2005 National Championships of Great Britain - Runners and Riders


4BR looks at the records of the 20 bands who will take to the stage trying to win the title this weekend.

Aveley and NewhamAveley and Newham
Nigel Taken
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Cliff Pask
Principal Euphonium: Russell Davies
Soprano Cornet: Andrew Bannister
Solo Trombone: Selina Leleu
Solo horn: Trevor Bannister
Flugel horn: Dave Lewis
Solo Baritone: Brian Vincent
Eb Tuba: Murray Aitken

Appearances: 18th time (5 as Aveley and Newham)
Debut: 1969 as Newham: 1990 as Aveley: 1995 as now.
Best Result: 5th in 1989 as Newham: 7th as Aveley and Newham 2000
Last Year: DNQ
2005 Qualification: 2nd place at London and Southern Counties Regional Championships conducted by Nigel Taken.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: 12th (Nigel Taken) (10)
2001: 12th (Nigel Taken) (1)
2000:  7th  (Nigel Taken) (19)
1999: 13th (Nigel Taken) (4)
1998: 18th (Nigel Taken) (15)
1997: 17th (Melvin White) (4)
1996: DNQ
1995: 17th  (Melvin White) (1)
1994: DNQ
1993: 15th (Melvin White) (6)

Overall Record:
No Wins:
1 Fifth: 1989
2 Sixths: 1985, 1986
14 Unplaced: 1969 (N/K), 1982 (18th), 1984 (15th), 1987 (10th), 1990 (21st), 1992 (13th), 1993 (15th), 1995 (17th), 1997 (17th), 1998 (18th), 1999 (13th), 2000 (7th), 2001 (12th), 2002 (12th)

Form Guide:
Scottish Open: 12th
Butlins Mineworkers: 7th
Yeovil: Winners
Grand Shield: 10th
Masters: 11th

Aveley and Newham has not exactly been setting the banding world on fire of late, although they did put in a quality performance to win at Yeovil early in the year. Elsewhere it has been a tale of not being quite up to the mark against stronger opposition as can be seen with some mid table results throughout the year at the Masters and Grand Shield.

On their day they can certainly challenge, but with a best of 7th here in 2000 in the last decade or more the form may not suggest anything other than another mid table result at the best, especially as they have had to share their MD with Bournemouth. For a band wishing to take a step up in class that does not really bode too well.    

BHK (UK) Ltd Horden
Michael Fowles
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Tina Mortimer
Principal Euphonium: Gary Curtin
Soprano Cornet: Steve Symonds
Solo Trombone: Christopher Gommersall
Solo horn: Paul Vickers
Flugel horn: Fiona Wallace
Solo Baritone: Laura Boyle
Eb Tuba: Andrew Jordan

Appearances: 9th time
Debut: 1931
Best Result: 2nd (1931, 1945)
Last Year: DNQ
2005 Qualification: 3rd place at North of Engaland Regional Championships conducted by Major Peter Parkes

Last 12 Years:
Last qualified for National Finals in 1962.

Overall Record:
No Wins:
2 Seconds: 1931, 1945
6 Unplaced: 1932 (N/K), 1933 (N/K), 1934 (N/K), 1935 (N/K), 1955 (N/K), 1962 (N/K)

Form Guide:
Pontins: 13th
Senior Trophy: 6th

After 43 years away from the biggest stage of all in the banding world, the famous name of Horden will once more appear on the programme at the Royal Albert Hall.

Their last appearance was under JD Scions in 1962 playing ‘The Force of Destiny', but before that they had been runners up to Fairey's in 1945 and further back on their debut in 1931 to Wingates. After that they put in a few appearances here, but gradually drifted from the top tier of banding.

A renewed sense of pride and a great deal of hard work has seen them return with a fine 3rd place at the North of England Championships under Peter Parkes gaining them the trip south. Since then they have put in a solid showing at the Senior Trophy and with the talented Michael Fowles to head their assault here they should be confident of more than holding their own. After 43 years away, who can ask for more. 

Black DykeBlack Dyke
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Roger Webster
Principal Euphonium: David Thornton
Soprano Cornet: Peter Roberts
Solo Trombone: Brett Baker
Solo horn: Leslie Howie
Flugel horn: John Doyle
Solo Baritone: Gareth Brindle
Eb Tuba: Joseph Cook

Appearances: 73rd time
Debut: 1900
Best Result: 20 Wins
Last Year: Winners
2005 Qualification: 2nd place at Yorkshire Regional Championships (Pre-qualified) conducted by Dr. Nicholas Childs.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: Winners (Nicholas Childs) (11)
2003: 4th (Nicholas Childs) (3)
2002: 3rd (Nicholas Childs) (4)
2001: Winners (Nicholas Childs) (12)
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: 5th (James Watson) (11)
1997: DNQ
1996: 3rd (James Watson) (6)
1995: Winners (James Watson) (17)
1994: Winners (James Watson) (19)
1993: DNQ

Overall Record:
Wins: 20 times - 1902, 1928, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1959, 1961, 1967, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2004
Second place: 16 times - 1900, 1923, 1924, 1930, 1932, 1936, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989
Third place: 11 times - 1903, 1913, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1952, 1960, 1973, 1974, 1996, 2002
Fourth place: 4 times - 1912, 1921, 1934, 2003
Fifth place: 3 times - 1908, 1955, 1998
Sixth place: 4 times - 1904, 1926, 1956, 1984
Unplaced: 14 times – 1909 (N/K), 1920 (N/K), 1922 (N/K), 1925 (N/K), 1927 (N/K), 1929 (N/K), 1931 (N/K), 1933 (N/K), 1945 (N/K), 1953 (N/K), 1958 (N/K), 1962 (8th), 1965 (N/K), 1990 (7th)

Form Guide:
European Championships: Winners
British Open: Winners

Surely the band to beat here this time around. The reigning champions are holding all the major trophies in their hands, and are determined not to let them go. If they win here then they become ‘Triple Crown' winners (not Grand Slam as they didn't win at Bradford) and it would be fully deserved for a season when the MD and the players have produced playing of the very highest order.

They have a fine record here in the past few years, and you have to go back to 1990 for the last time they came out of the prizes. History suggests that they could well be crowned champions again on Saturday, but will it also be their destiny?

Brighouse logoBrighouse and Rastrick
James Gourlay
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Allan Morrison
Principal Euphonium: Brenden Wheeler
Soprano Cornet: Nigel Fielding
Solo Trombone: James Stockdale
Solo horn: Melvyn Bathgate
Flugel horn: Neil Hewson
Solo Baritone: Leigh Baker
Eb Tuba: David Hebb

Appearances: 57th time
Debut: 1913
Best Result: 7 Wins
Last Year: 14th
2005 Qualification: 4th place at Yorkshire Regional Championships conducted by James Gourlay.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: 14th (James Gourlay) (8)
2003: 6th (Ian McElligott) (17)
2002: 5th (Ian McElligott) (1)
2001: 11th (Allan Withington) (4)
2000: 4th (Allan Withington) (18)
1999: 2nd (Allan Withington) (13)
1998: Winners (Allan Withington) (14)
1997: Winners (Allan Withington) (6)
1996: 6th (Allan Withington) (13)
1995: 4th (Allan Withington) (15)
1994: DNQ
1993: DNQ

Overall Record:
Wins: 7 times - 1946, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1980, 1997, 1998
Second place: 4 times - 1963, 1967, 1981, 1999
Third place: 3 times - 1948, 1951, 1975
Fourth place: 6 times - 1945, 1949, 1954, 1956, 1995, 2000
Fifth place: 7 times - 1913, 1950, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1992, 2002
Sixth place: 3 times - 1962, 1996, 2003
Unplaced: 25 times – 1929 (N/K), 1930 (N/K), 1931 (N/K), 1932 (N/K), 1933 (N/K), 1934 (N/K), 1935 (N/K), 1936 (N/K), 1937 (N/K), 1947 (N/K), 1952 (N/K), 1953 (N/K), 1957 (N/K), 1958 (N/K), 1960 (N/K), 1961 (N/K), 1966 (N/K), 1972 (N/K), 1976 (7th), 1977 (14th), 1982 (9th), 1986 (=14th), 1988 (7th), 1989 (15th), 2001 (11th), 2004 (14th)

Form Guide:
British Open: 7th

Given that Brighouse and Rastrick has the potential to beat any band in the world on their day, they are fast earning themselves the reputation as being one of the most frustratingly inconsistent – if always interesting,  bands to listen to at major contests. 

This year has been no exception with a very idiosyncratic performance that both thrilled and bemused at Bradford and which was followed up at the Open by them coming 7th after producing a quite awful display of inconsistency. When they do click though they are something to behold, although you do wonder if they will ever do so on the contest stage with Mr Gourlay.  

Bournemouth Concert Brass
Nigel Taken
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Rowland Wright
Principal Euphonium: Sarah Evans
Soprano Cornet: James Cooper
Solo Trombone: Richard Curren
Solo horn: Phil Randell
Flugel horn: Steve Rowland
Solo Baritone: Peter Hartley
Eb Tuba: Bill Willis

Appearances: Debut
Debut: 2005
2005 Qualification: Winners of the West of England Regional Championships conducted by Nigel Taken.

Last 12 Years:
Bournemouth has never qualified for the Championship Section Finals at the Royal Albert Hall.

Form Guide:
Yeovil: 5th
Senior Cup: 7th

Bournemouth Concert Brass are making their debut at the National Finals this year, although they have been in existence as a band in the Dorset region of the country for well over 100 years.

Their fortunes have fluctuated somewhat over that period and as recently as 2003 they found themselves relegated to the First Section in the West of England, only to show their class at the Lower Section National Finals by coming in the prizes and returning back for 2005.

The year started well for them in Yeovil when they came a hard earned 5th place but it was at the Regional Championships that they caused a major surprise by taking the title ahead of many more fancied outfits on the day. They consolidated that with a decent showing at the Senior Cup and with talented players dotted around the stands they will relish to chance to show their qualities here. Nigel Taken heads them (as he has done for a long time) and this means he has had to juggle his commitments with his other qualified band at Aveley. That may or may not have been a good idea on this piece, but with such a long association with the band both deserve their place on the stage together this weekend. 

BTM Band
Philip Harper
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Jeff Hutcherson
Principal Euphonium: Mark Hutcherson
Soprano Cornet: Meirion Davies
Solo Trombone: Suzie Cherrington
Solo horn: Dave Altham
Flugel horn: Andrew King
Solo Baritone: Tim Jones
Eb Tuba: Kate James

Appearances: 8th time
Debut: 1988
Best Result: 5th (1991)
Last Year: DNQ
2005 Qualification: 2nd place at Welsh Regional Championships conducted by Bryan Hurdley

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: DNQ
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: 19th  (Alan Morrison) (9)
1997: DNQ
1996: DNQ
1995: DNQ
1994: 12th  (David Maplestone) (9)
1993: 10th  (Melvin White) (21)

Overall Record:
No Wins:
1 Fifth: 1991
6 Unplaced: 1988 (14th), 1989 (21st), 1990 (5th), 1993 (10th), 1994 (12th), 1998 (19th)

Form Guide:
Pontins: 10th
Scottish Open: 9th
Senior Cup: 5th
Masters: 16th

Nice to see BTM (Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen to give them their full title) back at the Royal Albert Hall after a period of seven long years away when they have had to watch their traditional rivals of BAYV and Tredegar do very well here.

In the last couple of years especially they have rebuilt with a combination of some older heads and some exciting new talent and that combination finally paid off when they came runners up at the Welsh Championships in Swansea. That was a fully justified result and they have since gone on to put in solid if rather unspectacular progress at the Masters and Senior Cup. 

They made their debut here back in 1988 under James Gourlay no less, and had a best result of 5th on ‘Energy' under Melvin White in 1991 when they were in the middle of their most productive contesting spell in their short history.  They return a much stronger band than on their last appearance here and with talented players coupled with an MD who should bring the best out of them, they could well feature more highly than people may think.

BAYV logoBuy As You View
Dr. Robert Childs
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Ian Williams
Principal Euphonium: David Childs
Soprano Cornet: Michelle Ibbotson
Solo Trombone: Chris Thomas
Solo horn: Owen Farr
Flugel horn: Joanne Deane
Solo Baritone: Susan Thomas
Eb Tuba: Gavin Saynor

Appearances: 44th time
Debut: 1924
Best Result: 5 Wins
Last Year: 4th
2005 Qualification: Winners Welsh Regional Championships (Pre-qualified) conducted by Dr. Robert Childs

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: 4th (Robert Childs) (20)
2003: 3rd (Robert Childs) (12)
2002: 2nd (Robert Childs) (9)
2001: 5th (Robert Childs) (13)
2000: Winners (Robert Childs) (12)
1999: DNQ
1998: 6th (Jeremy Wise) (17)
1997: 6th (Jeremy Wise) (11)
1996: DNQ
1995: DNQ
1994: 14th (Michael Antrobus) (2)
1993: DNQ

Overall Record:
Wins: 5 times - 1974, 1982, 1983, 1984, 2000
Second place: 3 times - 1948, 1979, 2002
Third place: 2 times – 1971, 2003:
Fourth place: 1 time - 2004
Fifth place: 3 times - 1972, 1986, 2001
Sixth place: 6 times - 1949, 1952, 1967, 1976, 1997, 1998
Unplaced: 23 times – 1924 (N/K), 1945 (N/K), 1950 (N/K), 1951 (N/K), 1956 (N/K), 1959 (N/K), 1960 (N/K), 1961 (N/K), 1962 (N/K), 1963 (N/K), 1964 (N/K), 1965 (N/K), 1966 (N/K), 1968 (N/K), 1973 (N/K), 1975 (11th), 1977 (17th), 1978 (=7th), 1980 (6th), 1981 (=13th), 1988 (18th), 1992 (9th), 1994 (14th)

Form Guide:
European Championships: 2nd
Masters: 2nd
British Open: 2nd

If any band has managed to beat BAYV come results time this Saturday it will be a good bet that they may be crowned National Champions. 2005 has been a year so far as the perennial bridesmaid (apart from the Welsh Championships), but surely it is only a matter of time before they go one step further and pick up another major title.

At the European and the Masters they were not quite on tip top form, but at the Open they were frighteningly brilliant and only missed the title by a hairs breath. This will have fuelled them up further we suspect and with a piece that will certainly suit them they could well round the year off without being left with another runners up bouquet. 

Chester le StreetTavistock Chester–le-Street Riverside
Ian Robinson
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Tony Thompson
Principal Euphonium: Jamie Beeston
Soprano Cornet: Matthew Cairns
Solo Trombone: John Bell
Solo horn: Michael Duncan
Flugel horn: Stuart Jackson
Solo Baritone: Malcolm Hill
Eb Tuba: Martin Humphries

Appearances: Debut
Debut: 2005
Best Result: N/A
Last Year:
2005 Qualification: 2nd place at North of England Regional Championships conducted by Ian Robinson.

Last 12 Years:
The band makes its debut at the contest this year.

Form Guide:
No other major contests entered in 2005

Tavistock Chester-le-Street Riverside may not be a name to trip off the tongue with ease at present, but if they maintain the upward march to success as they showed at the North of England Regional Championships where they came runners-up to Reg Vardy then it won't be long before it will.

The band were originally formed as the Pelton Fell Colliery Band in 1877 and competed with varying degrees of success under that name until 1966. When the future was looking bleak indeed, a lifeline was thrown to them in the form of Newcastle Breweries and their most famous product – Newcastle Brown Ale. The band took the name and enjoyed success until the sponsorship ended in 2002.

A further name chance to Chester-le-Street (after the rehearsal facilities at the Durham Cricket ground) before in 2005 Tavistock Leisure gave sponsorship and the addition to the title.

That seems to have given them the boost they have needed and it all came together at Darlington where they produced one of the shocks of the Regionals in gaining second place and the coveted qualification spot here. Now the real hard work begins, but we are sure they are set to enjoy every minute of it.  

CwmamanCwmaman Institute (Tower Colliery)
John Hudson
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Cornet: Tim Malpas
Principal Euphonium: Gareth Maidment
Soprano Cornet: Stephen Barnsley
Solo Trombone: Steve Howells
Solo horn: Karen Fletcher
Flugel horn: Rhian Hills
Solo Baritone: Steve Stonelake
Eb Tuba: Jeremy Rugman

Appearances: 2nd time
Debut: 2004
Best Result: 18th
Last Year: 18th
2005 Qualification: 3rd place at Welsh Regional Championships conducted by John Hudson

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: 18th (John Hudson) (6)

Did not qualify for the finals before 2004

Overall Record:
Unplaced: 1 time – 2004 (18th)

Form Guide:
Yeovil: 3rd
Grand Shield: 12th

The continued rise of Cwmaman continues with their second successive appearance at the National Finals. After losing their place at the Open in 2004 it has taken a great deal of hard work and plenty of character to return in such fine form in 2005.

Yeovil was an entertainingly spirited result and whilst they couldn't manage to reclaim their place back at the Open at the Grand Shield, there was plenty of evidence on show that the rebuilding process was well under way. They come here much more confident than twelve months ago, and it isn't misplaced, and a top 10 place could be seen as a very realistic proposition.  

Desford CollieryDesford Colliery
Nigel Seaman
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Dave Smith
Principal Euphonium: Mike Kilroy
Soprano Cornet: Martin Britt
Solo Trombone: Mark Horton
Solo horn: Murray Borthwick
Flugel horn: Brian Winter
Solo Baritone: Kate Williams
Eb Tuba: Ola Ness

Appearances: 21st time
Debut: 1976
Best Result: 4 Wins
Last Year: DNQ
2005 Qualification: 2nd place at Midlands Regional Championships conducted by Peter Parkes

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: DNQ
2003: 10th (Major Peter Parkes) (6)
2002: 8th (Major Peter Parkes) (13)
2001: DNQ
2000: 11th (Major Peter Parkes) (11)
1999: DNQ
1998: 15th (Frank Renton) (19)
1997: DNQ
1996: 10th (Bramwell Tovey) (3)
1995: 3rd (Major Peter Parkes) (2)
1994: DNQ
1993: 21st (Stephen Roberts) (3)

Overall Record:
Wins: 4 times - 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990
Second place: 2 times - 1985, 1992
Third place: 1 time - 1995
Unplaced: 13 times – 1976 (9th), 1977 (10th), 1979 (13th), 1980 (7th), 1982 (7th), 1984 (7th), 1986 (11th), 1993 (21st), 1996 (10th), 1998 (15th), 2000 (11th), 2002 (8th), 2003 (10th)

Form Guide:
Butlins Mineworkers: 4th
British Open: 16th

Desford are the one band here who have the undoubted ability to spring a very major surprise as player for player they have as much talent dotted around the stand as any of the more fancied contenders.

Much will depend on the six inch gap between their ears though, as mentally being drawn number 1 at the British Open seemed to result in a pretty non descript effort which may lead them into troubled waters next year if they don't improve. They are such a good band on their day, as has been shown here in the past, and under a very clever MD in Nigel Seaman they could be well worth an outside bet for a top 10 place or a stab at a top 6 place if the mood (and draw) is with them.   

Fairey FP MusicFairey FP (Music) Band
Simon Stonehouse
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Cornet: Steve Wilkinson
Principal Euphonium: Mark Howcroft
Soprano Cornet: Rebecca Crawshaw
Solo Trombone: Kevin Gibbs
Solo horn: Chris Pannell
Flugel horn: Lucy Murphy
Solo Baritone: Rob Richardson
Eb Tuba: Richard Evans

Appearances: 43rd time
Debut: 1945
Best Result: 9 wins
Last Year: 10th
2005 Qualification: 2nd place at North West Regional Championships conducted by Peter Parkes

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: 10th (David Evans) (19)
2003: Winners (Allan Withington) (19)
2002: Winners (Allan Withington) (14)
2001: 4th (Howard Snell) (2)
2000: 8th (James Gourlay) (9)
1999: 5th (James Gourlay) (14)
1998: 3rd (James Gourlay) (16)
1997: 2nd (James Gourlay) (13)
1996: 4th (James Gourlay) (7)
1995: 8th (Ray Farr) (3)
1994: 2nd (Major Peter Parkes) (5)
1993: Winners (Major Peter Parkes) (9)

Overall Record:
Wins: 9 times - 1945, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1965, 1986, 1993, 2002, 2003
Second place: 4 times - 1946, 1947, 1994, 1997
Third place: 5 times - 1966, 1978, 1980, 1992, 1998
Fourth place: 4 times - 1984, 1987, 1996, 2001
Fifth place: 4 times - 1962, 1975, 1988, 1999
Sixth place: 6 times - 1953, 1958, 1959, 1982, 1990, 1991
Unplaced: 10 times – 1948 (N/K), 1955 (N/K), 1957 (N/K), 1963 (N/K), 1972 (N/K), 1979 (15th), 1983 (8th), 1995 (8th), 2000 (8th), 2004 (10th)

Form Guide:
British Open: 4th

The renaissance band. Given the low ebb Faireys found themselves in just over a year ago, the recovery through sheer hard work and the inspired selection of talented young players to mix with some older heads has proved that they are very nearly back to the type of strength that made them double champions here just a couple of years ago.

That was thrillingly confirmed at the Open with a mature performance under the direction of Simon Stonehouse, and that could well be the springboard to see them challenge for the top honours here this time around. Not quite perhaps ready for another win, but more than capable of a podium place if they bring the form of Birmingham to the stage at the Albert Hall.

Grimethorpe Grimethorpe Colliery UK Coal
Allan Withington
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Richard Marshall
Principal Euphonium: Michael Dodd
Soprano Cornet: Kevin Crockford
Solo Trombone: Richard Brown
Solo horn: Sandy Smith
Flugel horn: Ian Shires
Solo Baritone: Robert Archer
Eb Tuba: Shaun Crowther

Appearances: 26th time
Debut: 1962
Best Result: 2 wins
Last Year: DNQ
2005 Qualification: Winners at Yorkshire Regional Championships conducted by Richard Evans

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: 7th  (James Gourlay) (11)
2001: DNQ
2000: 10th (Garry Cutt) (2)
1999: DNQ
1998: DNQ
1997: 7th   (Major Peter Parkes) (8)
1996: 2nd  (Major Peter Parkes) (19)
1995: DNQ
1994: DNQ
1993: 4th  (Frank Renton) (17)

Overall Record:
Wins: 2 times - 1970, 1992
Second place: 3 times - 1974, 1977, 1996
Third place: 3 times - 1972, 1978, 1991
Fourth place: 6 times - 1962, 1967, 1969, 1980, 1983, 1993
Fifth place: 1 time – 1976
Sixth place: 1 time – 1964
Unplaced: 9 times – 1963 (N/K), 1968 (N/K), 1973 (N/K), 1981 (=10th), 1984 (10th), 1989 (9th), 1997 (7th), 2000 (10th), 2002 (7th)

Form Guide:
British Open: 12th

If there was a bad luck award to have been given at the British Open then Grimethorpe would have won it hands down. After a quite brilliant performance early doors many had them in the frame, only to be shocked to find out that they hadn't even made the top 10.  It was incomprehensible.

So what lies in store at London then? More of the same, or with the proven Albert expert at the helm, a chance to regain the old trophy for the first time since 1992. Perhaps neither, as Grimethorpe for all their brilliance don't tend to enjoy the more modern contesting works (unlike the more modern concert stuff they have done). However, never underestimate a bunch of very proud Yorkshiremen, and with Mr Withington to inspire them, they could in line for an overdue Nationals victory – given a bit of overdue luck. 

Russell Gray
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Andrew Lord
Principal Euphonium: Bill Miller
Soprano Cornet: Ian Twiss
Solo Trombone: Runar Valheim Vaernes
Solo horn: Martin Armstrong
Flugel horn: Janet Lewis
Solo Baritone: Jeff Lewis
Eb Tuba: Chris Doran

Appearances: 20th time
Debut: 1981
Best Result: 3rd (1984)
Last Year: 16th
2005 Qualification: Winners of North West Regional Championships conducted by Russell Gray

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: 16th (Garry Cutt) (13)
2003: 17th (Garry Cutt) (5)
2002: 15th (Garry Cutt) (6)
2001: 6th (Garry Cutt) (8)
2000: 14th (Howard Snell) (16)
1999: 10th (Richard Evans) (6)
1998: 8th (Richard Evans) (4)
1997: DNQ
1996: 7th (Richard Evans) (9)
1995: 5th (Richard Evans) (5)
1994: 7th (Richard Evans) (6)
1993: 5th (Richard Evans) (4)

Overall Record:
Third place: 1 time - 1984
Fourth place: 1 time - 1990
Fifth place: 2 times - 1993, 1995
Sixth place: 1 time – 2001
Unplaced: 14 times 1981 (=10th), 1982 (8th), 1985 (8th), 1987 (9th), 1991 (7th), 1994 (7th), 1996 (7th), 1998 (8th), 1999 (10th), 2000 (14th), 2002 (15th), 2003 (17th), 2004 (16th)

Form Guide:
Grand Shield: 15th

For all the well reported problems that have beset Leyland in the past few years, they have responded quite magnificently in the face of adversity – none more so when they retained their North West Regional title at Blackpool.

This time they have had the added bonus of an early prezzie from the Easter Bunny, as Cadbury's have sent them a chocolate egg full of cash to help pay for their trip to the Finals in style. The last few years have been pretty non descript results wise here, and they didn't have a great day out at the Grand Shield, but they cannot be ignored, especially with the talent they have in the ranks and an MD with a fine record here and the knack of springing a few surprises wherever he goes.

Raymond Tennant
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Angus Edmond
Principal Euphonium: Neil Philip
Soprano Cornet: Graham Williamson
Solo Trombone: Alex Philip
Solo horn: Kevin Smith
Flugel horn: John Philip
Solo Baritone: James Murray
Principal Percussionist: Paul McGrath

Appearances: 7th time
Debut: 1981
Best Result: 4th (1991)
Last Year: DNQ
2005 Qualification: Winners of Scottish Regional Championships conducted by Allan Ramsey

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: DNQ
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: DNQ
1997: DNQ
1996: DNQ
1995: 15th  (Derek Braodbent) (9)
1994: 15th  (Derek Braodbent) (15)
1993: DNQ

Form Guide:
Scottish Open: 15th
Senior Cup: 18th

Newtongrange return to the Royal Albert Hall for the first time in a decade after winning the Scottish Regional Championships and creating a bit history into the bargain. That win meant they were the first band to win the top section immediately after winning the section below – the only time it has been done in the 100 years of the championship being run.

That win should put them in good heart after they suffered somewhat at the Senior Cup in Blackpool where they could only manage a disappointing 18th place and were relegated for 2006.

The loss of Allan Ramsey their MD to Scottish Co-op was also a blow, but they have engaged the experienced Raymond Tennant in his place and they will all be hoping that this reuniting of the combination that resulted in them coming 4th at the 1991 Finals can work again. Maybe not this time around, but we will wait and see.  

Redbridge Brass
Melvin White
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Cornet: Ralph Brill
Principal Euphonium: Lisa James
Soprano Cornet: Jonathan Hammond
Solo Trombone: Su Cordiner
Solo horn: Ruth Miller
Flugel horn: Alan Roberts
Solo Baritone: Andrew Richards
Eb Tuba: David Stokes

Appearances: 11th time
Debut: 1988
Best Result: 11th (2002)
Last Year: 12th
2005 Qualification: Winners of London and Southern Counties Regional Championships conducted by Melvin White

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: 12th (Melvin White) (3)
2003: 15th (Melvin White) (20)
2002: 11th (Melvin White) (15)
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: 20th (Melvin White) (12)
1997: 18th (Graham Wilson) (16)
1996: 13th (Graham Wilson) (10)
1995: DNQ
1994: DNQ
1993: DNQ

Overall Record:
Unplaced: 10 times 1988 (19th), 1990 (18th), 1991 (18th), 1992 (19th), 1996 (13th), 1997 (18th), 1998 (20th), 2002 (11th), 2003 (15th), 2004 (12th)

Form Guide:
Butlins Mineworkers: 3rd
Grand Shield: 16th
Masters: 10th

Can they or can't they? Redbridge has shown that they are more than capable enough of holding their own here in the past few years, but can they just up their form to push themselves into the top 10 for the first time.

They seem to promise as much, but just fade away when it is within their grasp (as was shown at the Masters and Grand Shield this year). They have the talented players and a very crafty and experienced MD who really does bring out the best from his resources, but will that be enough this year to finally give them a single figure result? This could be their best chance ever. 

Reg Vardy logoReg Vardy 
Ray Farr
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Bryan Tait
Principal Euphonium: Paul Robinson
Soprano Cornet: Tom Glendinning
Solo Trombone: Chris Bentham
Solo horn: Andrew Hall
Flugel horn: Joanne Winspear
Solo Baritone: Jim Thompson
Eb Tuba: Steve Malcolm

Appearances: 38th time
Debut: 1963 as Craghead Colliery, 1969 as Ever Ready
Best Result: 3rd (2004)
Last Year: 3rd
2005 Qualification: Winners of North of England Regional Championships conducted by Ray Farr.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: 3rd (Ray Farr) (18)
2003: 12th (Ray Farr) (15)
2002: 9th (Ray Farr) (8)
2001: DNQ
2000: 13th (Stephen Roberts) (3)
1999: 19th (Robert Childs) (8)
1998: DNQ
1997: 5th (Stephen Roberts) (10)
1996: DNQ
1995: 19th (Alan Exley) (12)
1994: 16th (Alan Exley) (4)
1993: 17th (Geoffrey Whitham) (16)

Overall Record:
Third place: 1 time - 2004
Fourth place: 1 time - 1976
Fifth place: 2 times - 1982, 1997
Sixth: 3 times -1970, 1973, 1988
Unplaced: 30 times – 1963 (N/K), 1964 (N/K), 1965 (N/K), 1966 (N/K), 1967 (N/K), 1968 (N/K), 1969 (N/K), 1972 (N/K), 1974  (=11th), 1975 (7th), 1977 (7th), 1978 (9th), 1979 (9th), 1980 (11th), 1981 (16th), 1984 (11th), 1985 (12th), 1986 (12th), 1987 (13th), 1989 (17th), 1990 (14th), 1991 (8th), 1992 (16th), 1993 (17th), 1994 (16th), 1995 (19th), 1999 (19th), 2000 (13th), 2002 (9th), 2003 (12th)

Form Guide:
Masters: 6th
World Championships: 5th
British Open: 9th

Last year Reg Vardy could count themselves perhaps a tad unlucky not to have won the Nationals itself, but that was then, and this is now. 2004 was a great year for the band, and although they have performed well in 2005, they quite haven't as yet touched the same heights.

They were good at the Masters, not so good at the World Championships and about par for the course at the Open. Have we already seen the best of Reg Vardy, or have they got it in them to repeat or better their performance here last year. It could be one well worth listening out for.  

St. Austell
David Loukes
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Hannah Hawkin
Principal Euphonium: Kevin Ackford
Soprano Cornet: Rachel Whittaker
Solo Trombone: Graham Hooper
Solo horn: Graham Barker
Flugel horn: Leanne Osbourne
Solo Baritone: Roger Nicholls
Eb Tuba: Dave Coad

Appearances: 4th time
Debut: 1972
Best Result: 6th (1987)
Last Year: DNQ
2005 Qualification: 2nd place at West of England Regional Championships conducted by David Loukes

Last 12 Years:
The band last qualified for the Finals in 1987

Overall Record:
No Wins:
1 Sixth: 1987
2 Unplaced: 1972 (N/K), 1974 (=15th)

Form Guide:
Pontins: 18th
Yeovil: 12th

Another band making a welcome return to the National Finals after a long break away – this time 18 years since St. Austell last graced the stage here. In 1987 they came a very creditable 6th place under the direction of Derek Greenwood, but after then the band went through some poor times, including a period when they battled in the lower sections.

The secret of the return though must be the way in which a succession of Musical Directors and David Loukes in particular has encouraged a production line of fine young playing talent. At first it was a trickle, but now it has become a torrent and the outcome is a band here made up of over 50% of players who have come through their own ranks.

That all came to a head this year when they picked up the coveted runners up spot at Torquay ahead of many more fancied rivals, and that showed that a couple of poor results at Yeovil and Pontins were behind them. How they will cope on the return to the big stage will be character forming to say the least, but with such spirit and determination, fine leadership and resolve, you can bet that now they have the taste for it they will want to return for more.

Whitburn logoWhitburn
Andrew Duncan
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Eleanor Ferguson
Principal Euphonium: Evelyn Bradley
Soprano Cornet: Scott Forrest
Solo Trombone: Mark Boyd
Solo horn: Iain Fleming
Flugel horn: Jim Chamberlain
Solo Baritone: Katrina Marzella
Eb Tuba: Graham Fraser

Appearances: 25th time
Debut: 1968
Best Result: 3rd (1981 and 1989)
Last Year: 8th
2005 Qualification: 2nd place at Scottish Regional Championships conducted by Andrew Duncan.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: 8th (Andrew Duncan) (2)
2003: DNQ
2002: 10th (Phillip McCann) (19)
2001: 8th (Phillip McCann) (6)
2000: DNQ
1999: 9th (Phillip McCann) (9)
1998: 13th (Major Peter Parkes) (10)
1997: 11th (Richard Adams) (3)
1996: 17th (Chris Houlding) (5)
1995: DNQ
1994: DNQ
1993: 8th (Phillip McCann) (15)

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Third place: 2 times - 1981, 1989
Fifth place: 2 times -1990, 1991
Unplaced: 20 times – 1968 (N/K), 1971 (N/K), 1972 (N/K), 1974 (=13th), 1975 (=16th), 1976 (20th), 1977 (19th), 1980 (18th), 1982 (10th), 1986 (7th), 1987 (17th), 1992 (11th), 1993 (8th), 1996 (17th), 1997 (11th), 1998 (13th), 1999 (9th), 2001 (8th), 2002 (10th), 2004 (8th)

Form Guide:
Scottish Open: 3rd
European Championship: 8th
British Open: 11th

A sense of frustration for Whitburn it seems in 2005. 2004 promised so much, but so far 2005 has been a series of ‘not quite's'. It started at the Regionals when a comfortable victory was let slip, whilst at the European they tried too hard to blow their way into the prizes when all they had to do was concentrate on what they did best – produce a wonderful warm and balanced sound to compliment their technical and musical qualities.

That seemed to surface again at the Open where 11th place was about par for a performance that could and should have been better, so they come here looking to finally play to form and gain at least the top 6 place that is well within their capabilities. You have to go back to 1991 for the last time they did that, but if they can remember to play to their strengths and not try to copy others, they could be a dark horse.  

SovereignWoolley Pritchard Sovereign Brass
Steve Bastable
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: David Maplestone
Principal Euphonium: Mark Hadlington
Soprano Cornet: Alan Thomas
Solo Trombone: Carl Fletcher
Solo horn: Robert Allen
Flugel horn: Claire Mumford
Solo Baritone: Annabel Whitmore
Eb Tuba: Phil Green

Appearances: 2nd time
Debut: 1992
Best Result: 12th (1992)
Last Year: DNQ
2005 Qualification: Winners Midlands Regional Championships conducted by Trevor Jones

Last 12 Years:
The band made their only appearance at the Finals in 1992

Overall Record:
No Wins:
1 Unplaced: 1992 (12th)

Form Guide:
Senior Cup: 3rd

The Sovereign returns back to London. It sounds a bit naff we know, but after a period of 13 years away, Woolley Pritchard Sovereign Brass return back to the National Finals. In 1992, under H. McNeil they came a creditable 12th place, but instead of building on that they couldn't quite return – until now.

It isn't a surprise return either, as in the past 12 months or more they have shown excellent and improving form. They secured a second successive promotion closer to the British Open when they came 3rd at the Senior Cup. Add to that some very good signings and you have a band that could well make a mark here, especially as they have struck up a good relationship with the musical Steve Bastable. Ones to watch out for?

YBS BandYBS Band
Professor David King
4BR Ranking:

Principal Cornet: Stuart Lingard
Principal Euphonium: Morgan Griffiths
Soprano Cornet: Alan Hobbins
Solo Trombone: Johnathan Beatty
Solo horn: Sheona White
Flugel horn: Iwan Williams
Solo Baritone: Mike Howley
Eb Tuba: Ken Ferguson

Appearances: 18th time
Debut: 1957 (as Hammonds Sauce)
Best Result: 2nd (1995, 1998, 2004)
Last Year: 2nd
2005 Qualification: 3rd place at Yorkshire Regional Championships (Pre-qualified) conducted by Professor David King.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2004: 2nd (David King) (7)
2003: DNQ
2002: 6th (David King) (17)
2001: 3rd (David King) (18)
2000: 17th (David King) (17)
1999: 8th (David King) (1)
1998: 2nd (David King) (7)
1997: DNQ
1996: 5th (David King) (1)
1995: 2nd (David King) (11)
1994: 3rd (David King) (8)
1993: DNQ

Overall Record:
Second place: 3 times -1995, 1998, 2004 
Third place: 2 times -1994, 2001
Fourth place: 1 time - 1972
Fifth place: 1 time - 1996
Sixth place: 2 times - 1979, 2002
Unplaced: 8 times - 1957 (N/K), 1968 (N/K), 1969 (N/K), 1975 (8th), 1976 (=13th),  1980 (14th), 1999 (8th), 2000 (17th)

Form Guide:
British Open: 3rd

Could this be the year when YBS finally put the ghost of the Albert Hall to rest? It seems though that we have been saying that for such a long time now, that it has become like Jimmy White and his quest for a World Championship at snooker. This is the MD's 13th chance, so could his luck be finally in?

The record suggests they should be there or thereabouts once more, but even thought they played very well at the Open in all honesty they didn't do enough to really suggest they were going to win. If they are to win then they will have to just up their game a bit more from there, whilst if they do, it could well provide the band and their MD with a fitting climax to their long association together.


2016   2015   2014   2013   2012
2011   2010   2009   2008   2007
2006   2005   2004 (1)   2004 (2)   2003
2002   2001