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Our predictions:
Find out how well 4BarsRest did in predicting the qualifiers for the National Championships following last months Regional championships:

Well – here’s the point in the proceedings where we stand up and tell you how fantastic we were in the Mystic Meg predictions about each of this years Regional Championships.

We could lie, scrub the existing site and tell you we were 100% correct in every detail – but then you would really believe us would you? To tell you the truth, we were as far out as a hippy on marijuana, but nevertheless it was a pretty good effort.

Just to remind you, we gave what we thought was going to be our top three in each area and a little bit of an explanation behind our scientific pronouncements. As someone once said, “there are lies, damn lies and brass band contests”, and so we found ourselves with a set of predictions Nostrodamus would have found difficult to explain. However, we stuck by our guns and found ourselves shooting each other in the foot. Here’s were we went right and wrong……….

To start with we had our bankers, with the four-pre qualifiers already in the bag in BAYV Cory, Ransomes, Fodens Courtois and Brighouse and Rastrick. First up then was Yorkshire.

We went for YBS, Dyke and Grimethorpe as our 1,2,3 and ended up with Dyke, YBS and Brighouse with Grimey coming in fourth. Not a bad start, even though we did think YBS had won the contest from Black Dyke, and we stumped for Grimethorpe in third ahead of a strangely subdued Brighouse and Rastrick. Steve Sykes was in the box and he nearly agreed with us, but overall it was a great contest with nothing to chose between the top two.

The same weekend saw the Midlands Area and our prediction was for a Travelsphere, Ransome, Desford podium. Frank Renton didn’t disappoint us and was a worthy winner, but Thoresby Colliery played a blinder under Stan Lippeatt and came in a well-deserved second and to push Desford into third as we thought would happen. Ransomes were a disappointment and with their minds set on the European they seemed content with fourth spot.

Two down and not a bad record of sorts with 4 out of 6 in the bag.

The following fortnight saw the North West Area in Blackpool and the Scots doing battle in Falkirk. Once again we did OK.

We plumbed for a Fodens Four in a row in the North West with Fairey and Leyland making up the top three, and in the end we were not far out with Leyland taking third, Fodens runners-up and Williams Fairey and Howard Snell giving the performance of the Areas as a whole in winning the crown for the first time in 4 years and for him nearly 10! Fairey’s were brilliant on the day and Fodens just pipped out Leyland, who we put second. The standard of the top three was superb though and so we felt somewhat pleased with ourselves.

Scotland saw us claim our first 1,2 when CWS Glasgow under Nick Childs topped the table from Whitburn – just as we thought! Kirkintilloch and Frank Renton however didn’t make it a clean sweep and came in a disappointed 5th as Dalmellington and Richard Evans took third place but just missed out on a trip to London.

Four areas down and we had picked an amazing 9 bands out of 12! On closer inspection we had picked two winners – CWS and Travelsphere from four areas and our other tips for the top prizes had come second in YBS and Fodens.

The third weekend of Championships wiped the smug smile of success off our faces.

The North East we felt was a bit of a banker for us, with Ever Ready overwhelming favourites to beat Fishburn and EYMS. Come the contest though and things for us went a little astray with Fishburn giving a commanding performance to take the title and EYMS pushing Ever Ready out into the wilderness. We had the three bands right, but in the wrong order and by some considerable distance. Surely London couldn’t go wrong………

Well yes and no. Aveley played to form and got the win we thought they would, but First City Brass who we thought would take the other qualifying spot had the type of performance best not described in detail in case people with a sensitive disposition would be offended. They were awful and ended up in 5th. Up popped Kidlington and took the second prize and to really make our day, City of Oxford took third place and sent our third choice, Redbridge into 4th. A great weekend for the underdogs and a bleeding awful one for us even though Wales beat France at the rugby.

So with one weekend to go, things that looked so good were starting to go a bit pear shaped. Wales and the West of England should surely put us back in credit with the bookies?

No. Tredegar played out of their skins and deservedly won in Wales whilst Double Champions BAYV Cory ended up in 4th place! As we went for a Cory, Tredegar, Northop 1,2,3 it may seem we were pretty close when Northop took 3rd place – but this wasn’t a result we thought would happen in a million years. Point of Ayr again showed up their South Wales rivals with yet another qualifying performance.

And so to the final contest at Torquay. We had plumbed for a Flowers, Bodmin, Mount Charles podium, but in the end we just plumbed the depths. Camborne and Frank Renton stuck two fingers up to our prediction and took the title, whilst Bodmin imploded to 6th and Mount Charles could get only 5th. So only Flowers and good old Richard Evans saved us from total failure as he directed them to second spot. We were mightily relieved.

So how did we do?

Well we had 3 winners out of 8 in Travelsphere, Aveley and CWS, and 11 out of the 16 of the qualifiers in total. Of the other tipped winners we choose, YBS, Fodens and Flowers were second, Ever Ready third and Cory fourth.

As both Cory, Ransomes and Fodens had pre qualified we put the mockers on Ever Ready, First City, Northop, Bodmin and Desford. We apologise unreservedly. Well done though to Point of Ayr, Kidlington, EYMS and Thoresby. Perhaps next year we may get a bit closer.

The Qualifiers:

Our Predictions:

Pre Qualifiers




Brighouse and Rastrick


Fodens (Courtois)








Point of Ayr




Black Dyke

Black Dyke





Travelsphere Holidays

Travelsphere Holidays

Thoresby RJB




CWS Glasgow

CWS Glasgow








Ever Ready*









Aveley and Newham

Aveley and Newham


First City Brass*



Wiliams Fairey

Wiliams Fairey





* denotes bands that did not qualify.

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