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2003 North West Regional Qualifying Championships

Fourth Section
Empress Ballroom
Starts: 10.00am

Stephen Tighe

Test Piece: Lydian Pictures - Simon Dobson

The great news for North West banding is that there is a very healthy turn out for the Fourth Section – 18 bands, and with a super test piece which we are sure both the players and the audience will enjoy, it should make for a very enjoyable contest.

This is grass roots banding at its best and although there are many bands here who making their annual pilgrimage to Blackpool there are also a few new names making first or just second appearances. In a time when in many regions bands are fast disappearing this can only be good for the future.

Stephen Tighe is the man charged with the responsibility of making the difficult decision of sending the bands to Dundee and if the past record is anything to go by, the qualifiers will travel with high hopes of doing well. Last year the four bands came 2nd, 4th, 14th and 17th – a pretty good effort, although you have to go back to 1996 and Manx Concert Brass for the last time a band actually went from Blackpool and won the National title itself.

Maybe it’s time for it to occur again, but in the meantime the bands will have to try and come to terms with a piece that will really extend their capabilities. If you are in the hall complex at 10.00am, take the opportunity to go and have a listen – you will enjoy what you will hear for sure.

Besses Boys
H. Stringer

Last Year: 11th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 11th
2001: 18th
1999: 10th

One of the most famous names in youth banding in the country have plodded along somewhat here over the past few years although way back in 1987 they actually went on the win the National itself under the direction of B. Chappell. That may well be beyond them this year but a move into the top 10 should be the next aim.

D. Shaw

Last Year: DNC
Last Seven Years:
2002: DNC
2001: DNC

Don’t have any information about the band from Brindle for you, so we can’t really enlighten you further. We have checked the records back to 1996, and so we think this may well be their debut at the contest. Good luck to them.

Douglas Town
G. Higginbottom

Last Year: 2nd
Last Seven Years:
2002: 2nd
2001: 15th
2000: 11th
1999: 5th
1998: 13th
1997: 11th

Perennial and welcome visitors to Blackpool, Douglas make the trek across the North Sea from the Isle of Man once more – and once more they will be looking to mount a very serious challenge. Gordon Higginbottom, the famous tenor horn virtuoso leads once more and last year they performed superbly to come runners up. That led them on an even longer trip to Torquay where they came 14th, so another long trip this time to Dundee won’t bother them if they qualify.

L. Clough

Last Year: 5th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 5th
2001: 9th
2000: 17th
1999: 2nd
1998: 12th
1997: 17th
1996: 10th

Lana Clough directs Friezland once more this year and they will be hoping to continue their good run of form here that has seen them climb from the depths of 17th place in 2000 to 5th last year. That shows they could well in with a shout at results time, so look out for them being mentioned once more.

D. Chapman

Last Year: 18th 3rd Section (rel)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 18th 3rd Section (rel)
2001: 15th 3rd Section
2000: DNC
1999: 11th 2nd Section (rel)
1998: 4th 3rd Section (prom)
1997: 12th 3rd Section
1996: 5th 3rd Section

Greenfield are a band that has been competing as high as the 2nd Section here within the past 4 years, so a drop down through the sections has been disappointing and they will be looking to stop the rot and set out on the road to recovery. After that high spot of 1998 it has been a bit of a downhill journey, so lets hope they can put the brakes on and put in a solid show.

Haydock Youth
B. Wyatt

Last Year: 8th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 8th
2001: 14th
2000: 9th

We could only find records of Haydock Youth for the past three years, but in that time they have performed solidly enough and have twice come in the top 10. More of that will do nicely we think.

Hesketh Bank Silver
S. Pullin

Last Year: 12th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 12th
2001: 4th
2000: 11th 3rd Section (rel)
1999: 13th 3rd Section
1998: 19th 3rd Section
1997: 7th (prom)
1996: 3rd

A band with a long pedigree here and way back in 1985 they went on the actually take the National 4th Section title itself. Since then they have been up and down the lower sections a bit but returned to the 4th in 2001. Then they came 4th, but last year fell away somewhat to come 12th. Stuart Pullin ex of YBS has the task of puling things around this year and a top 10 or higher may well be on the cards.

Nelson Brass
J. North

Last Year: 10th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 10th
2001: 2nd
2000: 17th
1999: 8th
1998: 14th
1997: 12th
1996: 12th

Another band with a long track record here and one that has seen some real ups and downs since 1996. Their best was in 2001 when they came runners up here, whilst their worst was just a year prior to that when they came as low as 17th. J. North takes the reins for this year and will be hoping to stabilise things a bit more and improve on the 10th place of last year. They may well be able to do it.

Parr (Richardson Ltd St. Helens)
J. Ludden

Last Year: 17th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 17th
2001: 17th
2000: 7th
1999: 9th
The band with the longest name in the section, and possibly the country have found it hardover the past two years here and came 17th in both 2001 and 2002. We think they made their debut here in 1999 in this section and in the first two attempts they did well enough only to drop way since. They will be hoping to stop that happening again though and will be aiming for a top 10 place at least.

Pemberton Old Wigan B
P. Ashley

Last Year: 6th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 6th
2001: Winners
2000: 20th
1999: 13th

The other Pemberton band have a fine record in the four short years they have competed here and can boast a victory in 2001 under the same conductor. They were 6th last year so fell away a little, but we think they will be up amongst the prizes once more this time around.

Rivington and Adlington
H. Bentham

Last Year: 9th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 9th
2001: 10th
2000: 21st
1999: 11th
1998: 15th 3rd Section (rel)
1997: DNC
1996: 15th 3rd Section

H. Bentham knows what it takes to win at this level as he directed Hesketh Bank to a Nationals victory way back in 1985. He brings that experience to bear with Rivington this year, taking over the reins from J. Bateson who directed the band into 9th place a twelve month ago. They seem to be making steps in the right direction though and since 2000 have improved from 21st place to 9th. Another small step forward perhaps?

St. Helens Brass
N. Samuel
Last Year: DNC
Last Seven Years:
2002: DNC
2001: DNC

One of the band we believe are making their debut at the contest this year and so details are very sketchy to say the least. In fact we don’t know anything about them, so lets hope they do well.

M. Tooley

Last Year: 15th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 15th

A famous old name in the banding world, Shaw competed for the first time in a long while in 2002 and came 15th. M. Tooley takes the band once more and they will be looking to make a further mark this year.

J. Roberts

Last Year: 13th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 13th
2001: 12th
2000: 11th
1999: 18th
1998: 5th

A band with a longer pedigree than most here, Standish came 5th in 1998, but since then have fallen away somewhat and in the last three years have been taking small steps backwards in the prize list. The will be hoping to stop that decline this year though and a place in the top half of the table could be a realistic target.

Tottington Public
N. Martin

Last Year: DNC
Last Seven Years:
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

Another band we know little of – although we are sure it isn’t a band of the same name as the football team Ossie Ardiles used to say he played for. Good luck to them though.

Trinity Girls
S. Barton

Last Year: 7th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 7th
2001: 3rd
2000: 7th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: 17th 3rd Section (rel)

Only Lancashire could come up with a boys and girls band, but Trinity Girls have been going a very long time (we can remember them at Pontins contests nearly twenty years ago or more). They returned back to the contest stage itself here in 2000 after a few years away after being relegated from the 3rd Section and since then they have had two 7th places and a third in 2001 hen they qualified for Preston and the Finals themselves. A return to former glories perhaps.

J. Hunter

Last Year: 14th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 14th
2001: 13th
2000: 22nd
1999: 21st
1998: 10th
1997: 14th
1996: 8th

A band with a long record here, but one that hasn’t yet caught fire. They came as high as 8th in 1996, but since then they have dropped away. Even after two terrible results though in 1999 and 2000 they came back for more and in the last two years have made it into the midfield places. That takes a lot of hard work and character – so many bands could have easily folded, so we hope they can take a step in the right direction this time around.

Wardle and District Anderson Brass
P. Shaw

Last Year: 3rd
Last Seven Years:
2002: 3rd
2001: DNC
2000: 9th 3rd Section (rel)
1999: 12th 3rd Section
1998: 11th 3rd Section
1997: 10th 3rd Section
1996: 13th 3rd Section

The famous school band returned to the 4th section last year after finding it tough in the 3rd. They didn’t compete in 2001 but 3rd place last year and a trip to Torquay was well deserved and we heard them perform well under the direction of former Black Dyke and YBS assistant principal cornet, Phil Shaw. They sounded a good tight band then and we think a further 12 month would have improved things further. The band to best for us.

Past Winners:

2002: Timperely
2001: Pemberton Old Wigan B
2000: Diggle
1999: Old Hall Brass
1998: Hazel Grove
1997: Old Hall Brass
1996: Manx Concert Brass
1995: Trinity Girls
1994: Normid 2000
1993: Eccles Borough
1992: Eatons Fransworth

Winning Conductors:

2002: G. Hethrington
2001: P. Ashley
2000: D. Morris
1999: N. Parkinson
1998: L. Hall
1997: N. Parkinson
1996: I. Clague
1995: W. Carter
1994: D. Newton
1993: G. Smith
1992: S. Booth

Test Pieces:

2002: Suite in B Flat – G. Jacobs
2001: Sinfonietta Pastorale – H. Geehl
2000: The Haslemere Suite – P. Graham
1999: Indian Summer – E. Ball
1998: Solemn Melody – Walford – Davies and Scenes from a Comedy - Hopkinson
1997: Pennine Moors – D. Barry
1996: Mexican Fiesta – R. Hanmer
1995: Little Suite for Brass No1 – M. Arnold
1994: The Journeyman – R. Steadman - Allen
1993: Impromptu
1992: The Seafarers


2002: M. Brownbill
2001: G. Thomas
2000: R. Sparkes
1999: L. Landry
1998: D. Horsfield
1997: J. Berryman
1996: C. Hardy
1995: N/K

Past Qualifiers:

2002: Timperley, Douglas Town, Wardle and District Anderson Brass, Kirkby Lonsdale
2001: Pemberton Old Wigan B, Nelson Brass
2000: Diggle, Eatons Farnsworth, Blackley
1999: Old Hall Brass, Frieland
1998: Hazel Grove, Haslingdon and Helmshaw Brass
1997: Old Hall Brass, Dobcross, Pilling Jubilee
1996: Manx Concert Brass, Milnrow
1995: Trinity Girls, Lostock Hall Memorial

North West bands at the Finals

2002: 2nd, 4th, 14th, 17th
2001: 9th, 14th
2000: 5th, 12th, 17th
1999: 6th, 14th
1998: 2nd, 9th

Last Years Result:

1. Timperely – G. Hethrington 179pts
2. Douglas Town - G. Higginbottom 177pts
3. Wardle and District – P. Shaw 175pts
4. Thornton’s Cleveley – C. Andrews 173pts
5. Friezland – L. Clough 172pts
6. Pemberton Old Wigan B – P. Ashley 171pts
7. Trinity Girls – S. Barton 170pts
8. Haydock Youth – R. Wyatt 169pts
9. Rivington and Adlington – J. Bateson 168pts
10. Nelson Brass – K. Richmond 167pts
11. Besses Boys – C. Whiteoak 165pts
12. Hesketh Bank Silver – S. Pullin 164pts
13. Standish – J. Roberts 163pts
14. Uppermill – J. Hunter 161pts
15. Shaw Youth – M. Tooley 160pts
16. Farndon and District – P. Dalton 159pts
17. Parr Richardson – J. Ludden 158pts
18. Earby – P. Young 157pts
19. Cheshire Constabulary – G. Henshall 156pts

4BR Prediction:

Always hard to predict how things will turn out in the lowest section, but if bands concentrate on getting the basics right with this piece then they could well come in the prizes. We think that Wardle will be the band to beat – they sounded a solid band when we last heard them, and we also think there could be mentions on the podium for Douglas Town and Pemberton Old Wigan B. After then it will become a close run thing, but we plumb for Hesketh Bank, Rivington and Trinity Girls. The dark horses may well be one of the bands making their debut and so we go for St. Helens Brass to do well.

1. Wardle and District Anderson Brass
2. Douglas Town
3. Pemberton Old Wigan B
4. Hesketh Bank
5. Rivington and Adlington
6. Trinity Girls

Dark Horse: St. Helens Brass

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