2008 Spring Festival - Senior Trophy: Runners & Riders


18 bands line up to see if they can take the first step up the ladder that leads to the British Open.

Gwyn Evans
4BR Ranking:  92

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Paul Hughes
Solo Euphonium: Aled Williams
Solo Horn: Nia Wyn
Soprano: Bari Gwillam
Flugel: Gwyn Evans
Solo Trombone: Jos Harris
Baritone: Hefin Evans
Eb Tuba: Owen Davies
Bb Tuba: Nick Jones

Blackpool Form:
2007: DNC
2006: Withdrew
2005: 11th in Grand Shield (G. Evans)
2004: 11th (M. Hansen)
2003: 6th (G. Evans)
2002: 12th (G. Evans)
2001: 2nd Senior Cup (G. Evans) (prom)
Did not compete in the contests before 2001

Form Guide:
A welcome return to Blackpool for Beaumaris – although it is not necessarily a return for the same band that came as high as 6th at the Grand Shield in 2003.

The band organisation has been restructured and this Beaumaris is the one that is quickly gaining ground up through the sections, coming 3rd at the Welsh Eisteddfod and runner up in the First Section at Swansea. Tons of potential, they will fancy their chances of more success here we are sure.   

BlackburnBlackburn and Darwen
Nick Sheppard
4BR Ranking:  144 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Alan Thomas
Soprano Cornet: Mandy Pickles
Flugel: Rob Speakman
Solo Horn: Tariq Ahmed
Solo Euphonium: Rachael King
Solo Trombone: David MacLeod
Baritone: Sharon Meredith
Eb Tuba: Andrew Davies
Bb Tuba: Gareth Henderson

Blackpool Form:
2007: 12th (N. Sheppard)
2006: 17th (N. Shepherd)
Last appeared at the Grand Shield in 1990

Form Guide:
A band on the up according to the results they have posted here in the past two years, Blackburn & Darwen could well be looking for a top ten finish or better.

2008 has been a good season so far with 5th place at Brass at the Guild Hall and a very well earned runner up spot at the North West Area in the First Section. They should not feel out of their depth here then for certain. 

CamborneCamborne Town
Frank Renton
4BR Ranking: 41

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kayleigh Rowe
Soprano Cornet: Les Kneebone
Flugel: Andrew Mitchell
Solo Horn: Mark Letcher
Solo Euphonium: Robert Jose
Solo Trombone: Barry Buist
Baritone: Gavin Knowles
Eb Tuba: Timmy Joslin
Bb Tuba: James Sturgess

Blackpool Form:
2007: DNC
2006: 7th (R. Evans)
2005: 7th (C. Curtis)

Form Guide:
A timely return to Blackpool for Camborne after they didn’t make it to the starting tape last year. 

Frank Renton leads the band this year and they will be hoping to take a step closer to the British Open, especially as they have plenty of talented players in the ranks and one of the most experienced MDs at the helm. 2008 has seen a high of 2nd place at Yeovil but a disappointing return of 6th at the Area (off a number 1 draw), so a good result would be a boost to dented confidence.     

ChesterChester Le Street Riverside
Ian Robinson
4BR Ranking: 118

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: N/K
Soprano Cornet: N/K
Flugel: N/K
Solo Horn: N/K
Solo Euphonium: N/K
Solo Trombone: N/K
Eb Tuba: N/K
Bb Tuba: N/K

Blackpool Form:
2007: 15th (I. Robinson)
2006: 14th (I. Robinson)

Form Guide:
The multi talented Ian Robinson brings his band back down from the North East once again determined to try and break into the top ten places at least this year.

15th place last time out was a touch disappointing, but they come this time with a decent bit of form under their belt after a solid performance in coming 5th at Darlington.    

FriaryFriary Guildford
Chris King
4BR Ranking: 168

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Richard Straker
Soprano Cornet: Richard Marley
Flugel: Mark Yarham
Solo Horn: Nigel Stevens
Solo Euphonium: N/K
Solo Trombone: Roland Knight
Baritone: Alex Stevens
Eb Tuba: Duncan Ford
Bb Tuba: Nigel Simmons

Blackpool Form:
2007: 13th (C. King)

Form Guide:
After the excellent result at Yeovil at the start of the season, much was expected of Friary Guildford, but it hasn’t quite turned out that way – as yet.

That 5th place should have been the kick-start needed for them to claim a place at Harrogate in the First Section finals, but a disappointing show off the number 1 draw at Stevenage put paid to that and they came 9th. If they can pick themselves up then they could well feature, but was Yeovil just a one off?  

Ernest Ruddock
4BR Ranking: 121 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dessie Neill
Soprano Cornet: Mark Ruddock
Flugel: Stephen Brittain
Solo Horn: Alan Reavie
Solo Euphonium: Willie Shaw
Solo Trombone: Amanda Cook
Baritone: N/K
Eb Tuba: Gareth Downey
Bb Tuba: Harry Dalzell

Blackpool Form:
2007: DNC
2006: 8th
2005: 20th in Senior Cup (E. Ruddock) (rel)
2004: 6th (E. Ruddock)
2003: 15th (E. Ruddock)
2002: 12th (S. Cairns)
2001: 9th (S. Cairns)
Didn't compete at the contest before 

Form Guide:
Good to see Laganvale return once more to Blackpool after taking a year out last year to take part in the European Championships in Birmingham. 

The year before they put in a pretty solid performance too in coming 8th, but the 2008 season has seen them lose their Northern Irish title when they came runner up, so they will be determined to do well here to make up for that disappointment.   

MarsdenMarsden Silver Prize (Ossett Brewery)
Glyn Williams
4BR Ranking: 44 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Jason Evans
Soprano Cornet: N/K
Flugel: N/K
Solo Horn: Debbie Lea
Solo Euphonium: N/K
Solo Trombone: Andy Eastwood
Baritone: D. Woodward
Eb Tuba: M. Schofield
Bb Tuba: T. Thacker

Blackpool Form:
2007: 14th (G. Williams)
2006: 9th (G. Williams)

Form Guide:
One of the bands that come to Blackpool on the back of a very good result at the Area championships.

If Marsden can repeat the form that gained them 6th pace at Bradford against a very high class field of rivals then they should be in the mix come the announcement of the results on Saturday night. 12th place at Brass at The Guild Hall though may suggest that form could be a little fluctuating.    

Duncan Byers
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Stephanie Greenhouse
Soprano Cornet: Philip Heywood
Solo Horn: Ian Wilkinson
Solo Euphonium: Neil Riley
Solo Trombone: Gavin Sever
Flugel: David Coy
Baritone: Daniel Catlow
Eb Tuba: Ian Riley
Bb Tuba: Steven Bridgehouse

Blackpool Form:
2007: 10th (D. Byers)
2006: 16th (M. Evans)
2005: 13th (M. Evans)
2004: 12th (M. Evans)
2003: 18th (M. Evans)
2002: 18th in Senior Cup (J. Davies) (rel)

Form Guide:
Consistency has been the name of the game for Mossley here in the past few years, but last year they just managed to make it into the top ten.

They will want to push on from that for certain and 3rd place at Tameside backed by 7th place in the First Section at Blackpool suggests they may find that difficult unless they really pull the stops out. 

NewbridgeNewbridge Celynen
Paul Holland
4BR Ranking: 62

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Andrew Smith
Soprano Cornet: Ellie Holland
Flugel: Rob Nesbitt
Solo Horn: Angie Thomas
Solo Euphonium: Nigel Thomas
Solo Trombone: Iwan Wiliams
Baritone: Dave Osbourne
Eb Tuba: N/K
Bb Tuba: Tony Yelland

Blackpool Form:
Debut this year

Form Guide:
Perhaps the dark horse, or perhaps one of the favourites? Such has been the impact of Newbridge in recent years that you wouldn’t want to bet too much against them forcing their way towards the top of the prize list come the announcement of the results.

This is step in class from their usual contesting in the First Section, but the win at Swansea and 2nd place behind Tredegar at the Welsh Miners Eisteddfod means that they will come here with confidence at a peak. 

Paul Drury
4BR Ranking: 64

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Angus Edmond
Soprano Cornet: Gordon Jenkins
Flugel: Harold Wells
Solo Horn: Charlotte Davey
Solo Euphonium: Iain Davey
Solo Trombone: Alan Fernie
Baritone: Jimmy Murray
Eb Tuba: Paul McGrath
Bb Tuba: N/K

Blackpool Form:
2007: 8th (I. Fleming)
2006: DNC
2005: 18th in Senior Cup (A. Ramsay) (rel)
2004: 7th (A. Morrison)
2003: 9th (A. Swainson)
2002: 14th in Grand Shield (R. Farr) (rel)
2001: 5th in Senior Cup (S. Kerwin) (prom)
2000: DNC
1999: 19th in Grand Shield (D. Hirst) (rel)

Form Guide:
After a bit of a dodgy old period, Newtongrange are now rebuilding nicely and under the baton of the talented Paul Drury they seem to be getting back on a stable track.

2008 has been fairly quiet on the contesting front so far, but a hard earned 8th place at the Scottish Championships at Glenrothes was another foundation stone put in place to secure a bright future. 8th last year may well turn into something better this time around.  

Thomas Wyss
4BR Ranking: 45

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Geraint Jones
Soprano Cornet: Arwel Williams
Flugel: Carol Hughes
Solo Horn: Louise Skillander
Solo Euphonium: Aled Williams
Solo Trombone: Daniel Sheard
Baritone: Gwyrfai Williams
Eb Tuba: John Williams
Bb Tuba: Andy Pritchard

Blackpool Form:
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 18th (B. Baker)
2003: 17th (K. Bolton)
2002: 17th Senior Cup (rel) (C. Roberts)
2001: 8th (I. Porthouse)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: 20th Grand Shield (rel) (T. Wyss)
1997: 4th (T. Wyss)
1996 5th (T. Wyss)
1995: 3rd (T. Wyss)

Form Guide:
A welcome return for the band from North Wales that has in its time come very close to gaining a place at the British Open.

That was some time ago now, but after a few years of quiet but highly effective rebuilding under Thomas Wyss, they are ready once more to mount a serious challenge for promotion.  5th place at the Welsh Area suggests they should not be underestimated and they could well be in with a shout if they can play to top form.  

Old SilkstoneOld Silkstone
Alan Exley
4BR Ranking: 154

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Alan Garbutt
Soprano Cornet: Charlotte Bailey
Flugel: N/K
Solo Horn: Ian Askey
Solo Euphonium: Liz Hatch
Solo Trombone: Chris Hurst
Baritone: Helen Tomlinson
Eb Tuba: Andy Craig
Bb Tuba: Wayne Bostwick
Blackpool Form:
2007: 16th (A. Exley)

Form Guide:
Old Silkstone returns once more under the direction of the highly experienced Alan Exley to see if they can force their way back up the results table after a solid if rather unspectacular 16th place last time out.

2008 has seen them come 4th in the First Section at Bradford – a decent return, but one they will have to up their form from if they are to make a mark against a better class of rivals for honours.   

HatfieldPowerfuel Hatfield Colliery
Graham O'Connor
4BR Ranking: 50 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Trevor Kendal
Soprano Cornet: N/K
Flugel: Becky Nixon
Solo Horn: Miles Davison
Solo Euphonium: Simon Brookes
Solo Trombone: Andrew Groom
Baritone: Pete Jones
Eb Tuba: Rob Browne
Bb Tuba: Harry McLaughlin
Blackpool Form:
2007: 5th (G. O’Connor)
2006: 12th (G. O’Connor)

Form Guide:
They don’t come any more experienced at this level than Graham O’Connor, and the man who has won more Grand Shield titles than just about anyone else may well fancy his chances of adding a Senior Trophy to his CV with Hatfield.

On their day the band can mix it in strong company and 11th place at the Yorkshire Area was still a very decent result considering what they were up against. More of that and they could well improve on last year’s 5th place and secure promotion. 


WoodfallsSWT Woodfalls
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking: 39

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kevin Darby
Soprano Cornet: Mark Pye
Flugel: Adrian Wallace
Solo Horn: Trish Chislett
Solo Euphonium: N/K
Solo Trombone: Scott Stewart
Baritone: Chantal Pye
Eb Tuba: Terry Cawte
Bb Tuba: Jim Slade

Blackpool Form:
2001 – 2007: DNC
2000: 21st in Grand Shield (P. Parkes) (rel)
1999: 9th (S. Sykes)
1998: 4th (M. White)

Form Guide:
A return here for the first time since 2000. Then Woodfalls was relegated from the Grand Shield after coming 21st, and they haven’t appeared since until now.

This time they have Nicholas Childs at the helm, and the partnership seems to be bearing fruit after a bit of a dodgy old start at Butlins where they could only manage 8th place. 2nd at Yeovil and runner up at the Torquay Area though confirms that they are a classy band on their day, and if they can repeat that form they should be one of the favourites to gain promotion at the very least. 

CreweUnited Co-op Crewe
Jef Sparkes
4BR Ranking: 70

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Tony Brookes
Soprano Cornet: Jon Worth
Flugel: Sarah Brown
Solo Horn: Annette Sparkes
Solo Euphonium: Nick Birch
Solo Trombone: Clare Bennett
Baritone: Phil Edworthy
Eb Tuba: Alan Birch
Bb Tuba: Steve Holdcroft

Blackpool Form:
2007: 9th (J. Sparkes)
2006: 11th (J. Sparkes)
2005: 17th in Senior Cup (J. Sparkes) (rel)
2004: 10th (J. Sparkes)
2003: 12th (J. Sparkes)
2002: 4th in Senior Trophy (J. Sparkes) (prom)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: N/K (J. Sparkes)
Didn't compete at the contests before 1998.

Form Guide:
Following their relegation to the Senior Trophy, United Co-op Crewe has more than held its own here, and last year they pushed themselves into the top ten.

They will travel this time with high hopes of bettering that though, after coming 5th at the Area Championship. Jef Sparkes leads a strong line up of players, and with confidence high after their last appearance here less than two months ago, it will be interesting to see if it isn’t misplaced.  

MilnrowUnited Norwest Co-op Milnrow
John Ward
4BR Ranking: 79 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Louise Plant
Solo Horn: Frances Thewliss
Solo Euphonium: Alex Seedhouse
Solo Trombone: Sarah Owen
Soprano Cornet: Keith Russell
Flugel: Joanne Ward
Baritone: Michael Thewliss
Eb Tuba: Andy Fitton
Bb Tuba: Dave Fitton

Blackpool Form:
2007: 6th (A. White)
Form Guide:
An interesting combination this and one that could well be something of a dark horse if they play to the type of form they showed at Butlins where they came a fine 4th.

John Ward built on that with his band too at the Areas where they came a very solid 7th, so if they have maintained that type of progress they could well bin in the mix come the announcement of the results. Ones to listen out for perhaps? 

WrexhamWrexham Brass
Wayne Ruston
4BR Ranking: 90

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Graham Taylor
Soprano Cornet: Rachael King
Flugel: Steve Curtis
Solo Horn: Alison Ruston
Solo Euphonium: Chris Aubrey
Solo Trombone: Aled Davies
Baritone: Michael Amplett
Eb Tuba: Malcolm Peach
Bb Tuba: David Thomas
Blackpool Form:
Debut apperance

Form Guide:
The hard working Wayne Ruston has done a fine job with Wrexham over the past few years – and against some pretty strong odds too. Now they find themselves in with a chance to take the first steps towards the British Open.

Whether or not they can make a significant mark against the bands here remains to be seen, as they struggled somewhat at the Welsh Area where they came 9th. Hopefully they will have built on that appearance and they can deliver a solid showing here. 

Yorkshire CoopYorkshire Co-operative
Kevin Gibbs
4BR Ranking: 85

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Tabby Clegg
Solo Horn: Jamie Clegg
Solo Euphonium: Adrian Lowes
Solo Trombone: Steve March
Soprano Cornet: Setve Houghton
Flugel: Srah Kearsley
Eb Tuba: Colin Burnett
Baritone: Kathryn Rennard

Blackpool Form:
2007: 11th (W. Rushworth)
2006: 18th (K. Wadsworth)
2005: 19th Senior Cup (rel) (K. Wadsworth)
2004: 22nd Grand Shield (J. Roberts) (rel)
2003: 5th (John Roberts)
2002: 6th Senior Cup (prom)
2001: 11th Senior Cup
The band didn't compete at the contest before 2001.

Form Guide:
The talented Kevin Gibbs takes over the helm at Yorkshire Co-op as they prepare to see if they can keep up the same level of improvement in the results here that they achieved last year.

They certainly come to the contest in decent form that is for certain, after coming runner up at Butlins in the First Section and then 5th at Bradford. They will need more of that though plus a bit more if they are to force their way into promotion reckoning. This is a step up in quality. 


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