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


A good strong line up of bands will take to the stage here with just the one aim in mind - a voyage to Harrogate.

TorquaySaturday 8th March
Adjudicator: Alan Hope & Colin Hardy
Test Piece: James Cook - Circumnavigator – Gilbert Vinter

Commences: 3.30pm


BodminBodmin Town
H. Williams

Last 12 Years:
2007: 8th (S. Sykes)
2006: 10th in Championship Section (K. MacKenzie (rel)
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

It’s good to see the former Championship winners slowly but surely making a return to the type of form that once made them such feared rivals here. 

8th place last year under Steve Syles may not have seemed much on paper but they were more than a touch unlucky in many people’s eyes. Since then they have carried on rebuilding and 2nd place at the SWBBA Torquay contest was a good old boost. Another step back up the ladder may be just what is needed this weekend.  

Steve Tubb

Last 12 Years:
2007: 7th (S. Tubb)
2006: 7th (S. Tubb)
2005: 6th (S. Tubb)
2004: 7th (S. Tubb)
2003: 3rd in Second Section (S. Tubb) (prom)
2002: 4th (S. Tubb)
2001: 4th (S. Tubb)
2000: 15th
1999: 11th in First Section (rel)
1998: 14th
1997: 13th
1996: N/K

Steve Tubb continues to build a solid and consistent band under this command with Chalford and the results of the last few years at the contest bear that out. 

If they can just up their game a touch from last year’s brave performance then they could well be celebrating a long overdue Harrogate finals appearance.  

Lyndon Baglin
Last 12 Years:
2007: 11th (D. Lea)
2006: 8th (D. Lea)
2005: 2nd (D. Lea)
2004: 11th (W. Jarrett)
2003: 9th in Championship Section  (W. Jarrett) (rel)
2002: 10th ((L. Baglin)
2001: 2nd in First Section (L. Baglin) (prom)
2000: 8th in Championship Section (rel)
1999: 9th
1998: 3rd in First Section (prom)
1997: 2nd
1996: N/K 

No better, or more experienced a man to take the helm for Cinderford than the great Lyndon Baglin esq, and his experience of Gilbert Vinter will surely be invaluable to the band on the weekend.    

The band has just fallen off the pace in the last few years after coming runner up in 2005, and last year they never recovered from a very poor start. A return to the form when they gained promotion to the Championship Section would come in handy then. You never know.  

City of BristolCity of Bristol
Ian Holmes

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: Withdrew (rel)
2005: 9th (A. Jones)
2004: 7th (A. Jones)
2003: Winners of First Section (B. James) (prom)
2002: 7th (B. James)
2001: 2nd in Second Section (B. James) (prom)
2000: 5th
1999: 8th
1998: 15th
1997: 5th in Third Section (prom)
1996: N/K

Always good to report a return and that is certainly the case with Ian Holmes and City of Bristol, who make a re-appearance at the contest for the first time since 2005.

Then they were flying high in the Championship Section, so we do wonder if they can return with some sort of nucleus of that hard working band still intact. The MD knows his musical eggs and will surely have this band well prepared, so they could well be worth a listen out for.

HelstonHelston Town
John Hitchens

Last 12 Years:
2007: 3rd (J. Hitchins)
2006: Winners (J. Hitchens)
2005: 11th (J. Hitchens)
2004: 3rd in Second Section (J. Hitchens) (prom)
2003: 5th (J. Hitchins)
2002: 3rd in Third Section (E. Ashton) (prom)
2001: 2nd (E. Ashton)
2000: 17th in Second Section (rel)
1999: 12th
1998: 11th in First Section (rel)
1997: 12th
1996: N/K

Helston are one of the regions up and coming outfits under the baton of John Hitchins, and they will surely be looking to make yet another move up the contesting ladder this weekend.   

They have been excellent value over the last couple of years and fully deserved their promotion after coming 3rd last time out. We suspect they are not quite finished yet either so more than a few scalps could well be taken come Saturday evening. 

Lanner and District Silver
C. Toghill

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: 9th in Championship Section (G. Toghill) (rel)
2005: 8th (S. Chappell)
2004: 2nd First Section (S. Chappell) (prom)
2003: Winners of Second Section (S. Chappell) (prom)
2002: 5th (S. Chappell)
2001: DNC
2000: 14th in First Section (rel)
1999: 13th
1998: 7th
1997: 11th
1996: N/K

Another band making a welcome return, Lanner and District last appeared in 2006 when they delivered a solid performance in the Championship Section.

A year out and they return once more, hopefully in good shape and showing enough form to put in a decent performance on the weekend. We wish them well.

LympstoneLympstone South West Telecom
Charles Fleming 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 9th (C. Fleming)
2006: 2nd in Second Section (C. Fleming) (prom)
2005: 5th (C. Fleming)
2004: 11th (C. Fleming)
2003: 2nd (C. Fleming)
2002: 6th (C. Fleming)
2001: 4th in Third Section (C. Fleming) (prom)
2000: Winners of Third Section
1999: Winners of Fourth Section (prom)
1998: 3rd
1997: Winners of Fourth Section
1996: N/K

Charles Fleming and his band continue to make progress up the sections and in a short space of time too, as they were playing in Fourth Section in 1999. 

Since then it has been upwards and onwards and 9th place last year was a good solid return. More encouragement came with 6th place at the SWBBA Torquay contest late last year so they should be confidence of at least making it up a couple more rungs on the promotion ladder, or even more.   

OceanOcean Brass
Nick Grace 

Last 12 Years:
2007: Winners of Second Section (N. Grace) (prom)
2006: 5th (N. Grace)
2005: 9th in First Section (N. Grace) (rel)
2004: 10th (L. Rich)
2003: 13th (D. Muir)
2002: 2nd (L. Rich)
2001: 13th (L. Rich)
2000: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1999: 7th
1998: N/K
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Ocean Brass gave a performance of detail and precision last year to take the Second Section title, and more of that approach may well be just what is required to make a mark on Gilbert Vinter’s tester. 

Nick Grace has continued the good work of the late Leighton Rich in fine style and we suspect that they may well fancy their chances of making something of a nautical splash this weekend if they really play to top form.   

OtterbourneOtterbourne Brass
Lt. Col. C. Davis OBE

Last 12 Years:
2007: 6th (Lt Col. C. Davis)
2006: 9th (Lt Col. C. Davis)
2005: 8th (Lt Col. C. Davis)
2004: Winners of Second Section (Lt. Col. C. Davis) (prom)
2003: 4th (Lt. Col. C. Davis)
2002: 8th (Lt. Col. C. Davis)
2001: 9th (L. Sale)
2000: 2nd in Third Section (prom)
1999: 3rd
1998: 7th
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

One of the most interesting MD/band combinations around, Otterbourne and Chris Davis seem a well matched pairing. 

As a result they have been moving very nicely in the right direction at this contest too and put in a very enjoyable performance last year, let down only by poor tuning. If that Achilles heel has been sorted out then they could well fancy their chances of perhaps picking up a qualification slot or even better.  

PortisheadPortishead Town
Ian Dickinson

Last 12 Years:
2007: 2nd in Second Section (I. Holmes) (prom)
2006: 4th (I. Holmes)
2005: Winners of Third Section (R. Griffiths) (prom)
2004: 6th (R. Griffiths)
2003: 7th (D. Beckley)
2002: 17th (D. Hollister)
2001: 11th (D. Hollister)
2000: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
1999: 5th
1998: 8th
1997: 20th
1996: N/K

Nice to see Ian Dickinson at the helm this year and the former Sun Life flugel star has a good band under this command too, if last year’s result has been improved upon.  

Then they were excellent value for their win under Ian Holmes and went on to come 7th at Harrogate. They are making a step in class, but there was evidence last year that they should be able to cope with it. We think they may well do that with comfort.   

SherborneSherborne Town
Paul Cosh 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 10th in Championship Section (P. Cosh) (prom)
2006: 11th (P. Cosh)
2005: 3rd in First Section (P. Cosh) (prom)
2004: 5th (P. Cosh)
2003: 5th (M. Portman)
2002: 12th (B. Buckley)
2001: 9th (G. Key)
2000: 9th
1999: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1998: 6th
1997: 6th
1996: N/K

Sherborne tried manfully last year to make an impression in the Championship Section under the direction of Paul Cosh, but it wasn’t to be and they fell through the relegation trap door.  

As we have said a thousand times before, that can sometimes be a good thing and if the band has built on the 7th place at the SWBBA Torquay contest then it should put them in decent fettle ahead of the weekend. They have done well here before and they can do so again we are sure.  

St DennisSt. Dennis
Brian Minear 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 4th (B. Minear)
2006: Winners of Second Section (B. Minear) (prom)
2005: 4th (B. Minear)
2004: Winners of Third Section (B. Minear) (prom)
2003: 2nd (B. Minear)
2002: Winners of Fourth Section (B. Minear) (prom)
2001: 2nd (B. Minear)
2000: 11th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

2, 4, 6, 8? Just looking at the record of the band here in the past few years suggests that this could be another championship winning year.  

Brian Minear continues to produce a stream of talented players under his command and it doesn’t look as if it is about to stop just yet either. Winners of the Open Section at the SWBBA Torquay contest, if they play like that again then there will be another cup for the clearner to polish in the bandroom come Saturday night.  

SwindonSwindon Pegasus Brass
Steve Armstrong-Watkins

Last 12 Years:
2007: 12th (S. Armstrong-Watkins)
2006: 4th (J. Winterflood)
2005: 10th (J. Winterflood)
2004: 9th (J. Winterflood)
2003: 4th (J. Winterflood)
2002: 5th (J. Winterflood)
2001: 9th in Championship Section (J. Winterflood) (rel)
2000: 9th
1999: 4th in First Section (prom)
1998: 6th
1997: 3rd
1996: N/K

A bit up and down here over the last few years for Swindon with 12th place last year meaning that they will have to be on an upswing this time around if they are to stave off any potential threat of possible relegation.  

The band did come as high as 4th a couple of years ago, so Steve Armstrong-Watkins may well be happy to take a giant leap for band kind on the weekend.  

WoodfallsWoodfalls Concert Brass
Steve Dunster 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 2nd (S. Dunster)
2006: 11th (S. Dunster)
2005: 2nd in Second Section (S. Dunster) (prom)
2004: 4th (S. Dunster)
2003: 10th (R. Bligh)
2002: 13th in First Section (R. Bligh) (rel)
2001: 11th (R. Bligh)
2000: 4th
1999: 5th in Second Section (prom)
1998: 11th
1997: 8th
1996: N/K

Steve Dunster and Woodfalls Concert Brass will be looking to book themselves a return trip to Harrogate on the weekend after making a quite remarkable leap up the results table last year when they came runner up.

That led to the trip north and an eventual well deserved 6th place against a strong field of rivals. More of that then will be the least of their ambitions.    

Past Qualifiers: 

2007: Hyde, Woodfalls Concert Brass
2006: Helston Town, Lydbrook
2005: Aldbourne, Cinderford
2004: Bournemouth Concert, Lanner and District
2003: City of Bristol, Test Valley Brass
2002: St. Austell, Ocean Brass
2001: Thornbury, Cinderford Swanbrook
2000: Thornbury, Yeovil Town
1999: Hyde, Forest of Dean
1998: Yeovil Town, Aldbourne
1997: Lydmet Lydney, Cinderford Swanbrook
1996: St. Austell, N/K
1995: Swindon Pegasus, Lydbrook  

West of England bands at the Finals:

2007: 6th, 8th
2006: 5th, 7th
2005: 4th, 16th
2004: 9th, 14th
2003: 11th, 12th
2002: 3rd, 7th
2001: 11th, 13th
2000: 3rd, 4th
1999: 12th, 15th
1998: 3rd, 5th   

4BR Prediction:

A hard one to call, as there are plenty of bands that could well push themselves into the qualification places. 

We just think that quite a few bands are very much on an up swing of fortune here at present and St Dennis is perhaps foremost among them. We opt for then for them to take the title, especially after their form at the SWBBA Torquay contest.

Joining them in Harrogate could well be one of Helston, Bodmin, Sherborne, Woodfalls or Chalford with Portishead as our dark horse.

1. St Dennis
2. Helston
3. Bodmin
4. Woodfalls Concert
5. Sherborne
6. Chalford

Dark Horse:  Portishead


2016   2015   2014   2013   2012
2011   2010   2009   2008   2007
2006   2005   2004 (1)   2004 (2)   2003
2002   2001