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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.

Third Section:
The Colston Hall, Bristol
Sunday 7th April
Adjudicator: Michael Fowles
Commences: 9.30am

Competing Bands:
Bream Silver (N. Howard), Bristol East (D. Beckley), Calne Silver (tba), Cosham Concert Brass (S. Dunster), Filton Concert Brass (N. Seaman), Helston Town (E. Ashton), Michelmersh Silver (B. Kelloway), Penzance Silver (S. Thomas), Portishead Town (D. Hollister), Ringwood and Burley (B. Lawson), Royal British Legion Crownhill (Plymouth) (D. Stephens), Saltash Town (D. Dobson), St. Breward Silver (tba), St. Stythians (D. Johnston), Swindon Brass (F. Cowley), Tadley (Martin Grant Homes) (M. Gibbons), Tewkesbury Town (N. Morgan), Torrington Silver (T. Hutchings), Wotton Under Edge and District Silver (D. Thomas).

A fine turn out of 19 bands will be trying like hell to gain the qualification spots on offer from Michael Fowles. The St. Austell Suite has proved a fairly stern but enjoyable test for the bands and you may never know that many of these lot may have actually been down to the town itself to gain a little bit of “insider knowledge”. It’s going to be close though, although last year’s winners, Bream will be keen to repeat their success of 2001.

Bream Silver are the Champions and will be keen for a repeat in 2002. They have made steady progress over the past few years and came 12th in 1998, followed by 5th, 13th and then victory. They also came 6th at the Nationals at Preston and 12th at Pontins during 2001. The favourites again?

Bristol East meanwhile came 13th last year, following their relegation from the higher tier after three years from 1998 in which they came 13th, 14th and 18th. Duncan Beckley has been engaged this time around and he should hopefully bring sense and a possible repeat of their 4th place in 1997 with a bit of luck. Calne Silver were 14th last year and they will be hoping to reverse the trend that has seen them drop form 9th in 1999 to 11th in 2000. They came 15th in 1998, so they won’t want a repeat of that result this time around for sure.

Cosham Concert Brass find themselves in the Third Section following relegation after a series of performances in the second section that saw them come 10th in 1998, followed by 18th, 7th and 14th last year and the drop. They recently (Dec 2001) came 2nd in Poole in the First section beating a number of nationally graded first and second sections bands and 13th at the Folkestone contest. Filton Concert Brass meanwhile have been a model of consistency in the past four years, yet they may just need a little bit of luck to gain them a podium place rather than another top 6 finish. They came 9th in 1998, and followed this with 6th, 5th and 6th again last year.

Helston Town were runners up here last year and followed that y coming 5th at the National Finals, 2nd at Bugle and 3rd at the Hall for Cornwall contest. In 1998 they were competing in the First Section, but came 11th and were relegated, whilst two years in the Second Section saw them come 12th and 17th and a further drop. A good result here last year and possibly another one this time around could be the start of a return back to the top. Michelmersh Silver have their third new MD in as many years for 2002, but they will hope that it will be the added ingredient to get them away from a three year cycle of 8th in 1999, 9th in 2000 and 8th again last year. The 5th place of 1998 may be the target and they recently won the second section at the Wessex contest.

Penzance Silver were 5th last year, their first in the section following their promotion from the Fourth, where they had secured 4th place in 1999 and 3rd place in 2000, so they will be hoping to keep on the upward curve. Portishead Town meanwhile are a band that has improved year on year since coming a very lowly 20th place in the Fourth Section in 1997. They followed this up with 8th in 1998, 5th and then 2nd and promotion in 2000. 11th place last year here was a fine solid result and we can’t see why they cannot continue on the upward path.

Ringwood and Burley are in the Third Section this year following their promotion from the Fourth where they secured the leap up after coming 5th both in 2000 and 2001. They were 10th in 1997, 7th in 1998 and 14th in 1999, so they have been making good solid progress. Can it continue?

Royal British Legion Crownhill (Plymouth) meanwhile have been consistent challengers for the past four years and a record that follows 8th in 1998, by 11th, 6th and 7th last year is pretty good. They will be hoping though that they can make the breakthrough this year and possibly gain a podium position for 2002.

Saltash won the Fourth Section here last year and went on to perform really well at the Lower Section National Finals where they came 7th. They have improved year on year since 1999 when they were 8th in the lowest section and came 7th the following year. They also came 2nd at Bugle and 3rd at the Hall for Cornwall contest in 2001. St. Breward Silver meanwhile came 10th here last time out, which was their first in the section following their promotion as Champions of the Fourth in 2000 and after coming 7th in 1999. They came 17th at Pontins in 2001.

St. Stythians have had a bit of a lean time of late at the Areas and will be hoping to reverse a tend of results that reads, 5th in the second section in 1998, followed by 11th, 16th and 16th again to drop through the trap door. They have been busy during 2001 though and won at Torquay, 2nd at Hall for Cornwall and 3rd in the top section no less at Bugle. Swindon Brass meanwhile will be hoping for a better result than 2001 when they came 15th. They were 12th in 2000 and 17th and relegated from the second section in 1999. They recently won the third section at the Wessex contest.

Tadley (Martin Grant Homes) are another band hoping to reverse the trend of the past three years in which they were 6th in 1999, followed by 8th in 2000 and 12th last year. They were promoted to this section after coming 9th in the lowest section in 1998. Tewkesbury meanwhile are in the Third Section this year following a series of results in the Fourth Section that lead to their promotion. They have improved year on year and were a lowly 15th in 1998, followed by 3rd, 6th and finally 4th and the step up in class.

Torrington Silver are a band that has made solid progress – albeit in small steps. They were 11th in 1998, 13th in 1999, 10th in 2000 and 9th last year, so they are getting there slowly.

Wotton Under Edge come to the contest after being relegated after three years in the higher section in which they came 15th in 1999 followed by 11th and 13th last year and a drop through the trap door. They were 6th in the Third Section in 1998 and in 2001 they came 23rd at Pontins.

2001 Result:

Bream Silver
Helston Town
Wincanton Silver
Lympstone South West Telecoms
Penzance Silver
Filton Concert Brass

4BR Prediction:

Bream Silver
St. Stythians
Helston Town
Saltash Town
Penzance Silver
Michelmersh Silver

Dark Horse: RBL Crownhill (Plymouth)

The Champions:

2001: Bream Silver
2000: Lympstone South West Telecoms
1999: Phoenix Brass
1998: Phoenix Brass
1997: St. Keverne

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