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The 2002 4BR End of Term Reports

With 2002 officially now at an end the time has come for the Headmaster at 4BR to give his annual reports on his top 25 pupils and to indicate in writing how well the pupils have done to their parents.

So – to stop anyone coming into the pub with a set of tall tales and false statistics we have provided the top 25 bands (as in keeping with Government directives on class sizes) in our 4BR World Rankings with their “End of Term Report”. We’ve included details of how each band did on the “exams” – Regionals, Masters, London etc and our own thoughts of whether they’ve been good hard working pupils or have been sat at the back of the class having a sneaky fag and look at Penthouse magazine. We’ve also given them a marking from A+ to D- to take home to their parents. Some will be happy and will get extra presents for the start of the new term in January while some may get their arses slapped and be sent to bed early.

A grades and above will indicate a pupil who has achieved all, or nearly all that was expected of them.

B grades will indicate a pupil who has worked hard, but who has the potential to do even better.

C grades will indicate mostly satisfactory progress, with room for improvement.

D grades will indicate a year of under achievement with room for considerable improvement and even the possibility of relegation from the Grammer school to the dreaded comprehensive brass banding educational system!

It is however very sad to report the death of one top 30 pupil – Master Todmorden Old of Yorkshire after an argument concerning his home accommodation, whilst Master First City of London has also been cruelly taken from us, although he was a pupil in the lower stream and not quite OxBridge material. Others such as the two from Point of Ayr and Marple remain in need of financial help to pay for their fees to enter future exams.

Of the alumni of 2001, a few have been put down a set or two and so there is no desk space for Bodmin (down from 28 to 41), British Telecom (29 to 39), Fishburn (26 to 33) Rothwell (27 to 36) and Trieze Etoiles (24 to 26). However some pupils have taken the chance to shine so Cwmaman (up from 41 to 11), JAG Mount Charles (34 to 23) and Besses (36 to 20) all take a seat in the 6th form common room.

As in school we go through the register in alphabetical order. Now pay attention…………

Aveley and Newham
4BR Ranking: 24th (down 4)

Exam Results:
Regionals: 2nd
Masters: 9th
Grand Shield: 4th
Nationals: 12th
Pontins: 9th
Yeovil: 9th

A drop in the league table of achievement of four places during 2002 for Aveley and a fair indication that the past twelve months haven’t seen the improvement that the band hoped for.

A huge improvement at the Masters from 19th to 9th, but they relinquished their London title, once more missed out on qualification to the Open after coming 4th at Blackpool (up 1 from last year), but held their own to repeat their result at the National Finals. They should have done better at Yeovil where they lost their crown and came 9th, whilst Pontins once more saw a long trip for no reward as they dropped five places to come 9th.

Should be capable of doing better, but does the band really have the class in them to make that final step up in class and have a crack at the Open examination? The demise of First City may help though.

Overall Mark: C – (C+ in 2001)

Besses O’ th’ Barn
4BR Ranking: 20 (up 16)

Exam Results:
Regionals: 4th
Masters: 11th
Grand Shield: 2nd
British Open: 13th
Nationals: 13th
Spennymoor: 11th

The pupil from one of the banding schools oldest families had been underachieving of late, but some very persuasive and determined female control has lifted the band back into the big time.

Lynda Nicholson’s arrival has been a catalyst for a fine year with good results at the Regionals, a super performance at the Grand Shield and solid committed showings at the Open, Masters, Nationals and Spennymoor. Nothing quite yet to frighten the big boys in the school playground, but there is enough character here to make sure that the improvement will continue.

It will be more difficult to repeat the achievements of 2002 in 2003, but they will do well to maintain the progress shown in the past twelve months. More good performances at the Open and Nationals shouldn’t be beyond them (qualification for London is a bit easier in the North West as 4 bands go through), so look for a further gradual rise in the rankings.

Overall Mark: C + (no mark last year)

Black Dyke
4BR Ranking: 3 (down 1)

Exam Results:
Regionals: 1st
European: 3rd
British Open: 3rd
Nationals: 3rd

A slight drop in the league table for our pupil from Queensbury, but a disappointing drop nonetheless as at the end of 2001 we had such high hopes for the band.

A repeat top of the class performance at Bradford was a great start, but away from “Blighty” on the school trip to Europe saw them perform a tad below par and take 3rd place in Brussels when there were genuine hopes of a win before hand. This seemed to upset the mind set somewhat and getting up early from a warm bed at both the Open and London saw two third places when once more they had it in them to possibly top the exams. On paper any parent would be proud of what they had achieved in the past twelve months, but Dyke’s parents expect more than just well done.

There is a feeling that a stern lecture has been given and that this pupil will have spent the Xmas hols swatting away in preparation for the challenges of 2003. Don’t be surprised if the remedial work pays extra dividends.

Overall Mark: A – (A in 2001)

Brighouse and Rastrick
4BR Ranking: 6 (no change)

Exam Results:
Regionals: 3rd
Masters: 8th
British Open: 4th
Nationals: 5th

Well done Brighouse. 2001 was a year of highs and lows, but 2002 has seen the pupil from West Riding stick nose to the grindstone somewhat and be rewarded as a result. A change of parental direction initially seemed to upset them, but by the years end things were looking distinctively encouraging (although there have been a few in house squabbles of late).

A solid enough result at Bradford was followed by the change at the helm and a slightly unlucky defence of their Masters title when they cam 8th. However a bit of military discipline has put them right back on form and 4th at the Open (up 4 from 2001) and 5th at London (up 6 and off the number 1 draw) sees them end the year on an upbeat note.

More of the same we think. The MD has been a real find and as long as he can keep the troops happy (difficult at the best of times) B&R will be a force. It could be a very good year.

Overall Mark: B+ (C – in 2001)

Buy As You View Cory
4BR Ranking: 2 (up 2)

Exam Results:
Regionals: 1st
British Open: 1st
Nationals: 2nd

An excellent year from the Welsh pupil of loaded parents. However, money has not dulled the appetite and the band very nearly made it a perfect year in 2002 with wins at the Regionals in Swansea (a return to form from the 4th place of 2001) and the spectacular table topper at Birmingham. Here they were simply the only pupil to get to grips with a very different exam paper.

They went to London to try and make it a second double in three years and that they were pipped into second place (up 3 from 2001) was no fault of theirs as they performed quite brilliantly. They are now the pupil everyone knows they have to beat and they confirm the adage that hard work and talent pays off. Others should possibly take note.

We may well be writing of a BAYV Cory “Treble” this time next year – they have the talent and work ethic to do it without doubt. The European is the big aim we feel and this time they could just well do it.

Overall Mark: A (B+ in 2001)

Carlton Main Frickley
4BR Ranking: 21 (down 7)

Exam Results:
Regionals: 9th
Masters: DNC
British Open: 19th
Spennymoor: 9th

There was a very distinct possibility that 2002 could have been the last year Carlton Main’s name was read out on the banding register, but they have overcome immense problems to survive and set down some firm foundations for the future.

Bradford saw an improvement of 1 place from 2001 when they came 9th, but they dropped out of the Masters and things for a while looked bleak indeed. Parental control came in the form of Mr Rushworth and with a few changes they put on a brave show at the Open (19th and down 2 places from 2001) – although it wasn’t enough to save them from the drop to the Grand Shield. Spennymoor saw another step in the right direction though (down 3 places from 2001, but a better effort than the result on paper seems).

It will be mighty difficult for the band to make a real mark as they compete in a ferociously difficult Area contest and the Grand Shield is perhaps the hardest contest of all to win. They could do it, (and new sponsorship will help) but we think it may be 12 months of consolidation.

Overall Mark: C – (C in 2001)

Cwmaman Silver (Tower Colliery)
4BR Ranking: 11 (up 30)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 4th
Grand Shield: 1st
British Open: 5th

A fantastic year for the third ranked Welsh band, who took the opportunity that they were presented with, with both hands and ended the year as the most improved pupil in the whole banding school.

Things didn’t start too well as they came 4th in the tough Welsh exam, but all that was put behind them as they produced a cracking show on “Checkmate” in Blackpool that beat more fancied bands and get an exam desk place in Birmingham. Here they very nearly defied the odds by performing way above expectation (and that of the audience it must be said) to come home 5th and beat some of the very best bands in the land. It was a superb achievement. However, domestically they were brought back to earth a little with defeats against lesser opposition in the Welsh Championship exams during the year and ended things with a third place at the Treorchy contest.

The Nationals. They now need to build on the superb achievements of 2002 and push further forward with the next aim surely a qualification place for London. Three bands make it from Swansea this year so although still very difficult, it is well within them to do so. Consolidate that with another good show in Birmingham and 2003 will be seen as a real success.

Overall Mark: B -

CWS (Glasgow)
4BR Ranking: 15 (down 4)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 7th
European: 8th
British Open: 16th

Glasgow are on a run of form that only Liverpool FC can better at the moment. 2001 was a dreadful anti climax after a fair start, but 2002 started badly and just got worse.

The Regionals saw their worse result for God knows how many years as their defence of the title under David King came off the rails big time, whilst the European under Ray Farr saw them drop 4 places from 2001 and come 8th. Worse was to follow though and the appointment of a new locum parent MD ended after a terrible result at a minor Scottish exam contest and then disaster at Open where they came 16th (1 down again from 2001) and lost their position at the top table. Blackpool instead of Bergen now beckons but they have announced that they are prepared to take medical treatment to sort things out as Doctor N. Childs will take over the helm for the two most important contests of the new season.

A real make or break year. They have the talent and players to make it back, but they will need a little bit of luck and a large dose of character to do so. Blackpool and the Grand Shield will be their defining moment in 2003.

Overall Mark: D (C- in 2001)

Desford Colliery
4BR Ranking: 22 (no change)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 1st
Nationals: 8th

The mystery pupil of the banding school and the one who has played truant more times than Lord Lucan. 2001 was a poor year indeed, but under the guidance of the old “Major” a bit of military discipline has been instilled.

The win at the Regionals was a fine bit study work, but they then went AWOL again and didn’t appear at the Masters or the Grand Shield. This was a pity as the band is more than capable of coming through with a bit of honour at these exams. They regrouped though and came back to school to come 8th at the Nationals with an exam performance that recalled former glories. We may have to send the kid catcher around to their house though to ensure a few more ticks in the attendance register in 2003.

Who knows eh? If they are serious about making the grade again then they will not fag off the Grand Shield and Masters, but you can never be sure with Desford. On their day they will do well wherever they go, but you have the feeling they may prefer a sneaky afternoon off from school to a bit of hard work.

Overall Mark: C - (D in 2001)

Ever Ready
4BR Ranking: 17 (no change)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 1st
Masters: 13th
British Open: 15th
Nationals: 9th
Mineworkers: 2nd
Spennymoor: 8th

A busy year for the pupil from the North East, and one they should be fairly pleased with.

They brought in favourite uncle Childs to take them to victory at the Regionals and then started a solid relationship with an exiled English uncle in Norway. Mr Farr came and did plenty of good work, but the results didn’t quite match the expectations although they were more than adequate. A drop of 6 places at the Masters and 3 at the Open were the down size, but on the plus side there was a well deserved 9th at the Nationals, runners up at the Mineworkers behind the teachers pet and an improvement at the ned of term Spennymoor bash (up 2). In addition they even managed a local victory or two as well, so overall just about as good as last year.

Difficult to say. Should do well at the Regionals (again) but still needs to break through in the higher class exams if they really are to be seen as top class challengers. Possibilities though.

Overall Mark: B – (B – in 2001)

4BR Ranking: 18 (down 3)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 3rd
Masters: 5th
Yeovil: 3rd
Grand Shield: 3rd
Wychavon: 1st
Miners Eisteddfod: 1st
Pontins: 3rd

A very busy year for the Cheltenham child, but to borrow a racing parlance from their home town, they were between weights during 2002.

Against the top class fields they showed that on their day they could do the business (another fine show at the Masters to come 5th for a second successive year), but once was not enough and they failed to last the course at the Regionals (down 1), Yeovil (down 1), Pontins (3rd) and the Grand Shield (3rd). Against smaller kids in the playground they more than hold their own and won in style at Wychavon and at the Miners Eisteddfod, but when set against a field of equal strength they disappointed in 2002. They have the class and talent, but a touch of bad luck (Pontins) and a little lack of self belief cost them dearly and they missed out on the two big exams in Birmingham and London.

The main aims will be to get back to the top tables of the Open and London in 2003 for sure. Perhaps being a touch less busy at the less important exams may do them good. Less may gain them more in the next twelve months.

Overall Mark: C (C in 2001)

Fodens Richardson
4BR Ranking: 1 (up 2)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 1st
Masters: 1st
British Open: 2nd
Nationals: 4th
Spennymoor: 2nd

Top of the class for 2002 and perhaps the star pupil of the academic year. A change of parental name and the introduction of a hard working locum parentis in Russell Gray has brought rewards and a fine twelve months of achievement.

They regained top spot in the local scrap against Master Fairey’s in Blackpool early in the year and then followed it up with a return to day out glory in Cambridge and a super table topping win there. The Open and the return of their Canadian exile father figure saw them pipped by the Welshmen and they performed with extravagance and a touch of ill discipline in London to come home 4th when they could and should possibly have won. Spennymoor saw a runners up spot for the second year in succession, but overall it was a big year of success. Well done.

With a fair bit of pocket money off their new well to do parents, Fodens cold be the band to beat in 2003. Much will depend on the development of the relationship with Russell Gray and whether Bram Tovey can be coaxed back for another crack at the two biggies in Birmingham and London. Some player moves have occurred, so keeping the staff happy may be a concern as well.

Overall Mark: A (A – in 2001)

Grimethorpe Colliery UK Coal
4BR Ranking: 7 (no change)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 2nd
British Open: 14th
Nationals: 7th
Spennymoor: 1st
Mineworkers: 1st

A little bit of an up and down year for our favourite entertainer at the back of the class. Why oh why they resort to bringing in a new Governor to take control at the big contests continues to beyond us, as it has invariably always ended in failure, and they have one of the best in charge of them on a day to day basis anyway.

Runners up at Bradford was a good tonic to start things off under Mr Gourlay (up 2 places from 2001), but they choose yet again to miss the Cambridge entry exam. The Open was a disaster (14th and down 10 places) and the Nationals saw them perform adequately at best to come 7th (although the decision to chop up the euph solo into two badly fitting parts was awful). Back on home turf they once more became teachers pet at the Miners, before settling back with Garry Cutt to show off in style at Spennymoor. Once they leave school a career on stage is a certainty.

The move further away from exam based academia seems set to continue in 2003 with strong rumours that there will be no appearance at the Open this year due to a huge engagement at the Proms. Added to a school trip to New York and Carnegie Hall and a further no show at the Masters, Grimethorpe are on the verge of becoming the only band not to actually need any exam qualifications. A bigger stage awaits them.

Overall Mark: B (A – in 2001)

JAG Mount Charles
4BR Ranking: 23 (up 9)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 4th
Yeovil: 1st
Grand Shield: 9th
Masters: 14th
Pontins: 5th

A real fine….. curates egg of a year for the band from Cornwall. Up 9 places in the 4BR rankings, 3rd place prize winners at Spennymoor after giving a corker of a show and winners at Yeovil. However, they also failed to qualify for London (again), failed at the Grand Shield to gain a place for the Open and didn’t couldn’t quite do it at Pontins either. JAG Mount Charles may soon have the reputation of great entertainers but poor academic achievers.

The Regionals was a great disappointment (up 1), whilst the Grand Shield saw them perform poorly (up 5) when a lot was expected of them. The Masters perhaps confirmed their position when up against a higher class field (up 3) whilst Pontins saw them relinquish their title as well. The entertainment stuff was brilliant, but overall they would surely have exchanged a third at Spennymoor for a place or two at Birmingham and London.

The Open and Nationals. If JAG Mount Charles are to be taken seriously as a band that can hack it against the big boys in the playground, they have got to get out of the sandpit with the little kids first. They have the talent for sure, but is there enough steel in the veins and self belief in their hearts to finally take a place at London and Birmingham? If they do in 2003, then it will be a fine year indeed.

Overall Mark: C+

4BR Ranking: 13 (up 3)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 1st
British Open: 12th
Nationals: 14th
Spennymoor: 7th

A good year of banding for the second highest ranked Scottish pupil with a rise of three places up the ranking register.

The two “R’s” – Renton and Ramsey did fine work with their bairn and it paid off in fine style at Motherwell with a Regional victory – their first for some time and up 5 from last year. A couple of wins around Scotland followed as did a solid performance at the Open (up 4) and mid table security in London. Spennymoor once more saw them perform with merit, although perhaps a little dourly and they dropped two places to come 7th. Moving in the right direction although the loss of one “R” may effect further progress.

The loss of Allan Ramsey could well hurt the band more than many may think and with the banding pupils of Scotland all eager to do well in 2003, it could be a slightly more difficult year. The European adventure should be something to cherish though, but further improvements at the two big exam contests should be their aim.

Overall Mark: B (B+ in 2001)

4BR Ranking: 9 (no change)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 3rd
Masters: 7th
British Open: 11th
Nationals: 15th
Spennymoor: 6th

A solid year that tailed off somewhat for the band that has now become accustomed to living sensibly within their parents financial means.

The use of Garry Cutt meant good results were achieved at the Regionals (3rd again) and the Master (up 6 places), whilst there was just a drop of form at the Open (down 2). The Nationals were fraught with health problems to one of the trombone siblings, so a drop from 6th to 15th wasn’t as bad as it looked. The change of MD for Spennymoor however didn’t quite work out as planned, but 6th (a drop of 2) still was a good effort. Not bad.

More of the same would be nice as the band are not quite ready to challenge for the top honours against the bigger kids of Fodens and Fairey’s quite yet, but are more than capable of holding off the challenges of the others in the North West class. May need a bit more class about them to challenge on the bigger stages though, but don’t write off their chances.

Overall Mark: C + (B+ in 2001)

4BR Ranking: 14 (down 2)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 5th
Masters: 10th
Grand Shield: 5th

A bit of a backward step for young Ransome in 2002 with drop in the rankings of two places to 14, but the signs are there that an appetite for hard work will possibly pay dividends in 2003.

No European to distract them, but things started poorly with 5th place under the departing parent Russell Gray in March. This led to the appointment of the “Major” and they performed well to just drop a coupe of places at the Masters. The big disappointment though was 5th place at the Grand Shield and a missed opportunity to regain a place at the Open. They were good, but not good enough on the day and that it showed them how difficult it will be to regain a place in the premiership banding exam. The jolt seemed to work though and 5th at Spennymoor may herald an upturn in fortunes for 2003.

The return to the Open will be the major aim we feel for the band, as will a return to better form at the Regionals and a place back at London. 2nd place on “Harrison’s Dream” seems a long time ago, but they have it in them to return to at least one of the major venues in 2003 we are sure.

Overall Mark: C (C+ in 2001)

Sellers International
4BR Ranking: 19 (up 6)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 6th
Masters: 4th
Grand Shield: 7th
Spennymoor: 4th

Another pupil to continue improving in 2002, with a further leap up the ranking table to 19th. This represented another 12 months of steady rather than spectacular development under the careful tutelage of their Laird, Mr McCann and bodes well for 2003.

6th place (up 6) at the difficult Yorkshire Regional exam was a good start (although claims from some quarters that all top 6 bands there should have qualified were well off the mark), but the band showed a real glimpse of what they were capable of at the Masters where they performed admirably to come home with a gold star on their hands after coming 4th (up 11 places on 2001).

The Grand Shield brought things back into perspective though and the missed opportunity of gaining a place at the Open must have hurt. Spennymoor though proved that on their day they can mix it with the bigger kids though and 4th place (down 1) was a fine end to the year.

Another whose main aim will surely be a return to the Open. The Grand Shield though is full of kids with much the same ability and so they will have to be prepared to scrap it out for a place. The Nationals may be beyond them as only one extra band gets to go this year, so it will be all hands to the deck for Blackpool.

Overall Mark: B- (C in 2001)

Travelsphere Holidays
4BR Ranking: 12 (up 1)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 2nd
Masters: 3rd
British Open: 17th
Nationals: 16th

What started so well, ended on a bit of a low note for Travelsphere as they finished the year with two disappointing results at the Open and Nationals and lost a few players into the bargain. However, some recent good signings may see them return hoping to extend their good form past the Masters in 2003.

A pretty good start at the Regionals, although they just failed to regain their title was followed by a splendid performance at Cambridge (up 15 places). The hopes were surely high for further success, but two very below par performances at the Open (down 7 and just missing the cut to the Grand Shield) and the Nationals (16th for a second year) put a real dampner on things. Some household squabbles meant a few evictions but the new tenants have a stamp of class about them, so they enter 2003 a with better expectations.

Capable of doing really well if things hold together. Don’t be surprised if they put in some really solid showings at the exam table in 2003. Not quite ready to rough it with the big boys just yet, butmore than capable of lifting themselves away from the underachievers at the Open and Nationals.

Overall Mark: C + (C – in 2001)

4BR Ranking: 8 (no change)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 3rd
European: 7th
British Open: 8th
Pontins: 1st
Yeovil 7th

Not a bad year for the second highest ranked Welsh pupil, but one that should have at least contained an appearance at the National Finals.

A poor start at Yeovil where they were a poor 7th was followed by their knock out at Swansea. The European saw them perform with guts and class before they returned to Birmingham to once more take their place just outside the prize list with 8th (up 5). A change of parental MD followed but the fostering process of the households of James Scott and Garry Cutt brought them the Welsh Championship and a cracking Pontins victory. They continue to be a top class crusierweight kid rather than a genuine heavyweight though.

Swansea will be the acid test of the year. Succeed there and a place in London should set the band up for another solid year of achievement. A sugar daddy would be even more welcome though.

Overall Mark: C (C in 2001)

4BR Ranking: 10 (no change)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 2nd
British Open: 10th
Nationals: 10th

The top ranked Scottish child spent 2002 consolidating their position in the top ten of the class and was rewarded with a decent year as a result. Nothing spectacular, but 12 months of making sure the gains of the past were not lost.

Runners up again at the Scottish exam board in Motherwell, was just a tad disappointing perhaps, but they did follow this with a couple of local successes. The Open saw them perform well without ever setting the place alight as they did in 2001 and a drop from 5th to 10th was the result. The Nationals was much the same and a drop of two places to 10th was about right on the day, but perhaps a touch below their expectations. However, they are a stubborn and hardy bunch, so a repeat dose may be in order for next year.

The regaining of the Scottish Crown will be foremost in their minds we think for 2003, after two years in which they have been pipped. Plenty of quality, but perhaps in need of a bit more “devil may care” attitude to really make an impression south of the border at the big ones later in the year.

Overall Mark: B – (B + in 2001)

4BR Ranking: 25 (up 25)

Exam Results:

Nationals: 1st
Europeans: 2nd

It may appear slightly unfair that Willebroek only appear in two ranking contests exam and still make it into the top class of 25, but make no mistake, on the form they showed in 2002 they deserved it.

National Champions again (retaining the title and winning it for the 11th time) they took that form to Brussels and gave two outstanding performances of the set work and own choice “Dove Descending” that were as good as anything you could have heard on any British contesting stage. Our European pupil may have a bit of trouble getting to grips with the more traditional aspects of our banding culture, but they travel well and shold be in with a fair old shout come Bergen.

Bergen looms on the horizon, but after retaining their National title again recently they will have had plenty of time to prepare for sure. They are up against some very classy bands this time around though in the shape of YBS, Williams Fairey and BAYV Cory, so if they come in the top three they can really shout home about their achievements. We’ll see though.

Williams Fairey
4BR Ranking: 4 (up 1)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 2nd
Masters: 2nd
British Open: 6th
Nationals: 1st

At last – a real 100% return to form for the pretty boy at the back of the class. For too long they had flattered to deceive, but the infusion of a few new faces in the household and the capture of a new MD in the shape of exile Withington has been the spur they needed to succeed.

Things started on a bit of a low note when the Snell tenure ended with a 2nd place and the loss of the title “Best in the North West”, but true to form the band picked a renegade talent in the shape of Frank Rentonto take them to Cambridge (up 7 places) – and it nearly came off. However, it was the appointment of Allan Withington that seemed to settle the kid down and the Open proved that the signs were there (6th again). The Nationals were the perfect stage to show off though and they did so superbly to bring home the National to their Stockport living room to show the parents.

Bergen and the European will be both the financial and musical aim for the band for sure. Withington on adopted “home soil” and Fairey’s surely trying out “Masquerade” for a quartet of victories. The other three majors should also prove fruitful as well.

Overall Mark: A – (B+ in 2001)

Yorkshire Building Society
4BR Ranking: 5 (down 4)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 4th
Masters: 6th
European: 1st
British Open: 9th
Nationals: 6th

Despite the tremendous win in Brussels (YBS remain the star pupil in foreign languages) 2002 will be seen as something of a disappointment for Dr King and his charges.

The Bradford “home test” proved a bit much for the band (down 2) as many of the new faces they acquired took time to bed in whilst the Masters was another poorish day (down 4) as they failed to shine as well as they knew they could. The European was something else though and they gave two exam papers of breathtaking quality and bravery. It was a win out of the very top drawer of banding. That should have charged them for more, but somehow they seemed slightly spent by the effort of it all and the Open saw a fall away to 9th as they sort to retain their title, whilst London remains a prize seemingly beyond them. They performed as well as they ever have done but still came 6th. Perhaps there’s something in the water?

Bergen surely will see YBS determined to crown themselves not only Champions of Europe, but to ensure their name is etched into history by becoming the greatest band in the contests history. If they do it don’t be surprised that they may then conquer everything else, with a win at London the icing on the cake. Do not bet against them finally ding it this year.

Overall Mark: B+ (A+ in 2001)

Yorkshire Imperial David Urquhart
4BR Ranking: 16 (up 7)

Exam Results:

Regionals: 8th
Masters: 15th
British Open: 7th
Spennymoor: 10th

An improving pupil even if the overall results were a touch down from last year. Mr Evans the MD and his band had a lot of family changes but they have now settled into their new surroundings and things look a lot rosier.

The Regionals were harsh (down 1 place from 2001) and the Masters was a big let down (9 places down from 2001), but there was a general feeling that better was to come, and so it proved. A real quality showing at the Open (up 7) and a solid showing at the end of term bash at Spennymoor confirmed steady progress. Things seem to be moving in the right direction.

More of the same really, but with the aim of getting a place at London top of the list. This could be just beyond them this time around, but higher marks at the other majors will signal that things are on the right course.

Overall Mark: B - (C+ in 2001)

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Butterworth CD - available with 4BR shopping