2009 North West Regional Championship - Fourth Section: Runners & Riders


A great line up of bands on the Sunday all set for a battle royal on The Talisman. Whoever wins has a great record to uphold in Harrogate.

Winter GardensSunday 1st March
Opera House
Adjudicator: C. Brian Buckley
Test Piece: The Talisman – Frank Hughes

Split Draw: 9.00am & 11.15am
Commences: 10.00am

Barnton Silver
Stephen Yates 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 20th (S. Yates)
2007: 8th (S. Yates)
2006: 10th (S. Yates)
2005: 14th (S. Yates)
2004: 14th (S. Yates)
2003: 21st in Third Section (S. Yates) (rel)
2002: 17th
2001: 8th
2000: 6th in Fourth Section (prom)
1999: 3rd
1998: 7th
1997: 15th in Third Section (rel)
1996: 12th 
4BR has been informed that Barnton have withdrawn. 

BessesBesses Boys
James Holt 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 10th (J. Holt)
2007: 13th (J. Holt)
2006: 9th (J. Holt)
2005: 12th (J. Holt)
2004: 9th (M. Stringer)
2003: 4th (M. Stringer)
2002: 11th (C. Whiteoak)
2001: 18th (J. Powell)
2000: 13th (J. Powell)
1999: 10th
James Holt continues to mould Besses Boys into a solid contesting outfit and they have started to string together a decent set of results both here and on their travels (they came 7th at Wilkinson late last season).

More of the same should be well within their capabilities if they continue on their improvement.   

Adrian Smith 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 21st (A. Smith)
2007: 9th (A. Smith)
2006: 18th (A. Smith)
2005: DNC
2004: Withdrew
2003: 20th (A. Swain)
2002: 15th
2001: 10th in Fourth Section (prom)
2000: 3rd
1999: 15th in Third Section (rel)
1998: 12th
1997: 16th
1996: 14th

One of the pre contest favourites for the trip to Harrogate and possibly the title?

Adrian Smith has really turned around the fortunes of Blackley in recent times (very recent given last year’s results, winning at Wilkinsons and coming 11th at Pontins) and their most recent win at Brass in Guild will have given them a massive boost to their contesting confidence.

Carrbrook Brass
Jason Smith

Last 13 Years:
2008: DNC
2007: 17th (L. Dunkley)
2006: 14th (L. Dunkley)
2005: 15th (J. Hunter)
2004: 18th (J. Hunter)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 19th (R. Sykes)
2000: 24th (R. Sykes)
1999: 20th
1998: DNC
1997: 15th
1996: 7th

Always good to see a band return to the contesting fold and so its is welcome back for Carrbrook.

They did struggle for a few yers before their break, but the sabbatical has done them a world of good it seems and they recently had a highly encouraging return at Brass at the Guild Hall where they came 7th. 

Cheshire Constabulary
David Woollam

Last 13 Years:
2008: 7th (D. Woollam)
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: 19th (C. Holt)
2001: =15th (C. Holt)
2000: 13th (C. Holt)
1999: 14th (C. Holt)
1998: N/K
1997: 13th (C. Holt)
1996: 11th (C. Holt)

It’s always good to see a band return not once but twice too – and the lads and lasses from Cheshire Constabulary make a second appearance in a row this year (they also came 8th at Pontins).

Last time out they came a decent 7th, and David Woollam and his band may well be looking to ask the Chief Constable for a bit of leave in September if they can really improve on that this year too. 

Coppull & Standish
Andrew Baker 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 6th (A. Baker)
2007: 10th (H. Bentham)
2006: 17th (H. Bentham)
2005: 11th (J. Roberts)
2004: 3rd (as Standish) (J. Roberts)
2003: = 10th (J. Roberts)
2002: 13th (J. Roberts)
2001: 12th (J. Roberts)
2000: 11th (J. Roberts)
1999: 18th
1998: 5th

Composer of the Third Section set work, Andrew Baker has made real improvements to the contesting fortunes of Coppull & Standish in recent times – 6th place last year was their best result for over a decade.

They recently came 2nd at Brass at the Guild Hall too – in the Third Section. A band full of confidence then (they came 12th at Pontins) and one to listen out for if they bring that form here.   

Darwen Brass
Steve Hartley 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 14th (S. Hartley)
Debut in 2008

Great to see Darwen Brass back again, although they didn’t decide this year to have a run out at Tameside as they did last year where they won as well as coming 3rd at the Wilkinson’s Contest later in the season.

What form then will Steve Hartley and his band bring to the Winter Gardens as they look to push further up the results table?

DentonDenton Brass
Graham Smith 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 19th (J. Davies)
2007: DNC
2006: 15th (C. Fox)

It’s also good report the return of Denton Brass once more to the Winter Gardens, and Graham Smith and his young band will be looking to make another contesting step up the results table if they can.

19th place last year was an encouraging start, despite the lowly placing, so perhaps a solid midfield finish may be on the cards. 

EcclesEccles Borough
Les Webb 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 16th (L. Webb)
2007: 4th (L. Webb)
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 17th (K. Donaldson)
2003: 5th (K. Donaldson)
2002: 19th (C. Pownall)
2001: 13th (C. Pownall)
2000: 7th (C. Pownall)
1999: 11th
1998: 18th
1997: 13th
1996: 10th

The Butlins champions for the second year in a row, Eccles love the sand and sea at Skegness, but somehow not so much closer to home.

Hard to explain how they won so covincingly at Butlins but failed to make any impression here last year, or this year at Brass at the Guild Hall, where they came 14th in the Third Section. If they do click though then Harrogate could beckon.   

FarndonFarndon and District
Milne Robertson 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 11th (M. Robertson)
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 19th
2003: DNC
2002: 16th
2001: DNC
2000: 23rd
1999: 17th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Farndon delivered a very encouraging result last year on their return to the contesting arena after three years away.

11th place in a strong section such as this is good news and if they can build on that again then a top 10 finish could well be theirs to enjoy.  

Farnworth and Walkden
Peter Ashley 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 5th (P. Ashley)
2007: 12th (P. Ashley)
2006: 13th (P. Ashley)
2005: 7th (P. Ashley)
2004: 5th (P. Ashley)
2003: 17th in Third Section (P. Ashley) (rel)
2002: 14th (P. Ashley)
2001: DNC
2000: 2nd in Fourth Section (P. Ashley) (prom)
1999: DNC
1998: 14th (rel)
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Peter Ashley and his band put in a strong performance last year to come 5th, and since then they have continued to improve (coming 6th at Wilkinson’s in the Third Section).

They found it a bit tough at Preston – although they were playing in the Third Section – where they came 11th, but the run out will surely have benefitted them as they look to book their place at Harrogate.   

Tom Haslam 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 15th (T. Haslam)
2007: 16th in Third Section (L. Tingay) (rel)
2006: 13th (L. Clough)
2005: 16th (L. Clough)
2004: 4th in Fourth Section (L. Clough) (prom)
2003: = 4th (L. Clough)
2002: 5th (L. Clough)
2001: 9th (L. Clough)
2000: 17th (L. Clough)
1999: 2nd
1998: 12th
1997: 17th
1996: 10th

Tom Haslam has started to work his magic at Friezland after he inherited a band that had dropped away somewhat at this contest.

15th place last year was the foundation stone for improvement, and they certainly showed that at Preston with a highly encouraging 4th place against many of these rivals. More of that would do nicely then. 

 Dave Houghton 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 9th (G. Smith)
2007: 14th (E. Hill)
2006: 8th (D. Ashworth)
2005: 9th (S. Foster)
2004: 19th in Third Section (G. Williams) (rel)
2003: 13th (G. Williams)
2002: DNC
2001: 7th (S. Barton)
2000: 6th (G. Williams)
1999: 7th in Fourth Section (prom)
1998: 4th
1997: 5th
1996: DNC

Dave Houghton will be at the helm with Golborne, and they will come to the contest knowing that they have a solid record to maintain.

Three top 10 finishes in the last four years is a decent record in anyone’s books (and they came 6th at Wilkinson’s late in the year), so more of the same should be within their capabilities come Sunday.      

Stuart Black 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 12th (S. Black)
2007: 7th (D. Chapman)
2006: 12th (D. Chapman)
2005: 3rd (D. Chapman)
2004: 13th (D. Chapman)
2003: 13th (D. Chapman)
2002: 18th in Third Section (rel) (D. Chapman)
2001: 15th (D. Chapman)
2000: DNC
1999: 11th in Second Section (rel)
1998: 4th in Third Section (prom)
1997: 12th
1996: 5th

A little bit of inconsistency in the last few years for Greenfield – one year up and challenging, the next falling away somewhat.

The good news is if history repeats itself then another good year is on the books, but they will have to up their form from Preston where they came 12th, all be it in the Third Section.   

Hazel Grove
Nigel Beasley 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 8th (N. Beasley)
2007: 19th in Third Section (N. Bowden) (re)
2006: 14th (N. Bowden)
2005: 11th (N. Bowden)
2004: 12th (T. Emery)
2003: 10th (A. Hirst)
2002: 16th (A. Hirst)
2001: 12th (L. Hall)
2000: 13th (L. Hall)
1999: 10th
1998: Winners of Fourth Section (prom)
1997: 10th
1996: 4th

Former Fairey player Nigel Beasley has started to turn around the fortunes of Hazel Grove with plenty of hard graft and an eye on the long term (they came 3rd at Pontins late last year).

8th place last year was a highly encouraging result, but they didn’t appear at Preston so what form they bring this time is a little bit of a mystery.      

NelsonNelson Brass
David Holland 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 23rd (J. Roberts)
2007: 5th (J. Roberts)
2006: 12th in Third Section (J. Roberts) (rel)
2005: 13th (R. Holt)
2004: 18th (J. North)
2003: 3rd in Fourth Section (J. North) (prom)
2002: 10th (K. Richmond)
2001: 2nd (K. Richmond)
2000: 17th (K. Richmond)
1999: 8th
1998: 14th
1997: 12th
1996: 12th

Nelson Brass will be looking to return to better days this year after a huge drop in form saw them come 23rd last year.

Hopefully that is the foundation point (they came 8th at Wilkinson’s later in the season) to build to better things, and the experienced Dave Holland will surely bring the band back on track. 

Parr (Richardson Ltd) St. Helens
Russell Prescott 

Last 13 Years
2008: 18th (R. Prescott)
2007: 15th (J. Smith)
2006: 19th (J. Smith)
2005: DNC
2004: 17th (R. Kerwick)
2003: = 10th (J. Ludden)
2002: 17th (J. Ludden)
2001: 17th (J. Ludden)
2000: 7th (J. Ludden)
1999: 9th
The band with one of the longest names in the business will aslo be looking to reverse the trend of recent results here, which has seen them bobble around the lower reaches of the results table.

Russell Prescott will therefore be looking for some of the form that saw the band come 6th at the recent Preston contest and 5th at Wilkinson’s in the Third Section. Now that would come in handy.   

Pilling Jubilee Silver
Billy Porter

Last 13 Years:
2008: 20th in Third Section (B. Porter) (rel)
2007: 17th (B. Porter)
2006: DNC
2005: 9th (B. Harper)
2004: 11th (B. Harper)
2003: 8th (S. Foster)
2002: 10th (S. Simpson)
2001: 10th (S. Simpson)
2000: 14th (S. Simpson)
1999: 8th
1998: 3rd in Fourth Section (prom)
1997: 3rd
1996: DNC

Pilling fell through the relegation trap door last year after coming 20th in the Third Section, and they will be looking to take the first steps back on the weekend.

Billy Porter is doing a fine job and 5th place in the Second Section at Preston was a great result. If they play like that then a bonus trip to Harrogate could be within their grasp.   

RivingtonRivington & Adlington
Malcolm Wilson
Last 13 Years:
2008: 16th in Third Section (D. Mort) (rel)
2007: 18th (D. Mort)
2006: DNC
2005: 4th in Fourth Section (H. Bentham) (prom)
2004: 10th (H. Bentham)
2003: 6th (H. Bentham)
2002: 9th (J. Bateson)
2001: 10th (A. Marsh)
2000: 21st (A. Marsh)
1999: 11th
1998: 15th in Third Section (rel)
1997: DNC
1996: 15th
Another band that got caught in relegation trouble last year, Rivington & Adlington will also be looking for a speedy return to better contesting days on the weekend.

9th place at Butlins and 8th place in the Third Section at Preston suggests that Malcolm Wilson has started to turn things around very nicely indeed (and they won the Wilkinson Contest in the Second Section late last year). More of the same then. 

St. John’s Mossley
Stephen Corbett

Last 13 Years:
2008: 4th (S. Corbett)
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 11th (S. Corbett)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC 
4BR has been informed that St John's Mossley has now withdrawn. 

Sale Brass
John Dickinson

Last 13 Years
2008: 17th (J. Dickinson)
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: =15th (R. Richards)
1999: 11th (R. Richards)
1998: N/K
1997: 16th (R. Richards)
1996: 14th (R. Richards)
Sale returned to the Winter Gardens last year after a break of seven years, and put in a decent old show to find their feet once more in coming 17th.

Now they seem to be breaking into a contesting trot with a great performance in coming runner up at Preston a few weeks ago. A bit more training and they could well be running all the way to Harrogate. 

tarltonTarleton and District Brass
Gillian Bould

Last 13 Years:
2008: 3rd (G. Bould)
2007: 11th (G. Bould)
2006: 11th (J. Doyle)
2005: 13th (G. Bould)
2004: 15th (G. Bould)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

A band on the up. Tarleton came 3rd last year and booked a place at Harrogate where they performed very well in coming 15th.

Gillian Bould will want to get back there to show just how much her band  has improved since then (5th at Wilkinson’s) and 5th place at Brass at the Guild Hall showed that may well be on the books. 

Past Qualifiers:

2008: Uppermill, Lostock Hall Memorial, Tarleton & District Brass
2007: Formby, Uppermill, Ramsay Town
2006: Oldham, Formby, Lostock Hall
2005: Oldham (Lees), Valley Brass (Haydock)
2004: Pemberton Old Wigan B, Uppermill, Standish
2003: Trinity Girls, Wardle and District Anderson Brass, Nelson Brass
2002: Timperley, Douglas Town, Wardle and District Anderson Brass, Kirkby Lonsdale
2001: Pemberton Old Wigan B, Nelson Brass
2000: Diggle, Eatons Farnsworth, Blackley
1999: Old Hall Brass, Frieland
1998: Hazel Grove, Haslingdon and Helmshaw Brass
1997: Old Hall Brass, Dobcross, Pilling Jubilee
1996: Manx Concert Brass, Milnrow
1995: Trinity Girls, Lostock Hall Memorial   

North West bands at the Finals 

2008: 1st, 2nd, 15th
2007: 1st, 12th, 16th
2006: 2nd, 8th, 17th
2005: 1st, 4th
2004: 9th, 12th, 13th
2003: 1st, 4th, 10th
2002: 2nd, 4th, 14th, 17th
2001: 9th, 14th
2000: 5th, 12th, 17th
1999: 6th, 14th
1998: 2nd, 9th    

4BR Prediction: 

As always at this level, and with such a large field of well matched bands, it could be a contest that could go anyway to any band.

On form though it looks like the battle could well be between the likes of Butlins winners Eccles, Coppull & Standish, Blackley, Pilling Jubilee, St John’s Mossley and Sale. The dark horse was for us, Hazel Grove, but following the late withdrawl of Mossley they now get our tip for a top six spot with our dark horse now Rivington & Adlington

1. Coppull & Standish
2. Eccles Borough
3. Blackley
4. Pilling Jubilee
5. Sale Brass
6. Hazel Grove

Dark Horse: Rivington & Adlington


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