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Did you Know? - The Lower Section National Finals 2002

Just like the other great contests in the banding world, the Lower Section National Finals have their own little secrets that we think should now be aired. We've had a look at some old programmes and found out a few things that you may not have known?

1. This year sees 75 bands make the trip to Torquay to see if they can lift the respective "National Champion" titles.

2. The first modern Lower Section Nationals took place in 1945 - the winners in the three sections were Camborne Town in the 2nd Section, Houghton Main Colliery in the 3rd and Butterfield Tank Works in the 4th.

3. Houghton and Camborne are still with us - Camborne will be at the Royal Albert Hall later next month and Houghton will contest the Third Section here this year.

4. The First Section National Finals took place for the first time in 1992, when British Telecom were the winners conducted by John Maines.

5. Of all the bands that were at the Finals last year only Harrogate in the First, Hade Edge and Bendix Kingswood in the Second, Raunds Temperance and Helston in the Third and St. Dennis, Ware, Pendennis and Sandhurst in the Fourth return a second consecutive time this year.

6. Some famous names have tasted success at the Lower Section Finals before gaining glory at the highest Championship level, including Leyland Vehicles I 1979, who went on to win the British Open in 1994.

7. Other the Open are Marple who won the 2nd Section in 1988 and Third Section in 1986.

8. No band that we know has won at the Lower Section Nationals and gone on to win the Championship of Great Britain itself - the nearest being Tredegar who won the Second Section in 1973 and were runners up at the Nationals in 1993 and Cammell Laird who were runners up at the Nationals in 1965 after winning the Second Section in 1961.

9. Ashton Under Lyne have the amazing record of winning three consecutive National titles. They won the Third Section in 1997, the Second in 1998 and the First Section in 1999.

10. In 1977 the top prize in the Fourth Section held at Hammersmith Town Hall was £50.00. Second prize was £30.00 and third place took home £20.00.

11. This year it should be around £1,000, £750.00 and £500.00.

12. Some famous names have made their first winning start at the Finals as well including some legends in the form of Leonard Lamb in 1949, Eric Ball in 1950 and Rex Mortimer in 1961, Roy Newsome in 1958, Richard Evans in 1979 and Frank Renton in the Fourth Section in 1965.

13. Others include James Shepherd in 1986, Garry Cutt in 1986, David King in 1985, Alan Morrison in 1988 and Bob Childs in 1992.

14. We also think only two father and son combinations have won here - with William Lippeat and Stan Lippeat in 1969 and 2000 with Thoresby and John and Bob Childs with Tredegar and City of Hull in 1974 and 1992.

15. The 1975 2nd Section test piece, "Caliban" by Arthur Butterworth was used as the Championship Section test piece for the 1981 European Championships - the only time a lower section piece has been used in a major top section contest after it was first performed here.

16. Frank Renton has told the urban myth story that his win in the Fourth Section in 1965 occurred when 5 players of his band didn't play on stage after they hopped off the bus and went for some breakfast, never to return in time for their early draw, and therefore missed playing!

17. Eric Ball's music has been used on no less than 30 occasions as set works at the Finals.

18. The highest winning points score is 196 points which was awarded to both Snibston Colliery in 1967 winning the 2nd Section and Sovereign Brass in winning the same section in 1991.

19. The lowest winning points score was for Ystalyfera Public Prize in winning the 4th Section in1953!

20. Last year 4BR listened to all 64 bands and gave our "live" opinions on each of them from the hall - we'll be doing the same again this year, so if you see us why not say hello!

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