2006 Yorkshire Regional Championships - Championship Section


A fantastic contest is in prospect here as the 14 bands tackle Journey to the Centre of the Earth and try and claim one of the two extra qualification places on offer in addition to those already allocated to Black Dyke and Grimethorpe.

Date: Sunday 5th March
Adjudicators: David Read and James Scott
Test Piece: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Commences: 17.30
Draw: 16.00 

Nick ChildsBlack Dyke
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking: 1

Last Ten Years:
2005: 2nd  (N. Childs)
2004: 2nd (N. Childs)
2003: 13th (N. Childs)
2002: Winners (N. Childs)
2001: Winners (N. Childs)
2000: 3rd (J. Watson)
1999: 7th
1998: Winners
1997: 5th
1996: DNC

Now that the 150th year pressures are off, it should be all back to the usual run of the mill stuff for Black Dyke. Some new faces make their contesting debut and they will be hoping to make their mark and continue where last year left off.

Dyke hasn't won here since 2002 and an inspired Grimethorpe beat them last time out. Cynics may suggest that with the test piece things are biased in their favour, but that would be a fallacy: It just means extra pressure – but that is what they thrive on isn't it?  

James GourlayBrighouse & Rastrick
James Gourlay
4BR Ranking: 7

Last Ten Years:
2005: 4th (J. Gourlay)
2004: 3rd (J. Gourlay)
2003: Winners  (I. McElligott)
2002: 3rd (A. Withington)
2001: 3rd (A. Withington)
2000: 5th (A. Withington)
1999: 2nd
1998: 7th
1997: Winners
1996: 2nd

A fine record of achievement here over the years for Brighouse and they will be looking to add to their total of 15 Regional titles under the baton of James Gourlay.

On their day they can be electrifying, but they also have their not so great days too. Last year they certainly went for it in a different way on ‘Rienzi', and it will be interesting how they approach this test piece. The potential is there for a clear cut win, but they may have to be content with a qualification place instead.

Allan RamsayCarlton Main Frickley Colliery
Allan Ramsay
4BR Ranking: 23

Last Ten Years:
2005: 8th (B. Grant)
2004: 8th (W. Rushworth)
2003: 10th (W. Rushworth)
2002: 9th (J. Hinckley)
2001: 10th (J. Hinckley)
2000: 10th (J. Hinckley)
1999: Winners
1998: 9th
1997: 4th
1996: 11th

Carlton Main should approach this year's Regional Championships with a high degree of confidence after their performances in Butlins earlier this year. They are a band that has been building in the right direction for some time now and Allan Ramsay will certainly have them well prepared. 

Not a great record here over the past few years, but they have won in 1999. It may be asking a bit much of them this time to do that again, but they will certainly be looking for a top six place at least.  

ALan WihtingtonGrimethorpe Colliery (U.K.Coal)
Allan Withington
4BR Ranking: 4

Last Ten Years:
2005: Winners (R. Evans)
2004: 5th (F. Renton)
2003: 5th  (J. Gourlay)
2002: 2nd (J. Gourlay)
2001: 4th (G. Cutt)
2000: 2nd (G. Cutt)
1999: DNC
1998: 3rd
1997: DNC
1996: Winners

Last year Grimey were inspired under the baton of Richard Evans and on a test piece that suited them down to the ground. Not so sure about this one this time though, although they certainly have the personnel to thrill the pants off everyone in the hall.  

They have been playing very well of late too, and Allan Withington is a class act. If the lads like the piece (it is all about digging about underground isn't it?) then they could well retain their title.  

Simon WoodHade Edge (J & E Dickinson)
Simon Wood
4BR Ranking: 163

Last Ten Years:
2005: 13th (S. Wood)
2004: 5th First Section (prom) (S. Wood)
2003: 2nd (S. Wood)
2002: Winners 2nd Section (prom) (S. Wood)
2001: 2nd 2nd Section (S. Wood)
2000: 11th 2nd Section (S. Wood)
1999: 9th (rel)
1998: 10th
1997: 5th
1996: 4th

Simon Wood is a very talented conductor and can bring the best out of descriptive scores such as this one (even with arm in a sling and without music, as he has done in the past). If the players can overcome the obvious technical pitfalls and play with confidence they may well hold their own again, and as they showed last year, there is talent within the ranks to do so.

They are up against a very strong field though, so they will have to be on the very top of their game to make sure they take at least a few scalps.  

Graham OConnorHatfield Main
Graham O'Connor
4BR Ranking: 74

Last Ten Years:
2005: Winners of First Section (prom) (G. O'Connor)
2004: Winners of First Section (G. O'Connor)
2003: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (G. O'Connor)
2002: 5th (G. O'Connor)
2001: 7th (G. O'Connor)
2000: Winners 3rd Section (prom) (G. O'Connor)
1999: 8th (rel)
1998: 6th
1997: 11th
1996: 9th

Double First Section winners and a band that has made significant progress in recent years, putting in solid no nonsense performances under the baton of Graham O' Connor wherever they go.

It is a big step up in class though, especially here and they will need to be playing at the very edge of their abilities to make a mark and take more than a couple of scalps. If they can squeeze into the top ten it will be a major achievement given the standard of the opposition. 

Mark BenthamHepworth (Persimmon Homes)
Mark Bentham
4BR Ranking: 15

Last Ten Years:
2005: 5th (M. Bentham)
2004: 9th (M. Bentham)
2003: 11th (M. Bentham)
2002: 5th (M. Bentham)
2001: 9th (A. Duncan)
2000: 9th (N. Law)
1999: 5th
1998: 5th First Section (prom)
1997: 3rd First Section
1996: 3rd First Section

Hepworth were excellent here last year and could count themselves a little unlucky not to have just crept into the qualification frame. That set them up for a very good year, but it was one that did take as lot out of them and they sounded a touch tired and jaded come Brass in Concert.

Mark Bentham has brought a great spirit to the band through his leadership and you can be sure they will be thoroughly well prepared once more. A bit of a dark horse last year, but real contenders this time around if they have continued to improve.      

Innovate Skelmanthorpe
Alan Exely
4BR Ranking: 84

Last Ten Years:
2005: 12th (J. Hinckley)
2004: 10th (K. Wadsworth)
2003: 7th  (K. Wadsworth)
2002: 11th (K. Wadsworth)
2001: 5th (K. Wadsworth)
2000: 11th (S. Fawcett)
1999: 3rd First Section (prom)
1998: 4th First Section
1997: 6th First Section
1996: 5th First Section

A little bit up and down here for Skelmanthorpe, although they are more than capable of holding their own against quality bands. They have come as high as 5th in 2001 and 7th in 2003, but last year they just fell off the pace somewhat to come in 12th under John Hinckley in a performance that took some notable risks.

Alan Exely makes a welcome return to top line banding to lead them this year, but they will have to up the ante of they are not to fall further down the pack and flirt with possible relegation.   

Norman LawOld Silkstone
Norman Law
4BR Ranking: 126

Last Ten Years:
2005: 4th in First Section (prom) (N. Law)
2004: 3rd (N. Law)
2003: Winners Second Section (prom) (N. Law)
2002: 7th (N. Law)
2001: 3rd (N. Law)
2000: 7th (N. Law)
1999: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
1998: 5th 3rd Section
1997: 7th 3rd Section
1996: DNC

Could promotion to the top section come a year too late for Old Silkstone? Two years ago they sounded like a Championship band in waiting, but last year even though they continued to make progress didn't really set them apart from the rest of the good solid bands in the First Section.

We may be proved wrong, but the leap up is a big one to this level and it will take a great deal of character for them to make their mark at this contest this time out.  

Dave RobertsRothwell Temperance
David Roberts
4BR Ranking: 17

Last Ten Years:
2005: 7th (D. Roberts)
2004: 6th (D. Roberts)
2003: 4th (D. Roberts)
2002: 7th (D. Roberts)
2001: 8th (D. Roberts)
2000: 8th (D. Roberts)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners First Section
1997: 2nd First Section
1996: Winners Second Section

A fine record here for Rothwell in the past few years, and the quiet achievers of the banding world should not be overlooked to do very well here this time around.  Their record suggests another well controlled and directed performance may well be on the books, and they certainly have the personnel to creep quietly into the frame without anyone noticing.

Last year they produced an excellent account that wouldn't have been too far off the top prizes in just about any area and if they can do that again here another top six place or more should be within their grasp. 

Philip McCannSellers International
Phillip McCann
4BR Ranking: 10

Last Ten Years:
2005: 6th (P. McCann)
2004: 4th (P. McCann)
2003: 3rd (P. McCann)
2002: 6th (P. McCann)
2001: 12th (A. Exley)
2000: 6th (A. Exley)
1999: 4th
1998: 6th
1997: 6th
1996: Joint 6th

Sellers could well be the darkest of horses here this year, although in the past couple of years they just haven't had that extra touch of class about them to make it into the qualification places.

It won't be for the lack of preparation though with the MD meticulous in his research and Sellers do have a number of excellent solo performers in the right places to make the most of their opportunities to shine on this piece. If it clicks for them, then London could well beckon.  

David HirstStocksbridge
David Hirst
4BR Ranking: 51
Last Ten Years:

2005: 9th (W. Rushworth)
2004: 11th (D. Renshaw)
2003: 2nd  (D. Renshaw)
2002: 14th (D. Renshaw)
2001: Winners First Section (D. Renshaw)
2000: Winners First Section (D. Renshaw)
1999: 12th
1998: DNC
1997: 8th
1996: 4th

The fine result of 2003 seems a long time ago for Stocksbridge, and in the past two years they have held their own without suggesting that a repeat performance was ever on the cards.

David Hirst is the third new MD to take the band here in as many years, and he will be looking to push the band back towards the top six prizes if he possibly can. Solid and unpretentious, Stocksbridge should have enough about them to hold their own again, but no more.  

David KingYBS Band
Professor David King
4BR Ranking: 3

Last Ten Years:
2005: 3rd (D. King)
2004: Winners (D. King)
2003: 6th (D. King)
2002: 4th (D. King)
2001: 2nd (D. King)
2000: Winners (D. King)
1999: 6th
1998: 2nd
1997: 3rd
1996: DNC

This could be the most interesting performance of the whole weekend. YBS have had more changes of late than a drag artist on a stag night, but after hearing them at the RNCM Festival of Brass, they seem to be back to something approaching their thrilling best.  

If they can reproduce that kind of form then look out, but the question remains: Hs David King produced his magic once more, or do they just need a bit more time in the rebuilding process? Wait and see – this one could be a corker.     

Roy CurranYorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel
Roy Curran
4BR Ranking: 32

Last Ten Years:
2005: 2nd in First Section (prom) (C. Houlding)
2004: 13th Championship Section (rel) (D. Evans)
2003: 9th (D. Evans)
2002: 8th (D. Evans)
2001: 7th (T. Wyss)
2000: 7th (T. Wyss)
1999: 8th
1998: 5th
1997: 10th
1996: 5th

The National Champions – of the First Section that is. Don't be put off that the Imps have been doing the business of late in the equivalent of the UEFA Cup, they are a Championship Section band in every department.

Big, bold and extremely well led, they will not be out of place here and could well spring a surprise or two if things go their way.  More than capable of ‘houlding' their own – if you can forgive the pun, and the fact that Roy Curran is taking them this time. Back where they belong so the band tell us, and we think they may be right.  

Past Qualifiers:

2005: Grimethorpe Colliery, Black Dyke*, YBS*, Brighouse and Rastrick
2004: Yorkshire Building Society, Black Dyke*, Brighouse and Rastrick*
2003: Brighouse and Rastrick, Asda Stocksbridge, Black Dyke*
2002: Black Dyke*, Grimethorpe, Brighouse and Rastrick, YBS*
2001: Black Dyke, YBS, Brighouse and Rastrick*
2000: YBS, Grimethorpe Colliery, Brighouse and Rastrick*
1999: Carlton Main, Rothwell Temperance, Brighouse and Rastrick*, YBS*
1998: Black Dyke, YBS, Brighouse and Rastrick*
1997: Brighouse and Rastrick, Wallace Arnold Rothwell, Grimethorpe*
1996: Grimethopre Colliery, Brighouse and Rastrick, Black Dyke*, YBS*
1995: Brighouse and Rastrick, Sellers Engineering, Black Dyke*, Brighouse and Rastrick*
1994: YBS, Black Dyke
1993: DUT Yorkshire Imperial, British Steel Dodworth, Grimethorpe Colliery*
1992: Brighouse and Rastrick, Grimethorpe Colliery
1991: Grimethorpe Colliery, Stocksbridge Engineering, IMI Yorkshire Imperial
1990: Black Dyke, Sellers Engineering, Stocksbridge Engineering
1989: Brighouse and Rastrick, Black Dyke, Grimethorpe Colliery
*Pre Qualified

How Yorkshire bands did in London:

2005: 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th
2004: 1st, 2nd, 14th
2003: 4th, 6th, 13th
2002: 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th
2001: 1st, 3rd, 11th
2000: 4th, 10th, 17th
1999: 2nd, 6th, 8th, 17th
1998: 1st, 2nd, 5th
1997: 1st, 7th, 15th
1996: 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th
1995: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th
1994: 1st, 3rd
1993: 4th 7th, 14th 

4BR Prediction:
What a cracking contest to start the whole race for the National title. There is a whole group of bands that are out to prove to themselves and their supporters that they are not only good enough to qualify for London, but also to get an early season ‘one over' their rivals – right down the prize list.

There is a whole handful of bands that can turn on the class here, so James Scott and David Read will have their work cut out. That said, both these men can tell the difference between the real thing and glossy imitation, so expect the very best bands to come towards the top of the prize list.

With Dyke and Grimethorpe already pre qualified, the real pressure is focused on the rest, although that certainly won't dilute both their desire to come out as winners.

Grimey are sounding very special at the moment and we think they could well retain their title, whilst Dyke should will be there or thereabouts for certain. YBS and Brighouse should have enough about them to claim the remaining two qualification places, although they will be hard pushed we are certain by Sellers, Hepworth with Rothwell and  Carlton Main battling it out as our dark horses.

1. Grimethorpe Colliery (UK Coal)
2. Black Dyke
3. YBS Band
4. Brighouse and Rastrick
5. Sellers International
6. Hepworth (Persimmon Homes)

Dark Horses: Rothwell/ Carlton Main Frickley


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