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2004 North West Regional Championships

Third Section
Sunday 13th March

Test Piece: Vizcaya – Gilbert Vinter
Adjudicator: David Horsfield

David Horsfield we are sure will be looking forward to adjudicate the Third Section here, for over the past few years at least it has been a beacon of excellence. In fact the region has produced five winners of the National title in the seven years, including the last three on the trot. That is some record.

For the record those bands were Ashton under Lyne in 1997, Oldham Brass ’97, in 1998, Lancashire Life Morecambe in 2001, Silk Brass (Macclesfield) in 2002 and last year, Diggle.

Last year Diggle were joined on the winners podium by Hoover (Bolton) who wee second, whilst Boarshurst Silver (Greenfield) came a solid 8th place. Whoever wins and gains the qualification places here have a hard task ahead of them to try and emulate these bands, but the feeling is that this is the strongest region in the lower sections in the country, so they will travel with high hopes of doing well.

High expectations then, but possible high rewards as well.

Conductor: A. Baker

Last Eight Years:
2003: 20th (A. Swain)
2002: 15th
2001: 10th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 3rd 4th Section
1999: 15th (rel)
1998: 12th
1997: 16th
1996: 14th

Blackley will be hoping for a good result here this year to stave off the possibility of relegation. 15th in 2002 and 20th last year means they may be up against it. However they did come 6th at the Preston Contest, so they know they can take a few scalps at least.

D. AshworthBMP Europe Goodshaw
Conductor: D. Ashworth

Last Eight Years:
2003: 11th in Second Section (rel) (C. Duxbury)
2002: 11th in Second Section
2001: 14th in Second Section
2000: 8th in Second Section
1999: 9th in Second Section
1998: 8th in Second Section
1997: DNC
1996: 11th in Second Section

BMP finally fell through the relegation trap door last year after coming 11th for the second year running here. Although they never set the Second Section alight, they were solid enough performers, so they should fancy their chances of doing well here this year. We will find out if they can come contest day.

J. WebsterBoarshurst Silver
Conductor: J. Webster

Last Eight Years:
2003: 2nd (J. Webster)
2002: 7th
2001: 14th
2000: 5th
1999: DNC
1998: 10th 2nd Section (rel)
1997: 11th 2nd Section
1996: 7th 1st Section (rel)

Jonathan Webster is making an eloquent mark with the baton with Boarshurst, and they qualified in fine fashion last year for the National Finals. They managed 8th place there, but they went on to come 4th at Pontins and just a few weeks ago won the Third Section at Preston. They will travel with confidence to the Empress Ballroom for sure.

City of Chester
Conductor: D. Mitchell

Last Eight Years:
2003: 18th (D. Mitchell)
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 are in need of a good result if they too are not to be drawn into a relegation battle. 18th place last year was a disappointment as they were hoping for a top ten finish after their 11th place in 2002. We don’t know what form they bring with them, but whatever it is, they will need to be on top of it.

Eccles Borough
Conductor: K. Donaldson

Last Eight Years:
2003: 5th (K. Donaldson)
2002: 19th
2001: 13th
2000: 7th
1999: 11th
1998: 18th
1997: 13th
1996: 10th

Kevin Donaldson, the former star soprano player with YBS, Fairey’s and many more really showed he had the magic touch with the baton here last year when he directed Eccles from the depths of the relegation zone to just outside a podium finish. If he can repeat that again then Eclles could well be booking tickets to Harrogate. They will need to be realistic though, as they came a lowly 18th at Pontins.

Eccleston Brass
Conductor: I. Bateson

Last Eight Years:
2003: 16th (B. Harper)
2002: 12th
2001: 6th
2000: 15th
1999: 14th
1998: 8th
1997: 8th
1996: 8th

Eccleston have just dropped off the pace here in the last few years. They came as high as 6th in 2001, but fell to 12th in 2002 and 16th last year. They too will need a return to form here if they are to avoid a possible drop through the relegation trap door. However, they will travel with high hopes as they came 4th recently at the Preston contest.

Conductor: G. Williams

Last Eight Years:
2003: 13th (G. Williams)
2002: DNC
2001: 7th
2000: 6th
1999: 7th 4th Section (prom)
1998: 4th 4th Section
1997: 5th 4th Section
1996: DNC

Golborne returned to the contest last year after a year away. They came 13th, which was a solid enough result, and can mean that they can possibly look forward to a better return this time around and maybe a top six place. Another band whose current form we know little about, so again, it will be wait and see.

Hazel Grove
Conductor: T. Emery

Last Eight Years:
2003: 10th (A. Hirst)
2002: 16th
2001: 12th
2000: 13th
1999: 10th
1998: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1997: 10th 4th Section
1996: 4th 4th Section

Hazel Grove put in a good show last year to come 10th – six places up from 2002. That equalled their best here, so they will be hoping to at least go a few places better here this time around. They won the Fourth Section in 1998 and since then they have battled hard to make a mark here. Could this be the time for a push for a top six place?

C. WormaldHoover (Bolton)
Conductor: C. Wormald

Last Eight Years:
2003: 3rd (C. Wormald)
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 worked a little bit of his magic with Hoover (Bolton) and directed them to 3rd place here last year. That meant a trip to Dundee where his young band produced a fine performance in coming 2nd. They went on to come 7th at Pontins as well, so they will be looking forward to a repeat performance here this year. They should be a band to watch out for.

Lostock Hall Memorial
Conductor: R. Heyes

Last Year: 15th
Last Eight Years:
2003: 15th (R. Heyes)
2002: 13th
2001: DNC
2000: 8th
1999: 5th
1998: 20th
1997: 11th
1996: 9th

Lostock Hall Memorial will be looking to reverse last year’s result when they came 15th here. That was the fourth year out of five that they had dropped down the prize list. They did come 11th at Pontins late last year, and came 7th at the recent Preston Guild Hall contest. If they can come 7th or better here they will be well pleased. With Ron Heyes wielding the baton they have a man with bags of experience, at this level, and a thorough committment to the band's fortunes.

A. WiddopMiddleton
Conductor: A. Widdop

Last Eight Years:
2003: 12th (G. Smith)
2002: 3rd
2001: 8th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 4th 4th Section
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Alan Widdop takes over the baton at Middleton and will be looking to steer the band back towards the top three places and repeat or better the 3rd place they gained here in 2002. 12th place last year was a big drop, so can they bounce back?

A. WiddopNelson Brass
Conductor: J. North

Last Eight Years:
2003: 3rd in Fourth Section (prom) (J. North)
2002: 10th
2001: 2nd
2000: 17th
1999: 8th
1998: 14th
1997: 12th
1996: 12th

Nelson finally gained the promotion that was long overdue last year when they came 3rd in the Fourth Section under the baton of John North. It may have been a long time coming, but it was well worth the wait, and they made the trip to Dundee where they produced a decent showing to come 10th. They will be hoping that now they have made the step up, they can first make a mark and then plan for further promotions perhaps?

Pilling Jubilee Silver
Conductor: B. Harper

Last Eight Years:
2003: 8th (S. Foster)
2002: 10th
2001: 10th
2000: 14th
1999: 8th
1998: 3rd 4th Section (prom)
1997: 3rd 4th Section
1996: DNC

Pilling are slowly moving in the right direction here; after coming 14th in 2002 they have gradually improved to come 8th last year under Shane Foster. B. Harper takes over the reins for this year’s assault, and they come to the contest on the back of 13th place at Pontins late last year and 12th place a few weeks ago at the Preston contest.

Rainford Silver
Conductor: N. Samuel

Last Eight Years:
2003: 14th (B. Harper)
2002: 6th
2001: 11th
2000: 12th
1999: 9th
1998: 17th
1997: 4th 4th Section (prom)
1996: 6th 4th Section

The talented Neil Samuel takes over the reins at Rainford and they will be looking to improve on last year’s result when they dropped from a top six place to 14th overall. Late last year the band came 9th at Pontins, whilst they wee placed 9th at the Preston contest a few weeks ago. On their day they can certainly make their mark, but will it be on Sunday at the Empress Ballroom.

Thorntons Cleveleys
Conductor: S. Hartley

Last Year: 19th
Last Eight Years:
2003: 19th (L. Clough)
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

Thornton’s are in need of a good result if they are not to drop out through the trap door and find themselves in the Fourth Section next year. 19th place last year showed that even at this level, bands can find it hard to make the step up in contesting class, so they will be looking for a better return on the weekend. S. Hartley has a hard task ahead of him.

Conductor: C. Whiteoak

Last Eight Years:
2003: 4th (G. Hetherington)
2002: Winners 4th Section
2001: 6th 4th Section
2000: 9th 4th Section
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Timperley came 4th here last year under the baton of Graham Hetherington, and that was a tremendous result for the band who were promoted up from the Fourth Section. They will be coming to the contest full of confidence though as they recently came runners up to Boarshurst at the Preston Guild Hall Contest.

Trinity Girls
Conductor: S. Barton

Last Eight Years:
2003: Winners in Fourth Section (prom) (S. Barton)
2002: 7th
2001: 3rd
2000: 7th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: 17th 3rd Section (rel)

Trinity Girls gained promotion from the Fourth Section after they impressively won here last year. Last years result meant they went to Dundee where they came a fine 4th, whilst they come to the contest on the back of a good 3rd place at the Preston contest.

United Norwest 2000 Brass
Conductor: J. Meredith

Last Eight Years:
2003: 11th (A. Helleur)
2002: 8th
2001: 8th
2000: 17th 2nd Section (rel)
1999: 10th 2nd Section
1998: Winners (prom)
1997: 6th
1996: 11th

United Norwest will be looking to reverse the trend of recent years where they have fallen away to come 11th last year. This will be their fourth year in the Third Section, and they will be looking to see if they can gain a foothold in the top ten if possible. They have shown that they can make a mark, as they came 5th at Pontins late last year. Time to bring that form here then.

D. BeckleyWardle and District Anderson Brass
Conductor: D. Beckley

Last Year: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
Last Eight Years:
2003: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom) (P. Shaw)
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 National Fourth Section Champions will be looking to carry on their fine form at the contest – this time under the baton of the experienced Duncan Beckley. The band were quite excellent in Dundee where they won the title with a superb performance under the direction of Phil Shaw. Can Duncan Beckley – a man who knows what it takes to win at this level, bring further success to the band?

Whitworth Vale and Healey
Conductor: J. Binns

Last Year: 9th
Last Eight Years:
2003: 9th (R. Milton)
2002: DNC
2001: 11th 2nd Section (rel)
2000: 13th 2nd Section
1999: 7th (prom)
1998: 3rd
1997: 9th
1996: 13th

Whitworth returned to the contest last year and came a creditable 9th place under the baton of Richard Milton, and they will be looking to beat that this year. They will certainly be full of confidence as they came a very fine runners up at Pontins late last year, so can they transfer that form from North Wales to Blackpool?

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

Past Qualifiers:

2003: Diggle, Boarshurst, Hoover (Bolton)
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:

2003: 1st, 2nd, 8th
2002: 1st, 2nd, 3rd
2001: 1st, 10th
2000: 4th, 7th
1999: 2nd, 11th
1998: 1st, 4th, 18th

4BR Prediction:

It should be a good old contest here on Sunday in this section. David Horsfield is a very experienced judge at this level and will be looking to reward those bands and MD’s who have mastered the basics, as well as the interpretations.

The recent Preston contest may be the truest form guide to follow, and we think both Boarshurst and Timperley will be well up the prize list, as should both Whitworth Vale and Healy and Eccleston. Trinity Girls and Wardle make up our top six, whilst our dark horse is Rainford.

1. Boarshurst Silver
2. Timperley
3. Whitworth Vale and Healy
4. Eccleston
5. Trinity Girls
6. Wardle and District Anderson Brass

Dark Horses: Rainford

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