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2003 North West Regional Qualifying Championships

Third Section
Starts 11.00am
Spanish Hall

Dennis Wilby

Test Piece: Northern Landscapes - Peter Graham

The Third Section in the North West has produced some really fine bands on a National level over the past few years and last year in Torquay they did the hat trick itself when the representatives came 1st, 2nd and 3rd, a superb achievement. Two of those bands have since been promoted, but that doesn’t mean the section has had its quality diluted.

In fact in three of the past five years a North West band has gone to win the National title and have won the past two Nationals as well, so whoever wins on Sunday will be looking to make it a hat trick.

There are plenty of bands in the large field who have the ability to do well here so it will be a close fought contest we think. Who will come out on top is the million dollar question, so Dennis Wilby will have a difficult task but there are a few names that should feature strongly and quite a few experienced MD’s who will be looking for a bit of glory.

Barnton Silver
S. Yates

Last Year: 17th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 17th
2001: 8th
2000: 6th 4th Section (prom)
1999: 3rd 4th Section
1998: 7th 4th Section
1997: 15th (rel)
1996: 12th

17th last year was the best result that Barnton could have hoped for as in 2001 they has done well by coming 8th. This is their third year back in the 3rd Section and so they will be keen to aim for a big improvement this time around. A top 10 finish may be a good result.

A. Swain

Last Year: 15th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 15th
2001: 10th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 3rd 4th Section
1999: 15th (rel)
1998: 12th
1997: 16th
1996: 14th

It may seem a bit odd but Blackley were promoted to the 3rd Section after coming as low as 10th in the 4th Section in 2001. They managed to hold their own last year – just, and 15th place was a struggle. They will be hoping for something better this time around, but anything better than a 12 month ago will be a victory of sorts.

Blackpool Brass
S. Simpson

Last Year: 5th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 5th
2001: 13th 2nd Section (rel)
2000: 14th 2nd Section
1999: 8th 2nd Section
1998: 11th 2nd Section
1997: 11th 2nd Section
1996: 8th 2nd Section

Blackpool were relegated to the 3rd Section after a few years in which they alternated between the midfield and lower reaches of the 2nd Section. It finally came after 2001 but they rallied somewhat impressively to mount a strong challenge here and come 5th. More of the same or better may be on the cards.

Boarshurst Silver
J. Webster

Last Year: 7th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 7th
2001: 14th
2000: 5th
1999: DNC
1998: 10th 2nd Section (rel)
1997: 11th 2nd Section
1996: 7th 1st Section (rel)

Even though Boarshurst came 7th last year they impressed us on their travels and with the elegant baton work of Jonathan Webster to direct them they could well feature highly here. They have been a bit up and down in the results table since 2000, but we think that they could well be in with a shout come the results.

City of Chester
D. Mitchell

Last Year: 11th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 11th
2001: 7th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 15th 4th Section
1999: 4th 4th Section
1998: 13th (rel)
1997: 14th
1996: 16th

City of Chester were promoted up after 2001 and last year they did well enough to come home in the midfield places when they came 11th. They struggled the last time they were in this section so they will be looking to consolidate further. A top 10 place would do nicely.

N. Law

Last Year: 9th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 9th
2001: 4th
2000: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

A bit of a short and sweet history for Diggle as we could only find a record of them at Blackpool for the period 2000 onwards. In that time though they have done really well and won the 4th Section in that first year and were promoted. Since then they have come 4th and 9th and with ex Black Dyke man Norman Law at the helm they will be confident of doing well – especially as Norman has one win under his belt already.

Eaton’s Farnsworth
P. Ashley

Last Year: 14th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 14th
2001: DNC
2000: 2nd 4th Section (prom)
1999: DNC
1998: 14th (rel)
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Another band with a strange looking record at Blackpool, with an on/off record of attendance that seems to have proved OK for them. 14th and relegation in 1998 and then a year off, promotion from the fourth, another year off and 14th last year. How they will do then could well depend if they turn up. Hope they do as they could do well.

Eccles Borough
K. Donaldson

Last Year: 19th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 19th
2001: 13th
2000: 7th
1999: 11th
1998: 18th
1997: 13th
1996: 10th

A band in need of a good result after three years in which they have fallen away badly after coming 7th in 2000. They have engaged Kevin Donaldson, the former sop player of note with YBS, Faireys and Wingates and he will earn his corn if he can turn things around. Lets hope he is successful.

Eccleston Brass
B. Harper

Last Year: 12th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 12th
2001: 6th
2000: 15th
1999: 14th
1998: 8th
1997: 8th
1996: 8th

A band with a bit of a middling result pattern here over the past few years and who have come as high as 6th in 2001 and as low as 15th the year before. They had a run of three consecutive 8th places between 1996 and 1998 so after 12th last year they may well be pleased if they get a fourth 8th next time.

G. Williams

Last Year: DNC
Last Seven Years:
2002: DNC
2001: 7th
2000: 6th
1999: 7th 4th Section (prom)
1998: 4th 4th Section
1997: 5th 4th Section
1996: DNC
Golborne didn’t appear last year after two years in which they appeared to be mounting a strong challenge. Why they didn’t take part a 12 month ago we don’t know and so we don’t know either what form they will bring to the contest stage this time. If they repeat the results of either 2000 or 2001 they will be pleased.

Greenhall’s Brewery
H. Bousefield

Last Year: 4th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 4th
2001: 10th 2nd Section (rel)
2000: 12th 2nd Section
1999: 14th 2nd Section
1998: 9th 1st Section (rel)
1997: 9th 1st Section
1996: 8th 1st Section

In 1998 Greenhall’s were competing in the 1st Section, so they have dropped through the grades a little to find themselves here. The good news is that last year they seemed to have put the stops on the rot and put in a strong challenge to come 4th. They will be hoping that the upward turn continues for another year at least.

Hazel Grove
A. Hirst

Last Year: 16th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 16th
2001: 12th
2000: 13th
1999: 10th
1998: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1997: 10th 4th Section
1996: 4th 4th Section

Hazel Grove won the 4th Section here in 1998 and would have had hopes of doing well in the higher section, but after coming a solid 10th in 1999 they have lost ground year on year and came 16th last time out. That means they will need a good result here this time to avoid a possible return to the 4th Section.

Hoover (Bolton)
C. Wormald

Last Year: 13th 2nd Section (rel)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 13th 2nd Section (rel)
2001: 12th 2nd Section
2000: 16th 2nd Section
1999: 6th 2nd Section
1998: 4th 2nd Section
1997: 4th (prom)
1996: 4th

Chris Wormald has the task of lifting Hoover back on to the track of competitiveness and as he was in the box last week in Yorkshire you can be sure he will have an intimate knowledge of the Northern Landscapes score. This will be a big boost for his band and allied to their keen instinct to show that they really are a band that belongs in the higher section, they could do very well indeed.

Lostock Hall Memorial
R. Heyes

Last Year: 13th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 13th
2001: DNC
2000: 8th
1999: 5th
1998: 20th
1997: 11th
1996: 9th
A bit of an up and down set of results here over the past few years, so how they will do is anyone’s guess. They have come as high as 5th in 1999 and as low as 20th in 1998 and throw in a no show in 2001 then it’s a real liquorice allsorts bag isn’t it. What next then?

G. Smith

Last Year: 3rd
Last Seven Years:
2002: 3rd
2001: 8th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 4th 4th Section
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

In the short period Middleton have competed they have done really well and they came 3rd here last year and went on to come 3rd at the National Finals as well. That shows a touch of hard class and so we think they could well feature strongly once more this time around.

Pilling Jubilee Silver
S. Foster

Last Year: 10th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 10th
2001: 10th
2000: 14th
1999: 8th
1998: 3rd 4th Section (prom)
1997: 3rd 4th Section
1996: DNC

Since being promoted in 1999 Pilling Jubilee have more than held their own, although this year they will be fielding a new MD. Two consecutive top 10 places is pretty good, but they should now be hoping to get a little further up the prize list. A top 6 maybe?

Rainford Silver
B. Harper

Last Year: 6th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 6th
2001: 11th
2000: 12th
1999: 9th
1998: 17th
1997: 4th 4th Section (prom)
1996: 6th 4th Section

A good solid hardworking band, Rainford have been making small improvements since 2000 and came 6th under Lynda Nicholson last year. They have done well on their travels during the past 12 months and so will be looking for a further step in the right direction. A podium place could be the result.

Thorntons Cleveleys
L. Clough

Last Year: 4th 4th Section (prom)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 4th 4th Section (prom)
2001: 5th 4th Section
2000: 5th 4th Section
1999: DNC
1998: 9th 4th Section
1997: 8th 4th Section
1996: DNC

Thorntons make their debut in the 3rd Section after a hard battle in recent years to get out of the 4th Section. They were nearly there or thereabouts in the last three years in particular and therefore deserved their rise. How they do this year will be interesting, but with a new MD at the helm hopes will be high.

G. Hethrington

Last Year: Winners 4th Section
Last Seven Years:
2002: Winners 4th Section
2001: 6th 4th Section
2000: 9th 4th Section
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Last years 4th Section winners will be looking to make a real mark in this section and as can be seen from their results in the past three years they are certainly a band on the up. They could well feature so watch out for their name in the prize list.

United Norwest 2000 Brass
A. Helleur

Last Year: 8th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 8th
2001: 8th
2000: 17th 2nd Section (rel)
1999: 10th 2nd Section
1998: Winners (prom)
1997: 6th
1996: 11th

United Norwest won the title here in 1998 and were promoted to the 2nd Section where they found life a bit more difficult and returned back in 2001. Since then they have played solidly and have come just outside the top six in the past two years. Could it be time for then to mount the winners rostrum again?

Whitworth Vale and Healey
R. Milton

Last Year: DNC
Last Seven Years:
2002: DNC
2001: 11th 2nd Section (rel)
2000: 13th 2nd Section
1999: 7th (prom)
1998: 3rd
1997: 9th
1996: 13th

Whitworth managed to escape from the 3rd Section in 1999 but found life in the higher section a little tough and they were relegated back down after coming 13th and 11th. They didn’t compete last year and so they will be looking to re establish themselves once more. They have done it before at this level and came 3rd here in 1998, so they will be looking for more of the same this time back.

Past Winners:

2002: Wire Brass
2001: Manx Concert Brass
2000: Old Hall Brass
1999: Manx Concert Brass
1998: United Norwest Co-op Normid 2000
1997: Ashton Under Lyne
1996: Hollingworth
1995: Goodshaw
1994: Delph
1993: Bollington
1992: Gorton Silver

Winning Conductors:

2002: P. Andrews
2001: I. Clague MBE
2000: N. Parkinson
1999: I. Clague MBE
1998: D. Newton
1997: M. Evans
1996: G. Hethrington
1995: B. Chappell
1994: P. Goodwin
1993: B. Hinde
1992: D. Evans

Test Pieces:

2002: St. Austell Suite – K. Downie
2001: Sinfonietta – J. Horovitz
2000: Narnia Suite – G. Burgon
1999: Main Street – E. Ball
1998: Three Saints’ – G. Richards
1997: Tintagel – D. Wright
1996: Divertimento – B. Kelly
1995: A Snowden Fantasy – T.J. Powell
1994: Chorale and Toccata – S. Bulla
1993: The Shipbuilders – P. Yorke
1992: Suite for Brass – M. Arnold


2002: S. Swancott
2001: R. Sparkes
2000: L. Landry
1999: D. Horsfield
1998: I. Craddock
1997: C. Hardy
1996: D. Wilby
1995: N/K

Past Qualifiers:

2002: Wire Brass, Silk Brass, Middleton
2001: Manx Concert Brass, British Energy Morecambe
2000: Old Hall Brass, Skelmersdale
1999: Manx Concert Brass, Dobcross Youth
1998: United Norwest Co-op Normid 2000, Oldham Brass ‘97
1997: Ashton Under Lyne, Milnrow, Manx Concert Brass
1996: Hollingworth, Pemberton Old
1995: Goodshaw, Hollingworth

North West bands at the Finals:

2002: 1st, 2nd, 3rd
2001: 1st, 10th
2000: 4th, 7th
1999: 2nd, 11th
1998: 1st, 4th, 18th

Last Years Result:

1. Wire Brass – P. Andrews 185pts
2. Silk Brass – K. Mackintosh 184pts
3. Middleton – S. Foster 183pts
4. Greenhalls Brewery – H. Bousfield 182pts
5. Blackpool Brass – G. Smith 180pts
6. Rainford Silver – L. Nicholson 179pts
7. Boarshurst Greenfield – J. Webster 178pts
8. United Norwest 2000 – A. Helleur 177pts
9. Diggle – D. Morris 176pts
10. Pilling Jubilee – S. Simpson 175pts
11. City of Chester – D. Mitchell 174pts
12. Eccleston Brass – B. Harper 173pts
13. Lostock Hall Memorial – R. Heyes 172pts
14. Eatons Farnsworth – P. Ashley 171pts
15. Blackley – G. Smith 170pts
16. Hazel Grove – A. Hirst 169pts
17. Barnton Silver – S. Yates 167pts
18. Greenfield – D. Chapman 165pts
19. Eccles Borough – C. Pownall 164pts

4BR Prediction:

Difficult one this and we make our choices with a large dose of luck rather than inspired judgement. Middleton did well to come third last year and we think they could well by the band to beat, whilst there will be strong challenges from the likes of Timperely, Rainford, Greenhalls and Boarshurst. Diggle, Hoover and Blackpool should feature highly as well, but in the end we go with a top six that looks like this.

1. Middleton
2. Hoover
3. Boarshurst
4. Timperley
5. Greenhalls
6. Diggle

Dark Horses: Rainford

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