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2004 London and the Southern Counties Regional Championships

Second Section:
20th March - Commences: 10.00am

Test Piece: Kaleidoscope – Philip Sparke
Adjudicator: Dennis Wilby

It seems to be much the same tale in the Second Section here as it is with the rest of the divisions in the London Region nationally – once the bands qualify they seem to struggle to make a mark against the opposition from the rest of country.

Last year, Wantage, Broseley and Brighton all made the long trip north to Dundee, only to return with 9th, 10th and 13th places, and we think you may have to go back to 1977 and Clacton on Sea for the last time a London band was triumphant at the Finals. The only other time we think before that was 1970 and Newhall (we may be wrong, but twice in close on 60 years isn’t the best of records is it?).

So can any of the bands here tat this contest break that voodoo and make it a hat trick this year? It would be a superb effort if they did, as in the last few years since 1998 the best position has been a 7th place.

We don’t know why the bands here are so unsuccessful at the Nationals, but wouldn’t it be great if 2004 saw a London band return with the top prize. First though they will have to overcome a pretty stiff test piece and try to impress the experienced Dennis Wilby.

BAE Systems Brass
Conductor: K. Woodger

Last Eight Years:
2003: 6th (K. Woodger)
2002: 10th
2001: 9th
2000: 6th 3rd Section (prom)
1999: 2nd 3rd Section
1998: 4th 3rd Section
1997: N/K
1996: 11th 3rd Section
BAE Systems came 6th last year, a jump of four places up the prize winners table from 2002. They will be keen to maintain that form here for sure, although they came 11th at the SCABA Autumn contest late last year.

Becontree Brass
Conductor: G. Sheldon

Last Eight Years:
2003: 8th (J. Morahan)
2002: 2nd
2001: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
2000: 4th 3rd Section
1999: 12th 3rd Section
1998: 2nd 4th Section
1997: 2nd 4th Section
1996: 2nd 4th Section
Becontree fell away somewhat last year to come 8th, which would have been a great disappointment to the band after coming runners up the year before. A change in MD may just be the spur they need at the contest to put in another strong challenge.

Betteshanger Welfare
Conductor: D. Burridge

Last Year: 14th
Last Eight Years:
2003: 14th (D. Burridge)
2002: 16th 1st Section (rel)
2001: 8th
2000: 13th
1999: 11th
1998: 8th
1997: N/K
1996: 3rd

Betteshanger found life a bit tough last year in the Second Section, after the relegation from the First Section in 2002. 14th place will mean that they will need a decent result to fend off the possibility of relegation, but 12th place at the Autumn SCABA contest may mean they will have to find some good form.

E. FloodBrighton Silver
Conductor: E. Flood

Last Eight Years:
2003: 3rd (E. Flood)
2002: 7th
2001: 8th
2000: 11th 1st Section (rel)
1999: 12th 1st Section
1998: 12th 1st Section
1997: Winners
1996: 10th 3rd Section (prom)

Estelle Flood makes her last appearance with the band before she moves away later this year, and they will want to give her a good leaving present in the form of a possible qualification place at Harrogate. 3rd last year meant a trip to Dundee where they came 10th, and 7th place at the SCABA Autumn contest showed they have some good form to fall back on. Ones to watch out for perhaps?

Cantium Brass
Conductor: J. Gould

Last Eight Years:
2003: 15th (J. Gould)
2002: 6th
2001: Winners 3rd Section
2000: 2nd 3rd Section
1999: 6th 3rd Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Cantium are a band that could do with a decent result here this year after falling from 6th place in 2002 to 15th place here twelve months ago. Relegation is a possible threat if they don’t take a few scalps.

Capital Concert Brass
Conductor: D. Muir

Last Eight Years:
2003: 11th (D. Muir)
2002: 14th 1st Section (rel)
2001: DNC

Capital Concert also found the going fairly tough last yea when they came 11th on their return to the Section after relegation. They will be looking to secure a good result for sure, although we haven’t got a lot of form to go on as yet.

Castleton Brass
Conductor: K. Watson

Last Eight Years:
2003: 10th (K. Watson)
2002: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
2001: 7th 3rd Section
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

After returning to the contesting scene in 2001, Castleton have done exceptionally well – winning the Third Section in 2002 and securing a solid 10th place here last year. They will now be looking to improve on that and gain a possible top six place if they play to the top of their form.

Colin PortCawston
Conductor: C. Swaep

Last Eight Years:
2003: 4th (G. Barber)
2002: 9th
2001: 10th
2000: 3rd
1999: 11th
1998: 5th 3rd Section (prom)
1997: N/K
1996: 3rd 3rd Section

Cawston really recovered from a couple of poor results here in 2001 and 2002 to come an excellent 4th last year and just miss out on a trip to the National Finals. If they can repeat that form again here they may well find themselves booking into a nice hotel in the posh surroundings of Harrogate later this year.

Crystal Palace
Conductor: M. Gray

Last Eight Years:
2003: 7th (M. Gray)
2002: 12th
2001: 13th
2000: 9th
1999: 3rd
1998: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)
1997: 5th 3rd Section
1996: 4th 3rd Section

Crystal Place are another band who made a marked improvement here last year when they recovered from two poor results in 2001 and 2002 to come 7th. Another jump in form this time around could well see them take a podium place, but a top six place may be more realistic.

S. EarleyEast London Brass
Conductor: S. Earley

Last Eight Years:
2003: 7th in Third Section (prom) (S. Early)
2002: 3rd
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

East London Brass have had a pretty meteoric start to their contesting life at these Championships, after coming 3rd in 2001 and gaining promotion after coming 7th last year. They came 6th at the SCABA Autumn contest, so they can more than hold their own in the higher section of they play to form.

Horsham Borough
Conductor: G. Bacon

Last Eight Years:
2003: 5th (G. Bacon)
2002: 4th
2001: 3rd 3rd Section
2000: 7th 3rd Section
1999: N/K
1998: 10th
1997: N/K
1996: 4th

Horsham just dropped a place last year to come 5th, and so they will be looking to push once more for a qualification place at the contest. They could well be one of the favourites as late last year at the SCABA contest they came 6th in the First Section against some pretty good bands. A good omen perhaps?

St. Albans City
Conductor: S. Garman

Last Eight Years:
2003: 9th (S. Garman)
2002: 5th 3rd Section (prom)
2001: 8th 3rd Section
2000: 13th 4th Section (prom)
1999: 3rd 4th Section
1998: 8th 4th Section
1997: N/K
1996: 10th 4th Section

St. Albans made a solid start to life in the Second Section here last year when they came 9th on their debut. A look at their results here over the past few years suggests that they will be making an improvement on that this time around as well, so look out for them to make it into the top six?

Ware Brass
Conductor: K. Durbin

Last Eight Years:
2003: Winners of Third Section (prom) (K. Durbin)
2002: 4th 4th Section (prom)
2001: 3rd 4th Section
2000: 18th 4th Section
1999: 16th (rel)
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: 9th

Last year’s Third Section Champions will be looking to make a real impression here at the higher level after showing themselves to be one of the most consistent bands in that section over the last few years. The win last year meant a trip to Dundee where they could only manage 20th place, but they will be determined to show they are a better band than that here.

Woking Brass
Conductor: P. Littlemore

Last Eight Years:
2003: 13th (B. LeTissier)
2002: 11th
2001: 5th
2000: 10th
1999: Winners 3rd Section
1998: DNC
1997: N/K
1996: DNC

Nice to see the return of Philip Littlemore to the contesting world after a few years away. He has one National title under his belt with Brent in the Fourth Section in 1997, and he will need that experience to work on Woking to safeguard them from possible relegation. 10th place at the SCABA Contest, in the First Section may be an indicator that he may just pull it off.

Yiewsley and West Drayton
Conductor: C. Cole

Last Eight Years:
2003: 12th (C. Cole)
2002: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)
2001: 7th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 15th 4th Section
1999: 5th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Yiewsley are another band that will need to take a few scalps here to ensure that the threat of possible relegation is offset. 12th place here last year was a little less than expected perhaps after they had shown such good form over the past few years coming up the sections, but they have improved on their results year on year, so they should be more than capable of doing it.

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

Past Qualifiers:

2003: Wantage Silver, Broseley Brass, Brighton Silver
2002: Northfleet Brass, Becontree Brass
2001: Tilbury, Stonesfield Silver
2000: City of Cambridge, Chichester City
1999: Thames, Egham Band
1998: Welwyn Garden, Fairlop Brass
1997: Brighton Silver, Fairlop Brass
1996: Hanwell, Haverhill Silver
1995: Soham Comrades, Hatfields of Colchester

London bands at the Finals:

2003: 9th, 10th, 13th
2002: 11th, 13th
2001: 10th, 14th
2000: 8th, 16th
1999: 14th, 17th
1998: 7th, 12th

4BR Prediction:

A difficult one to call for us at 4BR – there are any number of bands here who could win the contest. It is a hard set work though and we think only the bands who take a sensible approach to the basics and then try and layer on the more fancy stuff will get the nod.

We have used our usual scientific approach to the betting odds and come up with a win for Horsham in our crystal ball. The other two spots for qualification should go (fingers crossed) to Brighton Silver to give Estelle Flood a nice going away present and Cawston. Behind them the top six should be made up of Becontree, Crystal Place and East London Brass, with Woking as our dark horse.

1. Horsham Borough
2. Brighton Silver
3. Cawston
4. Becontree
5. Crystal Palace
6. East London Brass

Dark Horses: Woking

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