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2004 North of England Regional Championships

Second Section:
21st March

Test Piece: Kaleidoscope – Philip Sparke
Adjudicator: Ray Farr

Ray Farr should have an enjoyable time judging the Second Section – what with a fine test piece and some good quality bands.

Last year, Langbaurgh Brass and Houghton Brass made the trip to Dundee and came back with 4th and 6th place respectively – a pretty good return at a high class contest. That was the second year in a row that at least one of the qualifying bands had made it into the top six, so unlike perhaps the top two sections, the Second recently is in pretty good health. That said though, you have to go back to 1975 and the Northumbria Police Band to find a National Champion from the region, so it is long overdue. Can one of the ten here this year go on and take the crown?

No relegated bands from the First Section, but Wansbeck’s Ashington and Ellington Colliery are up from the Third to try and continue their good form. It could a be a little cracker of a contest.

Barnard Castle
Conductor: I. Johnson

Last Eight Years:
2003: 11th (I. Johnson)
2002: DNC
2001: 6th 1st Section (rel)
2000: 8th 1st Section
1999: N/K
1998: 6th 1st Section
1997: 3rd 1st Section
1996: N/K

Barnard Castle will be looking to improve on their result of twelve months ago when they came 11th, and last, so they will need a decent return to ensure that they stave off the threat of relegation. Lets hope they are able to do it.

Cockerton Prize Silver
Conductor: Anthony Taylor

Last Eight Years:
2003: 7th (G. Catherall)
2002: 2nd
2001: 6th
2000: 6th
1999: N/K
1998: 8th 1st Section (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: 2nd

Cockerton fell away last year when they came 7th here. That would have been a disappointment as they would have had high hopes of repeating or bettering the runners up spot of 2002. Anthony Taylor directs the band this year, so we will have to wait and see what form this combination brings to the stage.

Ellington Colliery
Conductor: D. Wright

Last Eight Years:
2003: 3rd in Third Section (prom) (D. Wright)
2002: 2nd
2001: 5th
2000: 6th
1999: N/K
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Ellington have had four good years in the Third Section, but a runners up place and 3rd last year mean that they have been promoted. There is always a step up in class between sections, but they will be hoping to continue their good form here. They came 15th at Pontins late last year in the Third Section, so the contest could be a hard test.

Conductor: G. Tindall

Last Eight Years:
2003: 4th (S. Malcolm)
2002: 6th
2001: 8th
2000: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
1999: N/K
1998: 8th (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Felling are a band moving in the right direction here – they have had three improving results at this level since gaining promotion in 2000. G. Tindall takes over S. Malcolm and will be looking to continue the good form of late. The band came 3rd at the Mineworkers Championships, so if they can repeat that form, a qualification place could well be on the cards.

Flimby Saxhorn
Conductor: D. Jones

Last Eight Years:
2003: 10th (D. Jones)
2002: 4th
2001: 5th
2000: 5th
1999: 3rd
1998: 4th 1st Section (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Flimby Saxhorn has been a consistent challenger for a qualification place at the contest since they were relegated from the First Section back in 1998. Last year however they fell away badly to come 10th, so they will need a good result to fend of possible relegation. They recently came 11th at the Preston Guild Hall Contest, so they will need an upturn in form to make a mark here.

GT Group Peterlee
Conductor: B. Holden

Last Eight Years:
2003: 5th (B. Holden)
2002: 8th
2001: DNC
2000: 2nd
1999: 2nd
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K
GT Group Peterlee come to the contest after gaining a very fine 3rd place at the Durham County Contest where they only beaten by Fishburn and Broughton’s. Confidence will therefore be high and they will be looking to improve on last year’s 5th place and gain at least a qualification place. The band also came 6th at the Mineworkers Contest late last year, so they should be a band to look out for.

Houghton Brass
Conductor: T. Gibson

Last Eight Years:
2003: 2nd (T. Gibson)
2002: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
2001: 4th 3rd Section
2000: 5th 3rd Section
1999: N/K
1998: 10th (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Houghton Brass are certainly a band in form here, after they gained a very fine second place last year. That led them to Dundee where they came a very creditable 6th place, so they will be looking for a return this year as well. Tom Gibson and his players should be very confident of doing well.

Conductor: G. Tindall

Last Eight Years:
2003: 8th (G. Tindall)
2002: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)
2001: 3rd 3rd Section
2000: 2nd 4th Section (prom)
1999: N/K
1998: 5th 4th Section
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Lanchester showed plenty of character here last year when on their debut at this level they came a very creditable 8th place. After playing in the Fourth Section in 2000, that was a fine achievement. They may need to better that this year to ensure they are not drawn into a relegation battle, but they should be more than able to do that.

D. BeckleySpennymoor Town
Conductor: D. Beckley

Last Eight Years:
2003: 3rd (D. Beckley)
2002: 11th 1st Section (rel)
2001: 10th 1st Section
2000: 6th 1st Section
1999: N/K
1998: 4th (prom)
1997: 4th
1996: 3rd

Duncan Beckley returns with Spennymoor for a second successive year, and they will be looking to go at least one place better and book a trip to Harrogate for the National Finals. They recently came 3rd at the Durham County Contest behind Horden and Gateshead so if they can repeat that kind of form, then the secretary may well be looking for some fund raisers.

Wansbeck’s Ashington
Conductor: N. Stedman

Last Eight Years:
2003: Winners of Third Section (prom) (N. Stedman)
2002: 5th
2001: 6th
2000: DNC
1999: N/K
1998: 6th 2nd Section
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Wansbeck’s Ashington could well be one of the bands to beat here if they continue with their recent run of good form. That win last year led them to Dundee where they came 4th, whilst they also came 4th at the Mineworkers Championships and 2nd at the recent Durham Contest. They could well be contenders once more.

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

Past Qualifiers:

2003: Langbaurgh Brass, Houghton Brass
2002: Langbaurgh Brass, Cockerton Silver
2001: Westoe (STHCT), York Railway Institute
2000: Harrogate, GT Group Peterlee
1999: Yarm and District, GT Group Peterlee
1998: Rowntree Band, Greggs Bakery
1997: Cottingham, Greggs Bakery
1996: Carlisle St. Stephens, Cockerton Silver
1995: Broughton’s Brass, Flookburgh

North of England bands at the Finals:

2003: 4th, 6th
2002: 5th, 12th
2001: 11th, 17th
2000: 11th, 15th
1999: 4th, 6th
1998: 3rd, 14th

4BR Prediction:

A little cracker is what we said in our introduction, and a little cracker is what we are expecting. As for the form guide though?

A couple of bands do stand out for us though, with GT Group Peterlee and Houghton Brass in good form of late, and they should be looking to book their hotel places for Harrrogate. The final podium place should be taken by Felling, whilst the top six places should be filled by Spennymoor, Wansbeck’s Ashington and Lanchester. Our dark horse is Cockerton.

1. GT Group Peterlee
2. Houghton Brass
3. Felling
4. Spennymoor
5. Wansbeck’s Ashington
6. Lanchester

Dark Horses: Cockerton

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