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West of England Regional Championships 2002

4BR trawl many past results to bring you this preview and therefore we occasionally make mistakes. If you do spot one, then please email us the correct information and we'll amend the article as soon as possible.

Second Section:
The Colston Hall, Bristol
Saturday 6th April
Adjudicator: Michael Fowles
Commences: 10.00am

Competing Bands:
Bath Spa (D. Walker), Bendix Kingswood (K. White), Bugle Silver (D. Pope), Chalford (S. Tubb), City of Winchester Brass (Major Chris Davies), Corsham (tba), Gillingham Imperial Silver (G. Lewis), Jersey Premier Brass (T. Pritchard), Lanner and District Silver (S. Chappel), Launceston Town (tba), Lympstone South West Telecoms (C. Fleming), Phoenix Brass (Crewkerne) (G. Greenstock), South Molton Town (Lt. Col. C. Ross), St. Pinnock (M. Medin), Torbay Brass (C. Waller), Wincanton Silver (D. Shead).

The Second Section should see a close run contest for the two qualification places for Torquay and adjudicator, Michael Fowles will have his work cut out picking through the bones of the performances of the 16 bands on the Ewald “Symphony”.

The field contains two bands that were relegated from the First Section and two promoted from the Third, but it could be a repeat of last years result as the reigning champions, Bendix Kingswood are back to defend their title.

Bath Spa were 8th last year when they were taken by the ebullient Duncan Beckley, but that was a disappointment for them as they came 3rd the year previous and 6th in 1999. They will be hoping that 2002 will see them return to winning ways and not a return back to the 14th place of 1998. They came 3rd at the Wessex contest in the First Section, so hopes will be high.

Bendix Kingswood are the reigning champions and showed last year that they were keen to put behind them the relegation from the First Section of 2000, when they dropped down a rung after three years of lowly finishes. They were 13th in 1998, 15th in 1999 and then 10th in 2000, so last years win was a timely reminder to their rivals who may have thought they would struggle. Favourites again we think.

Bugle Silver come from a famous banding town, and they will be keen to continue their year on year improvement at the contest which has seen them come 8th in 1998, followed by 13th, 9th and 6th last year. They came 2nd at their home contest and 2nd again at Torquay, so they too will be hoping for further success.

Chalford and S. Tubb have been together for a while and since being relegated from the First Section in 1999 after coming 14th and 11th in the previous years, they at first consolidated by coming 15th in 2000 and then performed strongly to come 4th last year. They have also been busy in the contesting field during 2001 and came 2nd at Weston, 8th at Wychavon, 11th at Pontins and 2nd at Gloucester.

City of Winchester came 9th last year, which was their first in the section following three years in which they finally gained promotion from the Third Section. In those years they came 7th, 3rd and then runners up to gain their lift up and with Major Chris Davies at the helm they could well feature around the prize list this time around.

Corsham are another band that will be hoping to continue their vein of good form at the contest, as in the last three years they have improved on each outing and they came 5th last year. That followed 8th place in 2000 and 16th in 1999, whilst they were 7th in 1998.

Gillingham Imperial Silver however, will be hoping to regain a bit of form here as they have struggled a bit of late. They were relegated from the First Section after coming 15th and 16th in 1997 and 1998 and they have followed this by coming 10th twice and 15th last year. A change of conductor for this year may be the inspiration they have needed.

Jersey Premier Brass make a welcome return to the contest after missing last year, and they will be hoping to at the very least repeat their 4th place here in 1999. What they won’t want to repeat of their 14th place of 2000, and they came 16th at Pontins late last year. We will have to wait and see then.

Lanner and District Silver are another band that didn’t compete at the contest last year and were subsequently relegated from the First Section after they struggled during the previous three years when they came 11th in 1997, 7th in 1998, 15th in 1999 and 14th in 2000. Things could be looking up though as they recently won the second section at the Hall for Cornwall contest.

Launceston Town came 11th at the contest last year, their first in the section following their promotion from the Third tier, where they came 3rd in 1998, 10th in 1999 and 4th in 2000. They were winners at the Bugle Contest in the First Section and came 3rd at Torquay in the Third Section during 2001.

Lympstone South West Telecoms are one of the form bands at the moment and have been rising very sharply up through the sections during the past couple of years. They won the Fourth Section in 1997 and followed this with 3rd in 1998 and another win in 1999. After promotion they were winners again in the higher section in the Millennium year and gained promotion here after coming 4th in the Third Section in 2001. The National Champions of the Fourth Section in 1999, they have been busy and successful during 2001 and came 3rd at Bugle, won at Torquay and Weston and were 9th at Pontins.

Phoenix Brass (Crewkerne) came 7th last year, which was the second year in a row that they have consolidated their position. They were 6th in 2000, which was their first in the section following two consecutive wins in the Third Section in 1998 and 1999. They came 3rd at the Torquay contest and 10th at Wychavon.

South Moulton will be hoping to continue their improvement at the contest, as in 2000 they were 16th and last year they came 12th. This followed three years in the First Section when they struggled a bit and came 10th in 1997, 15th and 14th to be relegated here. They recently came 2nd at the Torquay contest.

St. Pinnock will be fielding their third new MD at the contest in as many years and they will be hoping that the chance will hopefully give them the inspiration to push them up the listings after coming 11th in 2000 and 10th last year. They were promoted here following a series of performances in the Third Section that resulted in 2nd in 1998 and 4th in 1999.

Torbay Brass find themselves back in the Second Section for the first time since they won the National 3rd Section title itself in 1993. Those were the years in which they struck up a very successful partnership with Brian Buckley, but since then they came 5th here in 1998, followed by 8th, 13th and 12th last year.

Wincanton Silver are a band on the up and are competing here at this level following a rapid rise through the lower sections that saw them coming 7th in the lowest tier in 1997, followed by two consecutive runner up spots and promotion in 1999 and two consecutive 3rd places in the Third section and promotion once more. How will the handle the added pressure here?

That’s the line up here then, and although one or two bands may on form be a short head above the rest, it will surely be a close run thing. Michael Fowles will be earning his money.

2001 Result:

Bendix Kingswood
City of Bristol Brass
Test Valley Brass
Bugle Silver

4BR Predictions:

Bendix Kingswood
Lympstone South West Telecoms
Lanner and District

Dark Horse: Jersey Premier Brass

The Champions:

2001: Bendix Kingswood
2000: Ocean Brass
1999: Solent Concert
1998: Redruth Town
1997: Yeovil Town

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