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The 2002 4BarsRest awards:

Lower Section Band of the Year

This has been something of a topsy turvey year for the bands in the Lowers Sections – what with the “night shift” Nationals in Torquay and the continual struggle to make ends meet in economic difficult times. For the vast majority of bands it is a question of survival, but for the select few, ambitions are realised and in 2002 quite a few bands made a mark in their respective sections.

All the Regions had bands that dominated to a certain extent, and at National level the prizes were shared out throughout the country with the Midlands taking the honours in the First Section in the form of the Staffordshire band, Yorkshire the Second with Hade Edge, the North West the Third with Silk Brass and the West of England the Fourth in the shape of St. Dennis.

At Pontins it was Dobcross, Old Silkstone, Wire and Lockwood who won the big money, whilst at the Miners, Barnsley, Strata, Frickley and Lochgelly won through.

So lots of bands having good years – and that’s not including the bands that won numerous regional contests!

Here are our five then. Remember though – these are just a nap hand of bands that made a mark on us during the year – there were others, so if you feel your band did better, make sure you use your vote!

St. Dennis

A famous old band now firmly back on the road to better and bigger things after a fine 2002 that saw them win the Fourth Section at Torquay as well as come runners up at Pontins.

Having a famous past can be a hindrance at times, but this band can now look forward to a very bright future. Winners at home in Cornwall, Bristol at the Regionals and Torquay at the Nationals adds up to a very fine 2002. Well done everyone!

Hade Edge (J&E Dickinson)

A real up and coming band – complete with a tremendous MD. Hade Edge took the honours in Torquay with a cracker of a show on Kenneth Hesketh’s tricky “Danceries” but followed this up with an unlucky 13th at Pontins. That shouldn’t detract from the fact that they sounded a very good outfit indeed during the year, especially when we heard them take the Yorkshire Regional title in Bradford in March. On that day they wouldn’t have sounded out of place a section or two above them.

Wire Brass

Runners up in Torquay in the Third Section, they put behind them that very close result to gain a superb victory at Pontins where they stamped their class on the opposition. A band with an ambition to climb high, they are ably led by Paul Andrews and were winners at the North West Regionals in perhaps the strongest Third Section field of the year. Wire won’t be out of place in the higher section during 2003.

Briton Ferry Silver

The Welsh band came 4th at the Nationals in Torquay, but back home in the Welsh Championship they remained unbeaten all year winning all three regional contests as well as the National Eisteddfod crown and came runners up at the Welsh Regionals. Very well directed by Mike Faro, who won the award for “Best Conductor of the Year” in Wales for his efforts, they are a band very much on the up.


Lochgelly won through to the Nationals finals in Torquay after giving a cracker of a performance at Motherwell to win the Regional crown by three clear points. In Torquay they really impressed us – although not the judges who put them 8th, but we really liked the way MD Gavin Lindsay directed his charges. They gained their reward though at the Mineworkers Championships in Blackpool where they once again showed their class to win the Fourth Section by a clear two point margin. This week they ended the year with a fine second place at the Borders contest – so 2002 ended on an upbeat note.

2001 winner:
Peter Hawke Garages Lindley Band

How to vote....

Make sure you read all the articles for each category before going to the voting form.

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