2006 West of England Regional Championships - Championship Section


It really could be anyone's pick here in the Championship Section as a whole host of potential winners line up to battle it out and gain favour from Geoffrey Whitham and Denis Wilby.

Sunday 19th March
Adjudicator: Geoffrey Whitham and Denis Wilby
Test Piece: Journey to the Centre of the Earth Peter Graham
Commences: 4.30pm
Draw: 3.00pm

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

Steve SykesAldbourne
Steve Sykes
4BR Ranking:128

Last Ten Years:
2005: Winners of First Section (prom) (M.White)
2004: 4th (M. White)
2003: 7th (I. Holmes)
2002: 11th Championship (rel) (B. Grant)
2001: 7th Championship (D. Williams)
2000: 5th Championship
1999: 6th Championship
1998: 2nd (prom)
1997: 4th
1996: N/K

Steve Sykes will lead Aldbourne's first appearance in the Championship Section since 2002.  They won't arrive in Torquay without confidence having given adecent show at Yeovil in February where they finished 7th in a strong 15 band field.  Steve will have the band fired up for sure and you wouldn't mind betting that if they can take a few scalps along the way here, they'll be a happy bunch when the results are announced. 

Kevin MacKenzieBodmin Town
Kevin Mackenzie
4BR Ranking: 106

Last Ten Years:
2005: 7th (K. MacKenzie)
2004: 11th (J. Berryman)
2003: 6th (R. Gray)
2002: 7th (R. Gray)
2001: 6th (S. Sykes)
2000: 2nd
1999: Winners
1998: 3rd
1997: 2nd
1996: N/K

We don't like to repeat ourselves, but we did say last year in our Regional preview that Bodmin seem to have fallen of the pace a little bit in recent times.  Yes, they've gone through some rebuilding of late, but they'll be looking to improve on 7th place last year.  At Yeovil they were not at their best coming 14th, so it remains to be seen what they can do with this test piece. They have the talent around the stands and perhaps the time has come for them to return to the glory days.

Bournemouth Concert Brass
Luc Vertommen
4BR Ranking: 60

Last Ten Years:
2005: Winners (N. Taken)
2004: Winners First Section (N. Taken) (prom)
2003: 3rd (N. Taken)
2002: 5th Championship (rel) (N. Taken)
2001: 10th Championship (L. Adams)
2000: 7th Championship
1999: 4th Championship
1998: 6th Championship
1997: 3rd Championship
1996: N/K

Will Bournemouth make it three victories in a row after their win last year in the Championship Section and having won the First Section in 2004?  Anything is possible of course and they have made the interesting decision to import the talented Luc Vertommen to lead them as Nigel Taken will be inLondon battling it out.  The disappointment of a poor show at Yeovil though will see them in determined mood to gain a return to London where they came a well merited 13th last year. 

Frank RentonCamborne Town
Frank Renton
4BR Ranking:  48

Last Ten Years:
2005: 5th (F. Renton)
2004: 2nd (F. Renton)
2003: Winners (F. Renton)
2002: 2nd (F. Renton)
2001: Winners (F. Renton)
2000: 6th
1999: 3rd
1998: 2nd
1997: 4th
1996: N/K

5th last year off the dreaded number one draw was Camborne's worst result here since 2000.  Two wins and two runners-up spots demonstrates what a great record Frank Renton has with the band, and they will be looking to get themselves back into the qualification places this time around.  Camborne and the voice of LTTB put on a decent show at Yeovil in February finishing 5th, and if they can click on this one they could well be the band to beat and record their 20th regional title. 

Bryn JamesCity of Bristol
Bryn James
4BR Ranking: 183

Last Ten Years:
2005: 9th (A. Jones)
2004: 7th (A. Jones)
2003: Winners of First Section (prom) (B. James)
2002: 7th (B. James)
2001: 2nd 2nd Section (prom) (B. James)
2000: 5th 2nd Section
1999: 8th 2nd Section
1998: 15th 2nd Section
1997: 5th 3rd Section (prom)
1996: N/K

Seventh in 2004 and ninth in 2005, City of Brstol have held their own at the contest without just showing the form to suggest that they may ppush for a qualification place - as yet. The excellent Bryn James returns to lead their challenge this time around having been led here by Andrew Jones in the past couple of years. How they will fare on Journey remains to be seen, but they need to improve on last year's placing to avoid any prospect of the trap door opening into Section One. 

Stuart ChappellLanner and District Silver
Stuart Chappell
4BR Ranking: 151

Last Ten Years:
2005: 8th (S. Chappell)
2004: 2nd First Section (S. Chappell) (prom)
2003: Winners of Second Section (prom) (S. Chappell)
2002: 5th (S. Chappell)
2001: DNC
2000: 14th 1st Section (rel)
1999: 13th 1st Section
1998: 7th 1st Section
1997: 11th 1st Section
1996: N/K

8th place last year was a fantastic return for Lanner and Stuart Chappell having made their debut in the Championship Section.  This follows on from two promotions in 2003 and 2004 and when you consider that in 2001 they didn't compete here, it shows what a fabulous job Stuart Chappell has done.  One thing for sure, they'll be giving this contest everything they've got and if they can maintain their Championship status and a possible charge for a top six place, it will be another fantastic step in the right direction for the band.

Nick ChildsMount Charles
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking:  21

Last Ten Years:
2005: 4th (R. Newsome)
2004: Winners (N. Childs)
2003: 5th (J. Hinckley)
2002: 4th (B. Hurdley)
2001: 5th (B. Hurdley)
2000: 4th
1999: 8th
1998: 5th
1997: 5th
1996: N/K

A look at the records surprisingly shows Mount Charles to have had only one victory here in the past decade when they won in 2004 under Nicholas Childs, when on many occassions they have been the pre contest favourites.  Dr Childs returns this year to conduct the band's challenge once again.  He has a direct connection with the piece of course, bu the band will want to show that it can turn a great deal of promise into a winning performance after the disappointment of Butlins ealier in the year.

Philip HarperPolySteel
Philip Harper
4BR Ranking: 16

Last Ten Years:
2005: 3rd (P. Harper)
2004: 6th (P. Harper)
2003: 2nd (P.Harper)
2002: 3rd (P. Harper)
2001: 2nd (R. Evans)
2000: Winners
1999: 2nd
1998: 4th
1997: Winners
1996: N/K

The good times are back at Polysteel that's for sure.  Having missed out on qualification by the narrowest of margins last year, they've started 2006 off in great form having taken the Butlins title in convincing manner and then a second place at Yeovil off the number one draw. 

They won't be complacent though and Philip Harper will have them thoroughly well prepared as always but you can't beat a bit of confidence.  The West of England has thrown up some interesting results of late and whilst Polysteel arrive at Torquay as favourites, they'll be hoping that their consistent form is maintained here and they book a place in London for the first time since 2003.

Sherborne Town
Paul Cosh
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200

Last Ten Years:
2005: 3rd in First Section (prom) (P. Cosh)
2004: 5th (P. Cosh)
2003: 5th (M. Portman)
2002: 12th (B. Buckley)
2001: 9th (G. Key)
2000: 9th
1999: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)
1998: 6th 2nd Section
1997: 6th 2nd Section
1996: N/K

Sherborne will be led once again by the experienced Posh Cosh, a top class musician and aman who has been around conducting in the top section for longer than mnay may think. He is an ideal choice as the band enter life in the Championship Section.  They've been more than consistent in the First Section and deserve the opportunity at the higher level for certain.  How they will cope with that step up remains to be seen and if they can take a few scalps then they'll be happy with their days work we think. 

David LoukesSt. Austell
David Loukes
4BR Ranking: 79

Last Ten Years:
2005: 2nd (D. Loukes)
2004: 5th (D. Loukes)
2003: 7th (M. White)
2002: Winners 1st Section (prom) (M. White)
2001: 8th 1st Section (M. White)
2000: DNC (rel)
1999: 7th
1998: 9th
1997: 5th 1st Section (prom)
1996: Winners 1st Section

The same again please that will be the war cry from David Loukes as he leads his troops once again in Toquay.  Qualification to London last year may have surprised a few, but when you look at their recent results here, they've gone improved every year since they came 8th in the first section in 2001.  At London they were not overawed at all - and off the number 1 spot and the young players responded magnificently. If they can maintain that consistency then who knows, but it would be a major surprise for us if they're not in the top six at least. 

Garry CuttSWT Woodfalls
Garry Cutt
4BR Ranking:  27 

Last Ten Years:
2005: 6th (D. Barringer)
2004: 4th (S. Bastable)
2003: 4th (S. Bastable)
2002: Winners (G. Cutt)
2001: 3rd (P. Parkes)
2000: 3rd
1999: 5th
1998: Winners
1997: 6th
1996: 2nd

Garry Cutt makes a return appearance with SWT Woodfalls here for the first time since 2002 when they were last declared victors.  Both band & MD will be hoping for the same once again then, but having not been out of the top 4 since 1999, last year's 6th place was a bit of surprise.  Woodfalls put a decent show on at Yeovil in February finishing 4th, and were excellent at the Scottish Open late last year, but it's the top two placing they want this time around for certain.

Dave BarringerYeovil Town
Dave Barringer
4BR Ranking:  119

Last Ten Years:
2005: 10th (I. McElligott)
2004: 3rd (I. McElligott)
2003: 3rd (I. McElligott)
2002: 6th (P. Bailey)
2001: 4th (P. Bailey)
2000: 2nd 1st Section (prom)
1999: 10th 1st Section
1998: Winners 1st Section
1997: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
1996: Winners 3rd Section (prom)

A band in need of a good result for sure.  Yeovil were very consistent with 3rd place in 2003/04 and then last year the wheels came off somewhat and they came in 10th place, which was a result that surprised many in the hall on the day.  Hence, with the experienced Dave Barringer now at the helm, they don't need another low placing this year after all that good work .  If they play like they can, then we'd expect them to put on a good show and once again feature - but they are up against it this year with strong rivals. 

Past Qualifiers:

2005: Bournemouth Concert Brass, St. Austell Town
2004: Mount Charles, Camborne
2003: Camborne Town, Flowers
2002: SWT Woodfalls, Camborne Town
2001: Camborne Town, Flowers
2000: Flowers, Bodmin
1999: Bodmin, Flowers
1998: SWT Woodfalls, Camborne
1997: Flowers, Bodmin
1996: Sun Life, SWT Woodfalls
1995: Sun Life, Flowers
1994: Flowers, Camborne, Sun Life*
1993: Sun Life, Camborne
1992: Sun Life, Bodmin
1991: Flowers Gloucester, Sun Life
1990: Camborne Town, Bodmin
1989: Sun Life, Camborne
*Pre Qualified

How West of England bands did in London:

2005: 13th, 19th
2004: 7th, 9th
2003: 11th, 16th
2002: 18th, 19th
2001: 9th, 19th
2000: 15th, 16th
1999: 14th, 16th
1998: 9th, 16th
1997: 10th, 12th
1996: 9th, 15th
1995: 11th, 14th
1994: 4th, 11th, 17th
1993: 3rd, 18th
1992: 6th, 7th
1991: 11th, 13th
1990: 8th, 22nd
1989: 12th, 13th

4BR Prediction:

This is going to be one heck of a contest (and we tend to say this each year and get it right)  there are at least six potential winners, whilst you can come up with just about any number of qualifiers. On their day here the likes of PolySteels, Bodmin, Camborne, Mount Charles, Yeovil, St. Austell, Bournemouth and Woodfalls could romp home, whilst equally, all of them could show their inconsistencies and not even make it into the top six.

No reigning champion has managed to retain their title here since the late and lamented Sun Life band did it in 1995/1996, so what are the odds on Bournemouth doing it this time?

This is a very difficult one to call, as there has been a general improvement in the standard of so many of the band here in the past two years so this one really is up for grabs.

Still, someone has got to come away as winners and two bands do just stick out from the rest - but only just. Mount Charles and Nicholas Childs look a very potent combination, whilst PolySteel has found a consistency this year that in the past has been missing. Its those two for us, with SWT Woodfalls pushing them all the way and Camborne hot on the tail coasts too. Bournemouth should make it into the top six but maybe not the London places this time around, whilst St Austell should also feature. Bodmin could be a bit of a dark horse.

It could of course be totally the other way around...

1. Mount Charles 
2. PolySteel
3. SWT Woodfalls
4. Camborne
5. Bournemouth Concert
6. St. Austell

Dark Horse: Bodmin Town


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