2009 West of England Regional Championship - Fourth Section: Runners & Riders


A strong field of bands here, all looking for a place at Harrogate courtesy of The Talisman and a favourable decision from Paul Norley and Simone Rebello.

TorquaySunday 15th March
Adjudicators: Paul Norley & Simone Rebello
The Forum
Test Piece: The Talisman - Frank Hughes

Draw: 8.45am
Commences: 10.00am

Bideford Town
R. Ashby 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 14th (G. Taylor)
2007: 19th (G. Taylor)
2006: 15th (G. Taylor)
2005: 20th (G. Taylor)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
Bideford are moving in the right direction it seems, and after coming 20th on their return to the contest in 2005, they upped that to a solid 14th last year.

Another step up the results table will do nicely then. 

Bratton Silver
M. Fricker 

Last 12 Years:
2008: DNC
2007: 16th (M. Winter)
2006: 11th in Third Section (M. Winter) (rel)
2005: 14th (P. Beer)
2004: 2nd in Fourth Section (M. Fricker) (prom)
2003: 5th (V. Beer)
2002: 9th (V. Beer)
2001: 10th (V. Beer)
2000: 14th
1999: 13th in Third Section (rel)
1998: 4th in Fourth Section (prom)
1997: 5th

A return for Bratton after taking a year out last season.

Hopefully they will return the stronger and better for the time away and they can start posting the type of performances that saw them come runner up here in 2004.   

halfordChalford Academy Brass
Steve Tubb

Last 12 Years:
2008: 7th (S. Tubb)
2007: 10th (S. Tubb)
2006: 14th (S. Tubb)
2005: 11th (S. Tubb)
2004: 16th (S. Tubb)
2003: 24th (S. Tubb)
2002: 12th (D. Witts)
2001: 20th (D. Witts)
2000: 26th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: 21st

The second band in the Chalford organisation has also been enjoying success of late under Steve Tubb, and they have made quite remarkable progress since coming 23rd in 2003.

Now the band could well be on the verge of a first Harrogate appearance if they can just make that final leap up in form.  

CheltenhamCheltenham Silver
D. Grant 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 15th (M. Earl)
2007: 7th (J. Button)
2006: 26th (J. Button)

A bit hit and miss so far for Cheltenham Silver – from 26th to 7th and then back to 15th last year.

If they can get a bit more consistency to their performances then another top 10 finish could well be theirs to enjoy on Sunday 

Roland Wright 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 11th (R. Wright)
2007: 10th in Third Section (R. Wright) (rel)
2006: 12th (R. Wright)
2005: 10th (R. Wright)
2004: 6th in Fourth Section (R. Wright) (prom)
2003: 2nd (R. Wright)
2002: 11th
2001: 21st
2000: 20th
1999: 18th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

A solid performance last year from Downton on their return to the Fourth Section following relegation.

They will want to be competitive this year and after coming 3rd at Torquay late last year that may well be on the cards if they find that form again. 

Hatherleigh Silver
R. Wonnacott

Last 12 Years:
2008: 17th (R. Wonnacott)
2007: 6th (A. Edwards)
2006: 8th (A. Edwards)
2005: 15th (A. Edwards)
2004: 8th (A. Edwards)
2003: 10th (A. Edwards)
2002: 14th (A. Edwards)
2001: 11th (R. Wonnacott)
2000: 18th
1999: 6th
1998: 16th in Third Section (rel)
1997: 19th
Hatherleigh will surely want to show that last year was just a bad day at the contesting office.

17th place was a real disapointment as the band had been showing increasingly good form here in the past couple of years. 5th place at Torquay late last year may will indicate that things are back on track in time for this weekend.

Lostwithiel Town
Denzil Stephens

Last 12 Years:
2008: DNC
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: 25th (L. Tretheway)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC

Great to see Lostwithiel Town back – and also to see Denzil Stephens back conducting.

The band last competed here in 2003, coming 25th, so they will be looking to improve on that for certain. We wish them well on what hopefully is the first of many more performances here.   

D. Jones

Last 12 Years:
2008: 18th (P. Cornford)
2007: 18th (P. Cornford)

A third appearance at the contest for Marshfield and so far they have put in two hard worked shows to come 18th on both outings.

A new MD this year and perhaps a slight change in fortune too – and a move up the results board. 

New Forest Brass
Ian Luxford 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 9th (I. Luxford)
2007: 17th (I. Luxford)
2006: 18th (I. Luxford)
2005: 7th (I. Luxford)
2004: 19th in Third Section (Ian Luxford) (rel)
2003: 6th (Ian Luxford)
2002: 4th (J. Floyd)
2001: DNC
2000: 15th in Third Section (rel)
1999: 19th in Second Section (rel)
1998: 16th
1997: 10th
Ian Luxford continues to do solid work with New Forest Brass and that was shown in them coming 9th last year.

In the previous two years they had struggled somewhat, but that turn around must have been a real boost to their confidence. More of that this year and a first top six result since 2003 could be a cause for celebration.

Porthleven Town
E. Ralph

Last 12 Years:
2008: 16th (E. Ralph)
2007: DNC
2006: 19th (S. Wearne)
2005: 9th (F. Evans)
2004: 14th (F. Evans)
2003: 20th (F. Evans)
2002: 17th (F. Evans)
2001: 12th (F. Evans)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

A decent return for Porthleven last year after they had decided to take a year away from the contest in 2007.

That chance to rebuild seems to have done them good as they came 8th in the Fourth Section at Torquay late last year. If they can just up the form from there then a top 10 place could be within their grasp.    

shanklinShanklin Town Brass (IOW)
Malcolm Lewis 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 5th (M. Lewis)
2007: 12th (M. Lewis)
2006: 11th (M. Lewis)
2005: 6th (M. Lewis)
2004: 13th (M. Lewis)
2003: 11th (M. Lewis)
2002: 15th (M. Lewis)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
Shanklin make the trip over the waves to Torquay and Malcolm Lewis has a solid band under his command that could well be a bit of a dark horse this weekend.

A little up and down in terms of results, but last year’s 5th place was well merited and if they can build on that this time around then a trip much further north could be theirs come September.  

SpinnakerSpinnaker Brass
Derek Jones 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 12th (D. Jones)

Spinnaker Brass from Fareham in Hampshire put on a decent show last year on their debut – very decent in fact to come 12th.

If Derek Jones and his band enjoyed that experience and have improved in the past year then they could well be knocking on the door for a possible top six fnish this time around. 

St BrewaerdSt Breward Silver
Garry Lannie

Last 12 Years:
2008: DNC
2007: 2nd (G. Lannie)
2006: DNC
2005: DNC (rel)
2004: 12th in Third Section (A. Harvey)
2003: 8th (A. Harvey)
2002: 18th
2001: 10th
2000: Winners of Fourth Section (prom)
1999: 7th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
St Breward come and go here a bit – but when they do apepar they tend to make an impression – 2nd in 2007 for instance.

What form they will come here with this time may be indicated by their runner up spot at the Torquay contest late last season, so a repeat of that and another trip to Harrogate could be theirs. What happens after that nobody knows… 

Swindon Brass
Francis Cowley

Last 12 Years:
2008: 10th (F. Cowley)
2007: 11th (F. Cowley)
2006: 9th (F. Cowley)
2005: 2nd (F. Cowley)
2004: 4th  (F. Cowley)
2003: 17th (F. Cowley)
2002: 14th in Third Section (F. Cowley) (rel)
2001: 15th (F. Cowley)
2000: 12th
1999: 17th in Second Section (rel)
1998: DNC
1997: 7th in Second Section
Although Swindon hasn’t quite hit the form they showed here a few years ago, they have delivered three solid old performances to come comfortably in the midfield finishers for the past three years.

Perhaps the time has come for them to give a push once again, and if they can just up their form a little then a top six place could be within their grasp once more.   

Tset ValleyTest Valley Brass
Steve Large

Last 12 Years:
2008: DNC (rel)
2007: DNC (rel)
2006: DNC (rel)
2005: 11th in Championship (J. Williams)
2004: 8th (I. Holmes)
2003: 2nd in First Section (S. Large) (prom)
2002: 3rd (S. Large)
2001: 3rd in Second Section (S. Large) (prom)
2000: 2nd (S. Large)
1999: 2nd in Third Section (S. Large) (prom)
1998: Winners of Fourth Section (S. Large) (prom)

Great to see Test Valley Brass back at this contest for the first time since 2005.

Amalgamation of the old contest band that raced up the sections to the Championship Section and then broke up, and the concert band, means Steve Large has a young and enthusiastic bunch under his command once more. Perhaps a much longer journey back to the top beckons, but its great that they are back to take the first step.  

TewkesburyTewkesbury Town
Nigel Morgan 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 8th (N. Morgan)
2007: 8th (N. Morgan)
2006: 10th (N. Morgan)
2005: 12th (N. Morgan)
2004: 13th in Third Section (N. Morgan) (rel)
2003: 10th (N. Morgan)
2002: 15th (N. Morgan)
2001: 4th in Fourth Section (N. Morgan) (prom)
2000: 6th
1999: 3rd
1998: 15th 
1997: DNC

Nigel Morgan has a very solid band under his command at Tewkesbury with a fine mix of young players coming through the ranks.

Results haven’t quite gone their way of late, but the performances have been very encouraging and 7th place at Butlins earlier in the season could have been a touch higher on another day. Perhaps their luck will change this weekend.  

Ian Wilkinson

Last 12 Years:
2008: 3rd (I. Wilkinson)
2007: 15th in Third Section (I. Wilkinson) (rel)
2006: 8th (I. Wilkinson)
2005: DNC (rel)
2004: 13th in Second Section (S. Manley) (rel)
2003: 14th in First Section (C. Sproston) (rel)
2002: 11th (S. Davis)
2001: 7th (T. Trehern)
2000: 12th
1999: 3rd in Second Section (prom)
1998: 11th
1997: 3rd
Relegation can sometimes be a good thing for a band, and Totnes certainly saw it as a way to kick start their return back to the prizes.

3rd place meant a qualification place last year and they produced a very good performance at Harrogate to come 9th against a strong field of rivals. They will know that they will have to up their form from Torquay though where they came 4th against many of these rivals late last year.    

Weymouth Concert Brass
Adam Glynn 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 6th (A. Glynn)
2007: 9th (A. Glynn)
2006: 13th (A. Davies)
2005: DNC
2004: 5th (A. Davies)
2003: 16th (P. George)
2002: 13th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Adam Glynn is doing a fne job at Weymouth and after returning to the contest in 2006 they have posted ever improving results.

They will come here full of confidence too after winning the Fourth Section at Troquay late last year in fine style. More of that and they could be flicking through the B&B brochures for September.   

WiltonWilton and District Youth
C. Herbert 

Last 12 Years:
2008: DNC
2007: 22nd (D. Chalk)
2006: 21st (D. Dyer)
2005: 19th (D. Chalk BEM)
2004: 9th (D. Chalk BEM)
2003: 13th (D. Chalk BEM)
2002: 8th (D. Chalk BEM)
2001: 16th (D. Chalk BEM)
2000: 21st
1999: 27th
1998: 11th
1997: 10th

A real dark horse. Wilton and District did struggle here in the last few years and decided not to compete last year.

Hopefully the rebuilding process has been a good one and they return under their new MD determined to make the type of impression that saw them come as high as 8th in 2002.    

Past Qualifiers: 

2008: Brunel Brass, Wincanton Silver, Totnes
2007: Pendennis Brass, St. Breward Silver, Bream Silver
2006: Verwood Concert Brass, Sidmouth Town, Wincanton Silver, Bream Silver
2005: Verwood Concert Brass, Swindon Brass, AW Parker Drybrook
2004: Pillowell Silver, Bratton Silver, Drybrook and District
2003: Hayle Town, Downton, Camborne B, Calne Silver
2002: St. Dennis, Hayle Town, Pendennis Brass
2001: Saltash Town, St. Dennis, Pendennis Brass
2000: St. Breward Silver, Portishead, Penzance Silver
1999: Lympstone South West Telecoms, Wincanton Silver, Tewkesbury
1998: Test Valley Brass, Wincanton Silver, Lympstone
1997: Lympstone, Phoenix Brass, Test Valley
1996: Pendennis Brass, N/K
1995: City of Bristol, Bideford    

West of England bands at the Finals: 

2008: 4th, 9th, 10th
2007: 4th, 8th, 18th
2006: 5th, 7th, 15th, 16th
2005: 6th, 13th, 19th
2004: 2nd, 10th, 15th
2003: 7th, 14th, 15th, 17th
2002: 1st, 3rd, 19th
2001: 2nd, 7th, 12th
2000: 2nd, 4th, 19th
1999: 1st, 12th, 15th
1998: 1st, 3rd, 12th  

4BR Prediction: 

It could be a long old contest on the Sunday morning, but it could also be a very enjoyable one too and not just for the adjudicators either.

Of the bands a few stand out, with Weymouth Concert, Tewkesbury and Totnes the three we think could well make it to Harrogate if they play to the top of their form.

Downton, Spinnaker Brass and the returning Test Valley may be worth a bob or two at the bookies, whilst our dark horse is St Breward Silver, who could well top the lot.

1. Weymouth Concert
2. Tewkesbury
3. Totnes
4. Downton
5. Spinnaker
6.  Test Valley

Dark Horse: St Breward


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