2008 West of England Regional Championship - Second Section: Runners & Riders


A full line up of bands for the judges to enjoy and ponder over. But which ones will be able to re-invent themselves for a trip to Harrogate.

TorquaySaturday 8th March
Adjudicator: Alan Hope & Colin Hardy
Test Piece: Three Part Invention – Kenneth Downie

Commences: 10.00am


BristolBristol East & Kingswood
Roy Curran

Last 12 Years:
2007: 8th (R. Curran)
2006: 12th (B. Pope)
2005: 8th (B. Pope)
2004: 5th in Third Section (J. Griffin) (prom)
2003: 4th (J. Griffin)
2002: 6th
2001: 13th
2000: 18th in Second Section (rel)
1999: 14th
1998: 13th 
1997: 4th in Third Section (prom)
1996: N/K

Roy Curran returns once more with Bristol and they will be looking for a better return than last year when they came home in 8th place. 

That was a touch unfortunate in many people’s eyes as many had them in the top three, but that’s contesting for you.  Still, if they perform as well as that again this time around then a touch more luck from the box may well see them up near the qualification places.  

CamborneCamborne B
Alan Pope

Last 12 Years:
2007: Winners of Third Section (A. Pope) (prom)
2006: 5th (A. Pope)
2005: 5th (A. Pope)
2004: 14th (A. Pope)
2003: 3rd in Fourth Section  (A. Pope) (prom)
2002: 7th (A. Pope)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

Alan Pope and his young band (and we mean young – average age under 13) were the stars of last year’s regional event and worthy winners of the Third Section title.

This time they are back, a year older, wiser and unfortunately for their rivals, a year better too. Can they take the title here at the higher level or will they just struggle to find their feet (and we don’t mean, dangling off the end of their chairs either). The former may be a better bet than the latter.   

Filton Concert Brass
Bryn James

Last 12 Years:
2007: 3rd (B. James)
2006: 8th (B. James)
2005: 10th (B. James)
2004: 5th (B. James)
2003: 3rd in Third Section (B. James) (prom)
2002: 8th (N. Seaman)
2001: 6th (B. James)
2000: 5th
1999: 6th
1998: 9th
1997: 4th
1996: N/K 

Bryn James and his cabin crew from Filton return once more and will be determined to go one better than last year and claim one of the qualification places on offer, or even the title itself.

Always a band to listen out for and a conductor whose interpretations are always well thought out they are certainly heading in the right direction. Could it be take off and flight path to Harrogate then?  

ForestForest of Dean
Jackie Gwynne

Last 12 Years:
2007: 10th in First Section (J. Gwynne) (rel)
2006: 13th (J. Gwynne)
2005: 6th in Second Section (J. Gwynne) (prom)
2004: 2nd (J. Gwynne)
2003: 11th in First Section (J. Gwynne) (rel)
2002: 15th (J. Gwynne)
2001: 11th in Championship (C. Hogg) (rel)
2000: 10th
1999: 2nd in First Section (prom)
1998: 4th
1997: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1996: Winners of Second Section 

What a quite amazing record here for Forest of Dean.   Every odd numbered year something – good, or bad, happens to them. 

Last year it was a relegation, in 2005, promotion – so its odds on that this year they will put in a solid, pretty decent performance and wait for the contesting gods to declare something on them in 2009. Given that they came 4th at the SWBBA Torquay contest it may be more solid than they could possibly imagine.  

GillinghamGillingham Imperial Silver
Alan McRae

Last 12 Years:
2007: 7th (A. McRae)
2006: 2nd in Third Section (E. Haines) (prom)
2005: 4th (E. Haines)
2004: 7th (E. Haines)
2003: DNC (rel)
2002: 3rd in Second Section (G. Lewis)
2001: 15th (F. Tranter)
2000: 10th
1999: 10th
1998: 16th in First Section (rel)
1997: 15th
1996: 13th 

Alan McRae and his band put in a solid return here last year by coming 7th on their return to the section for the first time since 2002.

More of that will come in handy, but we suspect that they may well be aiming for something a little higher – they are moving in the right direction as you can see from the results.   

MichelmershMichelmersh Silver
Melvin White 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 6th (L. Buchart)
2006: 6th (M. White)
2005: 7th (D. Graham)
2004: 12th (S. Large)
2003: Winners of Third Section (B. Kelloway) (prom)
2002: Winners of Third Section (B. Kelloway)
2001: 8th (D. Wilds)
2000: 9th
1999: 8th
1998: 5th
1997: 12th
1996: N/K

Melvin White will be a busy chappie over the weekend and will be looking to add to his immensely impressive list of regional titles (he is seventh in the all time list you know of top section wins).

No one better then to spearhead the assault for Michelmersh and after coming 5th at the SWBBA Torquay contest they should be confident of at least battling it out for a qualification place if they hit top form. 

PhoienixPhoenix Brass (Crewkerne)
Paul Slator

Last 12 Years:
2007: 4th (P. Slator)
2006: 13th (K. Darby)
2005: 11th (M. Knapton)
2004: 6th (M. Knapton)
2003: 8th (M. Knapton)
2002: 7th (G. Greenstock)
2001: 7th (G. Greenstock)
2000: 6th
1999: Winners in Third Section (prom)
1998: Winners in Third Section
1997: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
1996: N/K

Paul Slator really delivered the goods with Phoenix last year, dragging them up an almighty nine places in the results table. 

Since then the good work has been carried on and the band came 4th at the SWBBA Torquay contest and runner up at Gloucester a few months ago, so confidence must be sky high. Can they carry the good form on and book a place for Harrogate then?

ShrewtonShrewton Silver
Michael Dunford 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 11th (M. Dunford)
2006: 7th (M. Dunford)
2005: 2nd in Third Section (M. Dunford) (prom)
2004: 3rd (M. Dunford)
2003: 12th (M. Dunford)
2002: 6th in Fourth Section (M. Dunford) (prom)
2001: 7th (M. Dunford)
2000: 4th
1999: 25th
1998: 18th
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

Michael Dunford has been doing excellent work with Shrewton over the years, bringing them up from the depths (and we do mean depths) of 25th place in the Fourth Section to challenging for top six honours in the Second in just seven years.

Last year they just fell away a little, but we are sure they will return the stronger after coming runner up at the Wessex contest last year in the top section. Ones to watch out for?   

SolentSolent Concert
Wesley Garner

Last 12 Years:
2007: 13th in First Section (W. Garner) (rel)
2006: 12th (W. Garner)
2005: 7th (W. Garner)
2004: 8th (W. Garner)
2003: 6th (W. Garner)
2002: 9th (W. Garner)
2001: 6th (W. Garner)
2000: 4th
1999: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1998: 4th
1997: 14th in First Section (rel)
1996: N/K

Wesley Garner and Solent Concert have been together now longer than the band has worn its distinctive uniforms on stage and the results have been just as colourful at times too.  

Last year they were a bit off colour and fell through the relegation trap door and returned back here for the first time in a decade. Can they take the first step in reversing that here this weekend then? 

SoundhouseSoundhouse Brass
G. Pumford 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 5th (M. Faro)
2006: 3rd (D. Stephens)
2005: 9th (D. Stephens)
2004: 8th (D. Stephens)
2003: 6th (D. Stephens)
2002: 2nd in Third Section (D. Stephens) (prom)
2001: 7th (L. Hodgkiss)
2000: 6th
1999: 11th
1998: 8th
1997: 13th
1996: N/K 

A new MD this year for Soundhouse who once again delivered a very solid showing at the contest in coming 5th under Mike Faro last year.  

The band has been consistent challengers now for a while and they will be looking to take the next step towards the First Section especially after they came runner up at the SWBBA Torquay contest.  

South Molton Town
Terry Treherne 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 13th (T. Treherne)
2006: 4th in Third Section (D. Tilling) (prom)
2005: 7th (D. Tilling)
2004: 8th (D. Tilling)
2003: 15th (D. Tilling)
2002: 11th in Second Section (C. Ross) (rel)
2001: 12th (C. Ross)
2000: 16th
1999: 14th in First Section (rel)
1998: 15th
1997: 10th
1996: N/K

Terry Treherne and South Molton know that they will have to deliver this weekend if they are to stave off any threat of possible relegation after last year’s 13th place. 

They should be pretty confident of doing that though after they came 3rd at the SWBBA Torquay contest, so now they have found their feet, they should be more than OK.     

St PinnockSt. Pinnock
S. White

Last 12 Years:
2007: 5th (S. Dobson)
2006: Winners of Third Section (P. Minear)
2005: 11th (P. Minear)
2004: 9th (P. Minear)
2003: 15th in Second Section (W. Harris) (rel)
2002: 9th (M. Medin)
2001: 10th (J. Whitehead)
2000: 11th
1999: 4th in Third Section (prom)
1998: 2nd
1997: 8th
1996: N/K

St. Pinnock delivered a very good performance last year in coming 5th under the direction that young tyro, Simon Dobson.

They will surely be looking for further improvement under their new conductor Steve White this time out too and given their record over the last couple of years with the foundations laid by the excellent Peter Minear, they should do just that and possibly more.   

Torbay Brass
B. Cole

Last 12 Years:
2007: 10th (T. Naughton)
2006: 14th (H. Evans)
2005: 3rd (D. Johnson)
2004: 14th in First Section (D. Johnson) (rel)
2003: 9th (B. Buckley)
2002: Winners of Second Section (prom)
2001: 12th in First Section (rel)
2000: 13th
1999: 8th
1998: 5th
1997: 6th
1996: N/K

Torbay is another band that knows that it will have to deliver a good performance here this weekend if they too are to ensure their survival in the section for the next twelve months, after they finished 10th last year.

With a new MD at the helm for this contest they should be confident of doing just that after they came 6th at the SWBBA Torquay contest.  

Past Qualifiers:

2007: Ocean Brass, Portishead Town
2006: St. Dennis, Lympstone South West Telecom
2005: St. Keverne, Woodfalls Concert Brass
2004: Otterbourne, Forest of Dean
2003: Lanner and District, Lympstone South West Telecom
2002: Torbay Brass, Bendix Kingswood
2001: Bendix Kingswood, City of Bristol Brass
2000: Ocean Brass, Test Valley Brass
1999: Solent Concert, Sherborne Town
1998: Redruth Town, St. Keverne
1997: Yeovil Town, Forest of Dean
1996: Forest of Dean, N/K
1995: Hyde, Lanner and District  

West of England bands at the Finals:

2007: 7th, 10th
2006: 1st, 14th
2005: 1st, 3rd
2004: 13th, 14th
2003: 3rd, 15th
2002: 9th, 15th
2001: 2nd, 12th
2000: 7th, 11th
1999: 8th, 15th
1998: 8th, 17th   

4BR Prediction: 

Another very difficult contest to call this, with plenty of bands that can up their form to either book a qualification place or take the title itself. It could well be a difficult decision for Alan Hope and Colin Hardy.

If recent form is anything to go by though then we opt for a battle between Phoenix and Filton for the top honours with Camborne hanging right onto their coat tails.

The rest of the top six should be filled by Bristol East, Gillingham and Michelmersh if they play to form and we opt for a sneaky each way bet on Shrewton as our dark horse.

1. Phoenix Brass (Crewkerne)
2. Filton Concert Brass
3. Camborne B
4. Bristol East and Kingswood
5. Gillingham Imperial
6. Michelmersh

Dark Horses: Shrewton


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