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2004 North of England Regional Championships

4BR casts it eye over the runners and rider of the North of England Championships, which takes place on the 20th and 21st March.

The Dolphin Centre

March 20th
Sections: 3 and 4

March 21st
Sections: 1, 2 and Championship

For further information contact:
Regional Secretary: Alan Hope 0191 4161008
e mail: alan@fatfield113.fsnet.co.uk

This year, the North of England Regional Championships celebrate its 21st birthday as a contest at the Dolphin Centre Darlington. And as always, the atmosphere come the weekend will be as friendly and joyous as it has ever been, and it is nice to see the organisers putting on a quality concert as well on the Saturday night.

Although the North of England is now the smallest Region in terms of playing numbers, it more than makes up for it in sheer enthusiasm. This year though just 48 bands take the stage, and a quick glance through the record books shows this to be the lowest number since 1990. Some bands who competed last year are missing, including Flookburgh and Aunt Bessies who were 3rd and 4th in the First Section twelve months ago, Hetton, Marske, Sacrsiton and Ulverston. We hope their absence is only temporary. Still, there is some good news, with at least two new bands returning in the shape of Aycliffe and Brancepeth and Barrow Concert, so the outlook is not completely bleak.

On the National front, BHK (UK) Ltd Horden were crowned National First Section Champions last year, and that must have given the region a real boost as the last few years have been pretty barren on the titles front. The Championship bands have quality but are just a step or two behind the very top level bands in reality, whilst the other sections are the same. The local contests are well attended and are very competitive, but a bit like the Welsh, the North Eastern bands are not the greatest of travellers.

Still, what with Middlesboro winning a trophy for the first time in their history, perhaps 2004 will see some more silver ware return to the area. We will wait and see.

Number of competing bands:

2003: 52
2002: 51
2001: 51
2000: 53
1999: N/K
1998: 51
1997: N/K
1996: N/K
1995: 51

Other Years:

1990: 47
1989: 49
1987: 46
1986: 50
1985: 52
1983: 30

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