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2004 North of England Regional Championships

Fourth Section
Saturday 20th March

Test Piece: Partita – Edward Gregson
Adjudicator: John Maines

The popular John Maines will have the task of separating out the eleven bands in the Fourth Section, and with a testing set work he could well find it a hard task.

The bands that will do well will have to master the basics first before trying their hand at the fancy stuff – and after we have heard all the bands in the other sections around the country, not too many of them have mastered the building blocks let alone the fancy paintwork.

Still, it is a good test and should make for an enjoyable start to the Saturday morning proceedings.

Last year Lockwood were easy winners here, but still failed to make it into the top three at the Finals, whilst Ripon City found it hard work and could only come 20th in Dundee. That meant that since 1997 only once had a band from the region come in the top six, whilst you had to go back to 1984 when Bolden Colliery won for the last occasion the region was triumphant. It is about time that changed, so good luck to whoever gets those precious qualification places for Harrogate.

Askam Town
Conductor: D. Henley

Last Eight Years:
2003: 5th (D. Henley)
2002: 8th
2001: 7th
2000: 7th
1999: 3rd
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Askam have been pretty consistent challengers here over the last few years and improved their lot by three places twelve months ago when they jumped from 8th to 5th place under D. Henley. 3rd place in 1999 has been their best in the last six years, so a repeat of that would be most welcome.

Ayecliffe and Brancepeth
Conductor: M. Priestley

Last Eight Years:
2003: DNC
2002: 6th
2001: DNC
2000: 12th
1999: N/K
1998: 8th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Ayecliffe return to the contest after having a year away as they didn’t compete here last year. A bit of an on/off relationship at the contest in recent years, they return once more, we hope in good health and good form to start a long string of performances here over the next few years.

Barrow Concert
Conductor: A. Garbutt

Last Eight Years:
2003: DNC in Third Section (rel)
2002: 8th in Third Section
2001: 7th in Second Section (rel)
2000: 8th in Second Section
1999: N/K
1998: 5th in Second Section
1997: Winners in Third Section (prom)
1996: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)

Barrow withdrew from the Third Section contest last year and as a result they find themselves having to battle it out in the Fourth Section this year. We haven’t got any real form to go on, so lets hope the band return in good health and in good form. They were winners here though back in 1997 and have been as high as the Second Section. The rebuilding starts here it seems. Good luck to them.

Billingham Silver
Conductor: V. Evans

Last Eight Years:
2003: 3rd (V. Evans)
2002: 10th 3rd Section (rel)
2001: 10th 2nd Section (rel)
2000: 7th 2nd Section
1999: N/K
1998: 3rd 3rd Section
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Billingham were third here last year and just missed out on a trip to Dundee by a point. They will therefore be determined to go at least one better this time around, whilst they come to the contest on the back of a good second place at the recent Durham County Contest where their euph player was a real star performer.

Dunston Silver
Conductor: A. Seymour

Last Eight Years:
2003: 9th (A. Seymour)
2002: 9th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: N/K
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Dunston came back to the Regional contest in 2002 and for the past two years have held their own coming 9th on both occasions. No real form for us to go on at the moment, so we hope they can just push themselves a bit further up the prize table at least.

Durham Constabulary
Conductor: K. MacDonald

Last Eight Years:
2003: 8th (K. MacDonald)
2002: 14th (rel)
2001: DNC
2000: 10th 3rd Section
1999: N/K
1998: 4th 3rd Section
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Our friends of the force were 8th last year, their first time back in the lowest section, and they will surely be determined to show that they are a band that can make a mark here. They recently came 3rd at the Durham County Contest, so another prize winning performance may not be beyond them.

Five Rivers Brass
Conductor: T. Griffiths

Last Year: 7th
Last Eight Years:
2003: 7th (T. Griffiths)
2002: 7th
2001: 8th
2000: DNC
1999: N/K
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Five Rivers has been pretty consistent performers here since making their debut in 2001, but they will now surely be looking to improve on the past three years and gain a top six place at least. The band came 16th at Pontins late last year, so they will be looking for a return to some good form here.

Ripon City
Conductor: L. Whitworth

Last Eight Years:
2003: 2nd (J. Shepherd)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: N/K
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Ripon made a superb debut here last year when under the direction of the great James Shepherd they gained the runners up spot and booked themselves a place at the National Finals. They found that standard a bit tougher and they managed 20th place – still a great achievement for a band that had only made its debut six months previously. What will 2004 and a new MD bring then?

Stanhope Silver
Conductor: S. Robson

Last Eight Years:
2003: 4th (S. Robson)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: N/K
1998: 10th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Stanhope returned to the Regional contest for the first time since 1998 last year, and did exceptionally well in coming home in 4th place. They recently competed at the Durham County Contest but didn’t come in the prizes although their principal cornet picked up one of the solo prizes on offer. Another good showing may be on the cards then?

Trimdon Concert
Conductor: A. Holmes

Last Eight Years:
2003: 12th (A. Holmes)
2002: 5th
2001: 10th
2000: 13th
1999: 2nd
1998: 10th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Trimdon fell away last year to come 12th after a good result the year before when they improved to 5th place. They will therefore be looking for a return to that kind of form at least. They recently came 6th at the Mineworkers Contest, so there is some form to work on. Lets hope they can do it.

Ulverston Town
Conductor: M. Rowlandson

Last Eight Years:
2003: 11th (B. Seddon)
2002: 13th
2001: 9th
2000: 10th
1999: N/K
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Ulverston improved things by two paces last year after they had come a lowly 13th in 2002. With that in mind they will be looking to continue to move in the right direction this time around as well and better their best placing of 7th here in 1998.

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

Past Qualifiers:

2003: Lockwood Brass, Ripon City
2002: Hetton Silver, Kirkby Lonsdale
2001: Swinton and District Excelsior, Bearpark and Esh
2000: Ferryhill Town, Lanchester
1999: Bearpark and Esh, Trimdon Concert
1998: Westoe (STHCT), Dearham
1997: Murton Colliery, Marske Brass
1996: Ovington Tyndale, Barrow Concert
1995: Kirkby Lonsdale, Ovington Tynedale

North of England bands at the Finals:

2003: 5th, 20th
2002: 16th, 17th
2001: 8th, 15th
2000: 8th, 20th
1999: 8th, 9th
1998: 13th, 15th

4BR Prediction:

Our record of tipping winners in the Fourth Section isn’t the greatest, but we think we won’t be too far off this time. (Who are we kidding eh?)

The ones that we will put our hard earned money on are as follows: Ripon to go one better and claim top place this time around followed to Harrogate by Stanhope. Billingham we tip for a podium place, whilst the top six should be made up of Askam, Durham Constabulary and Five Rivers. Ou dark horses are the returning Barrow Concert.

1. Ripon City
2. Stanhope Silver
3. Billingham Silver
4. Askam Town
5. Durham Constabulary
6. Five Rivers

Dark Horse: Barrow Concert

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