2006 Midlands Regional Championships - Third Section


A very large field of 19 bands will tackle the joys (and pitfalls) of the story Gilbert Vinter's great test piece.

Saturday 11th March
Adjudicator: Geoffrey Whitham and Alan Hope
Test Piece: Entertainments Gilbert Vinter
Commences: 11.00am
Split Draw: 10.00am & 12.00am

No photo? Please send a JPEG to: 
general@4barsrest.com stating the conductors name, your band, your region and section.

Andy CulshawArrow Valley Brass
Andy Culshaw

Last Ten Years:
2005: 2nd (A. Culshaw)
2004: 17th (A. Culshaw) (rel)
2003: 16th (A. Culshaw)
2002: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)
2001: 5th 3rd Section
2000: 18th (rel)
1999: 13th
1998: 16th
1997: 4th

A tremendous come back result for Arrow Valley here last year when they used the first year back after relegation to show that they had lost none of their fighting spirit. Runners up meant a trip to Harrogate where they came runners up also. Andy Culshaw has used all his experience to great effect and they will be confident of a return journey to the Finals once more we think.  

Avonbank Evesham
N. Smith

Last Ten Years:
2005: 16th (A. McCrae)
2004: 11th (A. McCrae)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 7th Second Section (rel)
2000: 5th
1999: 14th
1998: 15th
1997: 6th

Having not competed here for a couple of years, Avonbank returned in 2004 year with a comfortable placing of 11th  They would have hoped that would have provided them with the springboard to aim higher last year, but unfortunately they ended coming in 16th and they will have to up their form this time around if they are to stave off the threat of relegation.  

Bakewell Silver
M. Wilcockson

Last Ten Years:
2005: 9th (M. Willcockson)
2004: 14th (M. Wilcockson)
2003: 3rd in Fourth Section (prom) (M. Wilcockson)
2002: 6th
2001: 9th
2000: 15th 3rd Section (rel)
1999: 12th 3rd Section
1998: 10th 3rd Section
1997: 17th 3rd Section

The Derbyshire outfit will go to the Regionals moving back in the right direction. Last year's 9th place was the sixth year on year improvement at the Regionals for the band and much of the credit for that must go to the MD. Another step up could well be the order of the day and a top six place should be within their capabilities.  They will have to up their form from Butlins though where they came 9th.  

City of Birmingham
W. Belshaw

Last Ten Years:
2005: 12th (J. Cunningham)
2004: 9th (J. Cunningham)
2003: 10th (S. Platford)
2002: 8th
2001: 20th 2nd Section (rel)
2000: 16th 2nd Section
1999: 19th 2nd Section
1998: 12th 2nd Section
1997: 9th 2nd Section

The past four years have seen City of Birmingham finish in and around the top ten, although last year was their worst in this section since being relegated in 2001. A new man in the middle this time and a return back to the top ten should be the least of their ambitions.  

Fairfield (Buxton)
C. Kitchen

Last Ten Years:
2005: 19th (C. Kitchen)
2004: 13th (C. Kitchen)
2003: 19th (C. Kitchen)
2002: 11th
2001: 19th
2000: 15th
1999: 4th
1998: 4th 3rd Section (prom)
1997: 8th 3rd Section

Fairfield have bounced along around the bottom third of the prize list at the contest for the past few years and they will need a good result this year if they are not to fall through the relegation trap door to the Fourth Section. Let's hope they can do it.  

Andrew DennisKirkby Colliery Welfare
Andrew Dennis

Last Ten Years:
2005: 4th in Fourth Section (prom) (H. Thomas)
2004: 8th (S. Berrill)
2003: 5th (S. Berrill)
2002: 15th (S. Berrill)
2001: 22nd (S. Berrill)
2000: DNC

Kirkby deservedly gained promotion to the Third Section for this year after coming 4th in the Fourth Section last time out. They were a strong band at that level during 2005, but it is a step up in class and they found it a bit tougher at Butlins where they came in 10th place. They will be looking to hold their own then for this year and plan for longer term success.  

Graham JacklinLeicestershire Co-op Snibston Charnwood
Graham Jacklin

Last Ten Years:
2005: 8th (G. Jacklin)
2004: 6th (G. Jacklin)
2003: 16th (G. Jacklin)
2002: 2nd 4th Section (prom)
2001: 10th 4th Section
2000: 12th 4th Section
1999: 17th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

The band with one of the longest names in the banding world are making decent progess under their talented MD and after finding their feet the first year backing the Third Section they have put in two solid performances in the last two years, coming 6th and 8th last time out. They will be aiming higher this time though on the back of a very encouraging 4th place at Butlins. Ones to look out for then? 

Sharon StansfieldLong Eaton Silver Prize
Sharon Stansfield

Last Ten Years:
2005: 4th (S. Stansfield)
2004: 4th (S. Stansfield)
2003: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom) (S. Stansfield)
2002: 3rd
2001: 13th
2000: 17th
1999: 23rd
1998: 16th
1997: 17th

Long Eaton are a busy band and one that puts its activity to good use. Sharon Stansfield has being doing excellent work here and it has shown in the last two years especially where the band has twice just missed out on a podium finish. This year may be the year then when they book a trip to Harrogate and the Finals. 

Malvern Mills & District
M. West

Last Ten Years:
2005: 13th (N. Hall)
2004: 7th (M.West)
2003: 5th (M.West)
2002: 10th
2001: 10th
2000: 2nd 4th Section
1999: 2nd 4th Section
1998: 16th 3rd Section (rel)
1997: 13th 3rd Section

Malvern appear to be going backwards a bit here in the last three years and after coming in the top six in 2003 they have fallen away to come 13th last year. A change of MD may well help the cause but they will have to up the ante if they are to start making a mark once more.  

Roger JepsonMatlock
Roger Jepson

Last Ten Years:
2005: Winners of Fourth Section (prom) (R. Jepson)
2004: 3rd (R. Jepson)
2003: 12th (K. Short)
2002: 18th 3rd Section (rel) (K. Short)
2001: 15th 3rd Section (N/K)
2000: 10th 3rd Section (N/K)
1999: 8th 3rd Section
1998: 9th 3rd Section
1997: DNC

We heard Matlock at Butlins and they were in excellent form when winning the Third Section there. Roger Jepson has done a wonderful job and they won the Fourth Section in some style last year too. That led to a finals place where they came 12th, but they showed that they had improved a great deal since then at the Mineworkers Championships. Sky high confidence then, and we think it would not be misplaced.  

Moulton 77 Brass
Howard Gibbs

Last Ten Years:
2005: 11th in Second Section (rel) (H. Gibbs)
2004: 16th (I. Rainer)
2003: 13th (I. Rainer)
2002: 12th (I. Rainer)
2001: 12th (D.Goswell)
2000: 10th (N/K)
1999: Winners
1998: 9th
1997: 10th

Moulton fell through the trap door last year and after a long spell in the Seocnd Section found themselves here for this year. It doesn't have appeared to have dented their confidence though and it could well be one of those occasions when it does a great deal of good. 3rd place at Butlins was a great start to the year and they will be confident of repeating that here.  Howard Gibbs is the experienced man in the middle and he has in the past led bands in his charge to the qualification places on at least two occassions. If he can do it again here he will have done well indeed.

Mark PhilipsNewhall
Mark Phillips

Last Ten Years:
2005: 15th (M. Phillips)
2004: 2nd Fourth Section (M. Phillips) (prom)
2003: 9th (M. Phillips)
2002: 5th
2001: 8th 3rd Section (rel)
2000: 12th 3rd Section
1999: 16th 3rd Section
1998: 7th 3rd Section
1997: 2nd 4th Section (prom)

Newhall had a great time here in 2004 when they came runners up in the Fourth Section, and they dipped their toes in the Third Section water last year by coming 15th.  That will hopefully set them up to do even better this time around and a strike towards the top ten should be their ambition at least.  

Richard GravesRushden Windmill
R. Graves

Last Ten Years:
2005: 11th (R. Graves)
2004: Winners Fourth Section (R. Graves) (prom)
2003: 4th (R. Graves)
2002: 19th 3rd Section (rel)
2001: 12th 3rd Section
2000: 3rd 3rd Section
1999: 15th 3rd Section
1998: 3rd 3rd Section
1997: 6th 3rd Section

After being relegated to the Fourth Section in 2002, Rushden has bounced back in superb style over the past few years and won the Fourth Section in 2004. That led to promotion and they more than held their own in coming 11th last time out. They have been busy of late and it may stand them in good stead for a crack at a top ten place this time round.   

Graham SuttonSyston
Graham Sutton

Last Ten Years:
2005: 7th (G. Sutton)
2004: 12th (G. Sutton)
2003: 6th (R. Boulter)
2002: 6th
2001: 6th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 6th
1999: 7th
1998: 6th
1997: 6th

A run of more 6's than can be found on Malcolm Nash's bowling average to Garry Sobers (you may have to look that one up folks) has been replaced by a lowly 12th and a hard earned 7th place last year for the band. If they can maintain that improvement thet could well push for a qualification place, but we think it could well be a slight nudge into that number 6 place once more.  

Simon HoggUniversity of Warwick
Simon Hogg

Last Ten Years:
2005: 6th (S. Hogg)
2004: DNC
2003: 10th (S. Hogg)
2002: 15th
2001: DNC
2000: 13th
1999: 4th 3rd Section (prom)
1998: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1997: DNC

A second outing for the lads and lasses from the world of academia who didn't compete here in 2004 (exams or Countdown must have been on). Great to see them in action though and they have been busy of late drumming up student support for the cause. If they have left the studying and got their lips in they should feature in the top half of the class. A 2:1 would be nice wouldn't it? 

West Mercia Constabulary
S. Pritchard-Jones

Last Ten Years:
2005: 5th (S. Pritchard Jones)
2004: 3rd (H. Gibbs)
2003: 12th (H. Gibbs)
2002: 4th
2001: 3rd 4th Section (prom)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Steve Pritchard-Jones and his band will surely be confident of at least repeating last year's result this time around, or even going a couple of places better. They should be in with a good shout at least and have been busy of late. If they are all in practice and have not been put off by catching too many naughty boys then a possible qualification place may be in order and the Chief Constable may want to book some leave for Harrogate to support his troops.   

Whitwell Brass
D. Fretwell

Last Ten Years:
2005: 14th (K. Vernon)
2004: 16th (K. Vernon)
2003: 13th (K. Vernon)
2002: 15th
2001: 4th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 11th 4th Section
1999: 15th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Given that they have a pretty poor record here in the past few years you would think that the confidence levels wouldn't be high for this contest. However, 2005 as a good year for the band and 2006 also started well with a decent 7th place in a strong field at Butlins. Time to show that good form here then or they could be flirting with possible relegation.  

Past Qualifiers:

2005: Phoenix West Midlands, Arrow Valley, Daventry
2004: Shirland Welfare Training, Stamford Brass, West Mercia Constabulary
2003: Daventry Brass, Carlton Brass, Audley Brass
2002: Raunds Temperance, Carlton Brass, Arrow Valley
2001: Brass 2000, Raunds Temperance
2000: Warwick University, Porthywaen
1999: Whaley Bridge, Chapel en le Frith
1998: RJB Brass, Charnwood
1997: Kirkby Colliery, Chapel en le Frith
1996: Whaley Bridge, Derwent Brass, Kirkby Colliery
1995: Whaley Bridge, Croft Silver, Derwent Brass
1994: Glossop Old, Bedworth Brass, South Notts Hussars

Midlands Bands at the Finals:

2005: 2nd, 4th, 8th
2004: 5th, 8th, 9th
2003: 3rd, 11th, 18th
2002: 5th, 7th, 8th
2001: 3rd, 13th
2000: 8th, 9th
1999: 12th, 16th
1998: 11th, 12th

4BR Prediction:

With a field this size, it will always be hard to predict a result as there are plenty of bands who will be looking to do well here (some with more of a realistic chance than others), but some will master the difficult set work and impress the judges.

Of the bands on show, recent form saw Matlock sound very impressive at Butlins, and we think they could well be the band to beat here. West Mercia Constabulary, Arrow Valley and Leicester Co-operative should also be in with a good shout as too Long Eaton and Moulton 77. Our dark horses are our student friends from the University of Warwick, who will certainly know how to enjoy themselves if they do well.

1. Matlock
2. West Mercia Constabulary
3. Leicester Co-op
4. Moulton 77
5. Arrow Valley
6. Long Eaton

Dark Horse: University of Warwick


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