2008 North West Regional Championship - Fourth Section: Runners & Riders


A great line up of bands on the Sunday to do battle on Rodney Newtons Four City Symphony.

Winter GardensSunday 9th March
Spanish Hall
Adjudicator: Geoffrey Whitham
Test Piece: Four City Symphony – Rodney Newton

Commences: 11.00am


Barnton Silver
Steven Yates 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 8th (S. Yates)
2006: 10th (S. Yates)
2005: 14th (S. Yates)
2004: 14th (S. Yates)
2003: 21st in Third Section (S. Yates) (rel)
2002: 17th
2001: 8th
2000: 6th in Fourth Section (prom)
1999: 3rd
1998: 7th
1997: 15th in Third Section (rel)
1996: 12th 

Barnton Silver has been making small but significant steps in the right direction here in the last few years from 14th in 2004 to 8th last year.

More of the same could well see them push into the top six and the possibility of a qualification place. You never know. 

Besses Boys
James Holt

Last 12 Years:
2007: 13th (J. Holt)
2006: 9th (J. Holt)
2005: 12th (J. Holt)
2004: 9th (M. Stringer)
2003: 4th (M. Stringer)
2002: 11th (C. Whiteoak)
2001: 18th (J. Powell)
2000: 13th (J. Powell)
1999: 10th 

James Holt continues to do excellent work with Besses Boys (and girls don’t forget) and he will be looking to see if he can push the band towards the top six for the fist time since 2003.

The band came 5th at Pontins late last year so they should be in pretty decent shape and with a few new signings of late confidence should be on the up.  

Adie Smith

Last 12 Years:
2007: 9th (A. Smith)
2006: 18th (A. Smith)
2005: DNC
2004: Withdrew
2003: 20th (A. Swain)
2002: 15th
2001: 10th in Fourth Section (prom)
2000: 3rd
1999: 15th in Third Section (rel)
1998: 12th
1997: 16th
1996: 14th 

Blackley made a huge leap up the results table last year, rising from 18th to 9th, so they will be looking for more of the same on Sunday. 

The band came 13th at Pontins late last year and started off the season with 7th place at Preston, so they have a little bit of ground to make up. 

K. Richmond 

Last 12 Years:
2006: 16th (K. Richmond)
2006: 22nd (K. Richmond)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: 17th (D. Shaw)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
Nice to see Brindle continue to make the trip here, and hopefully it will be well worth their while too this year.

They have made good progress here in the last two years and were up to 16th twelve months ago. Perhaps another move toward the top ten would be just what they are looking for.   

Cheshire Constabulary
D. Woollam

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: 19th (C. Holt)
2001: =15th (C. Holt)
2000: 13th (C. Holt)
1999: 14th (C. Holt)
1998: N/K
1997: 13th (C. Holt)
1996: 11th (C. Holt)

We’ve had to rummage through the record books like slightly accountants to find out the last time the lads and lasses from Cheshire Constabulary last played here. 

It was six years ago when they last appeared and propped up the results table in 19th place so welcome back and lets hope their results figures come down just as quick as their forces crime statistics. 

Coppull and Standish
A. Baker

Last 12 Years:
2007: 10th (H. Bentham)
2006: 17th (H. Bentham)
2005: 11th (J. Roberts)
2004: 3rd (as Standish) (J. Roberts)
2003: = 10th (J. Roberts)
2002: 13th (J. Roberts)
2001: 12th (J. Roberts)
2000: 11th (J. Roberts)
1999: 18th
1998: 5th 

Since the two bands of Coppull and Standish have come together they have been making decent progress here – up to 10th place last year. 

They have been busy on the contesting front and came 10th last year at Pontins and started the 2008 season off by coming a well deserved 3rd at Preston in the Third Section. Bodes well then.   

Darwen Brass
Steve Hartley

Last 12 Years:

Created to fill the gap between the Junior Band and the Senior Band of the Blackburn and Darwen Bands, the members first created a committee, found or at least voted for the name Darwen Brass, and successfully held enough auditions to be able to fill the post of Musical director with Steve Hartley - all accomplished by last April.

Now they are ready to make their regional contesting debut! 

Denton Brass
J. Davies

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: 15th (C. Fox) 

The original Denton Band became the first ever National Champions in 1900. They disbanded after a fire destroyed just about everything they had, but reformed in 1999 as a non competing band.

In March 2004 they entered their first regional contest under Clive Fox (after their debut earlier in the year at Tameside under Kevin Acjkford) and made a welcome return to the Regional in 2006. They make most welcome second appearance this year.  

EcclesEccles Borough
L. Webb 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 4th (L. Webb)
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 17th (K. Donaldson)
2003: 5th (K. Donaldson)
2002: 19th (C. Pownall)
2001: 13th (C. Pownall)
2000: 7th (C. Pownall)
1999: 11th
1998: 18th
1997: 13th
1996: 10th 

One of the form horses it seems. The band from the famous cake making town has had a great last few months.

After coming second at Pontins they started off the 2008 season with a fine win at Preston so confidence will be high that they can make it three good ones in a row – then they won’t mind the puns of cherries on cakes etc!   

Farndon and District
M. Robertson

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 19th
2003: DNC
2002: 16th
2001: DNC
2000: 23rd
1999: 17th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC 

Always nice to see a band return – especially after a break of three years.

Farndon return and it is great news. We wish them well on what is hoped to be the first of many more appearances here. 

Farnsworth and Walkden
Peter Ashley 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 12th (P. Ashley)
2006: 13th (P. Ashley)
2005: 7th (P. Ashley)
2004: 5th (P. Ashley)
2003: 17th in Third Section (P. Ashley) (rel)
2002: 14th (P. Ashley)
2001: DNC
2000: 2nd in Fourth Section (P. Ashley) (prom)
1999: DNC
1998: 14th (rel)
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

The band with the long name (where has the Eaton’s gone too we wonder?) is starting to make small but significant steps towards the right end of the results table here once more and upped their form to come 12th last year. 

The good news is that they also came 4th at Pontins and started the year of by winning the Preston contest. Things may be looking good then for a qualification place for the first time since 2000.  

T. Haslam 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 16th in Third Section (L. Tingay) (rel)
2006: 13th (L. Clough)
2005: 16th (L. Clough)
2004: 4th in Fourth Section (L. Clough) (prom)
2003: = 4th (L. Clough)
2002: 5th (L. Clough)
2001: 9th (L. Clough)
2000: 17th (L. Clough)
1999: 2nd
1998: 12th
1997: 17th
1996: 10th

After three hard seasons in the Third Section Friezland returned back to the Fourth this year after dropping through the relegation trap door this time last year.  

They will have to pick themselves up after that disappointment of course but they have more than held their own here at this level before and under a new MD we are sure they can do so again. 

G. Smith

Last 12 Years:
2007: 14th (E. Hill)
2006: 8th (D. Ashworth)
2005: 9th (S. Foster)
2004: 19th in Third Section (G. Williams) (rel)
2003: 13th (G. Williams)
2002: DNC
2001: 7th (S. Barton)
2000: 6th (G. Williams)
1999: 7th in Fourth Section (prom)
1998: 4th
1997: 5th
1996: DNC

A new MD for the fifth time in as many year here for Golborne and the new partnership will surely be looking to reverse last years position of 14th.

Hopefully they can do just that and they showed good form at Pontins late last year when they came 7th so you never know.     

S. Black 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 7th (D. Chapman)
2006: 12th (D. Chapman)
2005: 3rd (D. Chapman)
2004: 13th (D. Chapman)
2003: 13th (D. Chapman)
2002: 18th in Third Section (rel) (D. Chapman)
2001: 15th (D. Chapman)
2000: DNC
1999: 11th in Second Section (rel)
1998: 4th in Third Section (prom)
1997: 12th
1996: 5th 

A bit up and down for Greenfield in the last three years here – with a best of 3rd and a low of 12th. 

Last year they recovered somewhat to come 7th, but they will be looking for better than that after coming an encouraging 11th at Pontins and starting the year off coming 9th at Preston. Wait and see then.    

Hazel Grove
N. Beasley

Last 12 Years:
2007: 19th in Third Section (N. Bowden) (re)
2006: 14th (N. Bowden)
2005: 11th (N. Bowden)
2004: 12th (T. Emery)
2003: 10th (A. Hirst)
2002: 16th (A. Hirst)
2001: 12th (L. Hall)
2000: 13th (L. Hall)
1999: 10th
1998: Winners of Fourth Section (prom)
1997: 10th
1996: 4th 

Nigel Beasley has taken over the helm at Hazel Grove and he will want to make an impression with his band as they return to the Fourth Section this year after propping up the Third Section last time out. 

Hopefully the band has been working hard and can show the type of form that gave them the title here a decade ago.      

lostockLostock Hall Memorial

Last 12 Years:
2007: 6th (I. McKnight)
2006: 3rd (P. Edward)
2005: 14th in Third Section (K. Rollins) (rel)
2004: 15th (R. Heyes)
2003: 15th (R. Heyes)
2002: 13th (R. Heyes)
2001: DNC
2000: 8th (G. Martin)
1999: 5th
1998: 20th
1997: 11th
1996: 9th 

Lostock just dropped off the pace here last year when they would have fancied themselves to go a couple of places better than their fine 2006 appearance.

Still, they started the year off well enough at Preston where under the baton of John Wood they were placed second in the Third Section. More of that should see them up amongst the prizes at the announcement of the results.   

NelsonNelson Brass
John Roberts 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 5th (J. Roberts)
2006: 12th in Third Section (J. Roberts) (rel)
2005: 13th (R. Holt)
2004: 18th (J. North)
2003: 3rd in Fourth Section (J. North) (prom)
2002: 10th (K. Richmond)
2001: 2nd (K. Richmond)
2000: 17th (K. Richmond)
1999: 8th
1998: 14th
1997: 12th
1996: 12th

John Roberts continues to work hard with Nelson Brass and they delivered a solid account of themselves last year when they came home in 5th place. 

Since then they have started the 2008 season off with a 13th place in the Third Section at Preston so we think they may have to up their game a bit for us to be punning about them putting one in the eye of the opposition here this weekend.  

Parr (Richardson Ltd St. Helens)
R. Prescott

Last 12 Years
2007: 15th (J. Smith)
2006: 19th (J. Smith)
2005: DNC
2004: 17th (R. Kerwick)
2003: = 10th (J. Ludden)
2002: 17th (J. Ludden)
2001: 17th (J. Ludden)
2000: 7th (J. Ludden)
1999: 9th 

Moving up from the bottom Parr is making the right moves in the right direction it seems.

That was emphasised with a decent performance at Pontins where they came 12th and an early season run out with this test piece at Preston where they came 14th. It will be much sharper here then they hope.  

Sale Brass
J. Dickinson 

Last 12 Years
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: =15th (R. Richards)
1999: 11th (R. Richards)
1998: N/K
1997: 16th (R. Richards)
1996: 14th (R. Richards)

Another band making a welcome return after a long old period away. 

This time Sale return after eight years in the regional contesting wilderness. According to their website they have been pretty busy in between though and they return looking to make an immediate impression. We wish them well then. 

St. John’s Mossley
S. Corbett 

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 11th (S. Corbett)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC 

Another returning soul and welcome back too to the contest fold for St John Mossley who last competed here back in 2004.

Don’t know what form they bring with them, but we wish them all the best. 

tarltonTarleton and District Brass
G. Bould

Last 12 Years:
2007: 11th (G. Bould)
2006: 11th (J. Doyle)
2005: 13th (G. Bould)
2004: 15th (G. Bould)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC 

Four years of solid playing here has seen Tarleton move slowly but surely towards the top ten – now for the next step then.

They see to be in good early season form after coming second in the Fourth Section at Preston so they may be a bit of a dark horse contender here. Wait and see.  

Tottington Public
M. Ryan 

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: 20th (A. Simpson)
2005: DNC
2004: 16th (L. Dunkerly)
2003: 16th (N. Martin)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

Tottington return this year after giving the contest a miss twelve months ago. 

Hopefully this will be the start of a more extended run here and we wish them well. 

Alan Widdop

Last 12 Years:
2007: 2nd (A. Widdop)
2006: 7th (A. Widdop)
2005: 10th (A. Widdop)
2004: 2nd (S. Wood)
2003: 12th (J. Hunter)
2002: 14th (J. Hunter)
2001: 13th (J. Hunter)
2000: 22nd (J. Hunter)
1999: 21st
1998: 10th
1997: 14th
1996: 8th 

Possibly the favourites – possibly not. Uppermill had a great 2007 season, only spoiled perhaps by coming way out of the prizes at Harrogate where many (including 4BR) tipped them for victory. 

The Pontins winners should be keen to return there once more but they will have to improve their form from Preston where they came 11th, although that was in the Third Section.  

Past Qualifiers:

2007: Formby, Uppermill, Ramsay Town
2006: Oldham, Formby, Lostock Hall
2005: Oldham (Lees), Valley Brass (Haydock)
2004: Pemberton Old Wigan B, Uppermill, Standish
2003: Trinity Girls, Wardle and District Anderson Brass, Nelson Brass
2002: Timperley, Douglas Town, Wardle and District Anderson Brass, Kirkby Lonsdale
2001: Pemberton Old Wigan B, Nelson Brass
2000: Diggle, Eatons Farnsworth, Blackley
1999: Old Hall Brass, Frieland
1998: Hazel Grove, Haslingdon and Helmshaw Brass
1997: Old Hall Brass, Dobcross, Pilling Jubilee
1996: Manx Concert Brass, Milnrow
1995: Trinity Girls, Lostock Hall Memorial  

North West bands at the Finals

2007: 1st, 12th, 16th
2006: 2nd, 8th, 17th
2005: 1st, 4th
2004: 9th, 12th, 13th
2003: 1st, 4th, 10th
2002: 2nd, 4th, 14th, 17th
2001: 9th, 14th
2000: 5th, 12th, 17th
1999: 6th, 14th
1998: 2nd, 9th   

4BR Prediction: 

As contests go this could be a very hard one to call – lots and lots of bands for Geoffrey Whitham to sit back, enjoy and ponder over.

Of those should be the likes of Uppermill, Eccles, Lostock Hall, Coppull & Standish, Nelson and Farnworth & Walkden to battle it out for the qualification places and the title whilst we would love to see a real outsider like Darwen to very well too on their debut.

1. Uppermill
2. Eccles
3. Farnworth & Walkden
4. Lostock Hall
5. Coppull & Standish
6. Nelson

Dark horse: Darwen Brass


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