification place for Harrogate under their belt. 

GTGT Group Peterlee
Steve Malcolm

Last 12 Years:
2007: 6th (B. Holden)
2006: 4th (B. Holden)
2005: 2nd in Second Section (B. Holden) (prom)
2004: 4th (B. Holden)
2003: 5th (B. Holden)
2002: 8th (B. Holden)
2001: DNC
2000: 2nd (T. Maddison)
1999: 2nd
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Steve Malcolm takes over the reins at GT Group this year and will be keen to push the band towards Harrogate after two years in which they have held their own.

4th at the Durham contest late last year and 19th at Butlins earlier in the season may mean that they will have to up their form considerably if they are to strike Harrogate gold though.   

J. Woodward 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 8th in Championship Section (J. Woodward) (rel)
2006: 7th (J. Woodward)
2005: 3rd in First Section (J. Woodward) (prom)
2004: Winners of First Section  (J. Woodward)
2003: 6th (J. Woodward)
2002: 8th (J. Woodward)
2001: 5th (J. Woodward)
2000: 5th (J. Woodward)
1999: 3rd
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

After two fairly difficult years in the top section, Kirbymoorside return to the First Section following relegation.

That may not be too much of a bad thing as the step up in class is a big one and they have shown at this level in the past that they are more than capable of challenging for a Harrogate qualification place at the very least.    

Lockwood Brass
John Roberts 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 2nd (J. Roberts)
2006: Winners of Second Section (J. Roberts) (prom)
2005: Winners of Second Section (J. Roberts)
2004: Winners of Third Section (J. Roberts) (prom)
2003: Winners of Fourth Section (N. Barnes) (prom)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: N/K
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Lockwood couldn’t quite make it a nap hand of regional titles last year when they came runner up under John Roberts.

That did lead to their annual trip to Harrogate where they did well in coming 10th against a very strong field of rivals. If they can show that form again then they should be one of the favourites for another return trip at the very least. 

EllingtonNorthumbrian Water Ellington Colliery
Alan Fernie

Last 12 Years:
2007: 7th (A. Fernie)
2006: 5th (A. Fernie)
2005: 7th (T. Swainson)
2004: Winners of Second Section (D. Wright) (prom)
2003: 3rd in Third Section (D. Wright) (prom)
2002: 2nd (D. Wright)
2001: 5th (D. Wright)
2000: 6th (J. Higginson)
1999: N/K
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Alan Fernie continues to enjoy his trips south of the border to conduct Ellington and since making the move up from the Second Section they have more than held their own at this contest.

Perhaps the time is right for them to taste a first trip to Harrogate since 2004, although they will want to be on better form than they showed in coming 7th at the Borders contest in November last year and Butlins earlier this season where they could only manage 21st place.  

ShepherdShepherd Group Brass
Tim Oldroyd 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 3rd (T. Oldroyd)
2006: DNC
2005: 7th (J. Hudson) (rel)
2004: 7th (C. Hirst)
2003: 5th (W. Rushworth)
2002: 8th (W. Rushworth)
2001: 4th in First Section (W. Rushworth) (prom)
2000: 4th (C. Hirst)
1999: 2nd
1998: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1997: N/K
1996: 4th
Tim Oldroyd and his band just missed out on a trip to Harrogate last year when they returned to the contest after a twelve month absence to claim 3rd place.

If they can just up their form once more then they may be looking at that ticket to North Yorkshire, although they will have to produce better form than when they came 9th at the Wilkinson’s contest in November last year. 

WansbecksWansbeck's Ashington
Nigel Stedman

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

It’s been a story of ever improving results here for Wansbeck’s – from 2001 onwards in fact.

Last year they won the Second Section in some style and went on to come 8th at the National Finals, and although they struggled to make a mark at Butlins earlier in the season where they came 20th, they will still be confident of making it back to Harrogate later this year. 

Past Qualifiers:

2007: Felling, Lockwood Brass
2006: Felling, Easington Coliery
2005: Easington Colliery, Langbaurgh Brass
2004: Kirbymoorside, Barrow Shipyard
2003: BHK (UK) Ltd Horden, Barrow Shipyard
2002: Gateshead Brass, Harrogate
2001: Harrogate, Broughton's Brass
2000: Cottingham, Boldon
1999: Gregg's Bakery, Rowntree
1998: Cottingham, Boldon Colliery
1997: Skipton, Vickers Barrow
1996: East Yorkshire Brass, Skipton
1995: EYMS, Boldon Colliery  

North of England Bands at the Finals:

2007: 7th, 10th
2006: 15th, 17th
2005: 11th, 14th
2004: 10th, 12th
2003: 1st, 6th
2002: 8th, 18th
2001: 15th, 16th
2000: 12th, 17th
1999: 7th, 16th
1998: 7th, 15th   

4BR Prediction: 

The test piece may be the real winner here on the weekend – there has only been a handful of bands around the country so far to have actually produced an authentic performance of ‘James Cook’.

That said, he was a local laddie so perhaps local knowledge may lead to a whole host of top notch performances. Lets hope so.

As for the winners – Lockwood for us if they play to form, although the likes of Kirbymoorside, NW Ellington and Wansbeck’s may push them the closest. GT Group Peterlee, Broughton’s and Shepherd will battle it out to get a top six place. 

1. Lockwood
2. Kirbymoorside
3. NW Ellington Colliery
4. Wansbeck’s Ashington
5. GT Group Peterlee
6. Broughtons

Dark Horse: Shepherd Group Brass


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