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2004 Midlands Regional Championships

Fourth Section
Sunday 14th March

Test Piece: Partita – Edward Gregson
Adjudicator: Roy Roe

It is one of the real strengths of Midlands banding that they have such a large and varied Fourth Section. We say varied because this year sees three new bands coming back into the fold – and at least two of them are famous old names from years gone by. Ireland Colliery and Creswell Colliery are bands with famous pasts, so their reappearance is something to celebrate. With Amington also making a return, lets hope it will be the first of many more appearances here.

Two bands make the drop down from the Third Section – Alcester and Ilkeston, so there is another ingredient put into the mix to spice things up a bit and make life difficult for adjudicator Roy Roe.

On a Nationals stage, the three bands that made it to the Finals in Dundee did OK – Long Eaton gaining a fine second place, but both Bakewell and Phoenix not troubling the judges. The last band to go from here to actually win the National Fourth Section title was the youngsters from Shirland Miners Welfare in 2001. The good news though is that those successful bands have gone onto better things, whilst having a look at the recent form of many of the competitors here this year, it will be a real dog fight to gain one of the three qualification places on offer.

A good set work will examine the bands to the full, and we think it could well be a close run thing. Good luck to all the bands.

Alcester Victoria
Conductor: TBA

Last Seven Years:
2003: 14th in Third Section (rel) (N. Smith)
2002: 11th
2001: 14th
2000: 6th
1999: 13th
1998: 14th
1997: 3rd 4th Section

Alcester fall back to the Fourth Section this year after six years in the Third where they could only manage a best of 6th place in 2000. No news as yet to who will be heading their challenge, but whoever has the job, they will be looking to start on the road to recovery.

Conductor: W. Kendrick

Last Seven Years:

We are afraid we know next to nothing about Amington, so we hope they will show that our lack of knowledge is no bar to them doing well here. If they do have a good one, we are sure they will let us know.

Creswell Colliery
Conductor: A. Wood

Last Seven Years:
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

A famous name in the banding world. Creswell were strong contenders at the highest level many a year ago, and it is nice to report that they make a long awaited return to this contest this year. They came 7th at the recent Mineworkers contest, so they have wetted their feet back on the contest stage. It should give them much needed confidence to do well here.

Ireland Colliery (Chesterfield)
Conductor: I. Knapton

Last Seven Years:
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Ireland Colliery make a return to the Midlands contesting arena, and they too are a famous old banding name. It is nice to see them return, and we hope it is the first of many more appearances to come.

Banovallum Brass
Conductor: S. Ingham

Last Seven Years:
2003: 15th (S. Ingham)
2002: 7th
2001: DNC
2000: 15th
1999: DNC
1998: 12th 4th Section
1997: 15th 3rd Section (rel)

Banovallum dropped away last year at the contest where they could only manage to come 15th. That was a major disappointment to them as thee year before they had challenged for a top six place. S. Ingham is the man at the helm again, and he and his players will be searching for a better return this time around.

Dronfield CMW
Conductor: R. White

Last Seven Years:
2003: 7th (N/K)
2002: 14th 3rd Section (rel)
2001: 9th 3rd Section
2000: 11th 3rd Section
1999: 6th 3rd Section
1998: DNC
1997: 16th 2nd Section (rel)

Dronfield were a little bit of a mystery to us last year as we couldn’t find out who was in charge of the band when they came a well merited 7th place. R. White is the man in the middle this time and he also led the band into 7th place at the Pontins Championships late last year.

Dunchurch Silver
Conductor: N. Thompson

Last Seven Years:
2003: 10th (G. Smallwood)
2002: 13th
2001: 12th
2000: 16th
1999: 10th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Dunchurch will surely be hoping to break into the top 10 at least this year after they have hovered around the mark for the past three years. N. Thompson is the new MD this year after taking over from G. Smallwood. Will the change prove beneficial?

Enderby Youth
Conductor: S. Osgood

Last Seven Years:
2003: 11th (S. Osgood)
2002: 11th
2001: 11th 3rd Section (rel)
2000: 5th 3rd Section
1999: 19th 3rd Section
1998: 8th 3rd Section
1997: 14th 3rd Section

Enderby Youth will be hoping that the curse of “Legs Eleven” will not occur again this time around at the contest. The last three years have seen them occupy the spot just outside the top 10, so can they break the jinx and get into single figures?

Hathern 'B'
Conductor: M. Cooper

Last Seven Years:
2003: 16th (M. Cooper)
2002: 12th
2001: 20th
2000: DNC

Hathern seemed to have been heading in the right direction here until last year they dropped four places to come 16th. M. Cooper and his player will therefore be looking to reverse that trend and better that 12th place once more. We wish them well.

Ilkeston Brass
Conductor: D. Jones

Last Seven Years:
2003: 15th in Third Section (rel) (D. Jones)
2002: 17th
2001: 18th 2nd Section (rel)
2000: 19th 2nd Section
1999: 12th 2nd Section
1998: 13th 2nd Section
1997: 18th 2nd Section

Not the prettiest set of results we have ever seen at a Regional contest for Ilkeston, and they will be determined to show that they have finally hit their lowest point and the only way is back up. In 1998 they were in the second Section here, now they are in the Fourth. Contesting can be very cruel at times, so lets hope they get a big slice of good fortune.

Kirkby Colliery Welfare
Conductor: S. Berrill

Last Seven Years:
2003: 5th (S. Berrill)
2002: 15th
2001: 22nd
2000: DNC

A band to look out for we think - if the results of the past three years are anything to go by. 22nd in 2001, 15th in 2002 and 5th last year. That is some improvement by anyone’s standard, so can they make it a qualification spot or even a win? Winners at the Mineworkers and 9th at Pontins means that they will be one of the favourites for sure.

Conductor: R. Jepson

Last Seven Years:
2003: 12th (K. Short)
2002: 18th 3rd Section (rel)
2001: 15th 3rd Section
2000: 10th 3rd Section
1999: 8th 3rd Section
1998: 9th 3rd Section
1997: DNC

Matlock are on a high at the moment after winning the recent Derby contest in fine style a couple of weeks ago. The new man in the middle seems to have done the trick, although they will have to repeat that recent form here if they are to make an impression on the top 10. We think they may have the confidence to do it, and more.

Conductor: M. Phillips

Last Seven Years:
2003: 9th (M. Phillips)
2002: 5th
2001: 8th 3rd Section (rel)
2000: 12th 3rd Section
1999: 16th 3rd Section
1998: 7th 3rd Section
1997: 2nd 4th Section (prom)

Newhall are another band in decent form at the moment after they came third at Derby behind Matlock and Rolls Royce Derby. That could prove the boost they need to make an impression on the top 6, after they dropped away a touch last year to come 9th.

Rolls Royce (Derby)
Conductor: M. Heywood

Last Seven Years:
2003: 13th (N. Eden)
2002: 9th
2001: 14th
2000: 7th
1999: 25th
1998: 9th
1997: 8th

Rolls Royce came runners up to Matlock at Derby a few weeks ago, so confidence will be bubbling. Their best result here in the last seven years was 7th place in 2000, whilst their worst was the lowly 25th place in 1999. It has been a bit of a yo – yo ride since, so will that runners up spot mean a upswing into the top 10 or beyond again?

Rushden Windmill
Conductor: R. Graves

Last Seven Years:
2003: 4th (R. Graves)
2002: 19th 3rd Section (rel)
2001: 12th 3rd Section
2000: 3rd 3rd Section
1999: 15th 3rd Section
1998: 3rd 3rd Section
1997: 6th 3rd Section

Rushden showed that the drop from the Third Section in 2002 did not damage them too much as they just missed out on a podium place and came 4th. If they can repeat or better that form this time around then a possible trip to Harrogate may be on the cards.

Skegness Silver
Conductor: S. Walker

Last Seven Years:
2003: 8th (S. Walker)
2002: 17th
2001: 24th
2000: DNC
1999: 22nd
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Skegness are another band who seem to be moving in the right direction, after improving from 24th in 2001 to 8th place last year. S. Walker seems to have given them a real boost so can they make another leap up the prize list and gain a podium place or better?

Swineshead Silver
Conductor: D. J. Stephens

Last Year: 14th
Last Seven Years:
2003: 14th (D. Stephens)
2002: 18th
2001: 19th
2000: 24th
1999: 24th
1998: DNC

The fantastically named band are making steady but solid progress in the right direction here. 24th in 2000 has now become 14th on their last outing, so they will be disappointed if they don’t make another jump up the prize list this time around.

Conductor: B. Thompson

Last Seven Years:
2003: 6th (B. Thompson)
2002: 10th
2001: 18th
2000: DNC
1999: 14th
1998: 14th 3rd Section (rel)
1997: 17th 3rd Section

Tideswell will travel to Burton Upon Trent confident of keeping up their recent form here over the last few years. 18th in 2001 has been improved to 6th last time out, so can they make that final jump and gain a qualification spot?

Wellington (Telford) Brass
Conductor: S. Curtis

Last Seven Years:
2003: 17th (S. Curtis)
2002: 8th
2001: 11th
2000: DNC
1999: DNC

Wellington (Telford) Brass will be looking to stop the rot here after coming a disappointing 17th place, and last, 12 months ago. The only way is up though, and their 3rd place at Pontins will have given the confidence to do well. We are confident they won’t be propping up the table at the end of the results (unless they win of course!)

Results archive:
Full results of previous year's contests together with a results summary can be found in our results archive.

Past Qualifiers:

2003: Phoenix West Midlands Brass, Long Eaton Silver, Bakewell Silver
2002: WEM Jubilee, Leicester Cooperative, Long Eaton
2001: Carlton Brass, Shirland Miners Training, West Mercia Constabulary
2000: Raunds Temperance, Malvern Hills
1999: Audley Brass, Malvern Hills, Raunds Temperance
1998: University of Warwick, Porthywaen
1997: Porthywaen, Newham
1996: Alcester Victoria, Chapel en le Frith
1995: Kirkby Colliery, Rushden Windmill, Chael en le Frith
1994: Banovallum Brass, Kirkby Colliery

Midlands bands at the Finals:

2003: 2nd, 9th, 12th
2002: 6th, 9th, 18th
2001: 1st, 5th, 6th
2000: 3rd, 6th
1999: 11th, 16th, 19th
1998: 4th, 9th

4BR Prediction:

A notoriously difficult task of choosing the winners and qualifiers as always in the Fourth Section, but there are bands here who have shown good form in the last couple of months, so they may be the ones to look out for come results time.

That in mind we opt for Kirkby as our favourites to take the title, with Matlock and Rolls Royce (Derby) filling the remaining qualification places. After that it is a question of who pulls it off on the day, as there are any number of good solid outfits who could do well. We will stick our necks out then and go for Tideswell for fourth followed by Rushden Windmill and Swineshead in the top six. Our dark horses are Ireland Colliery on their return back to the fold.

1. Kirkby Colliery Welfare
2. Matlock
3. Rolls Royce (Derby)
4. Tideswell
5. Rushden Widmill
6. Swineshead

Dark Horses: Ireland Colliery

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