2008 National Championships of Great Britain - Runners and Riders


4BR looks at the records of the 20 bands that will take to the stage trying to win the title this weekend.

AveleyAveley and Newham
Nigel Taken
4BR Ranking:  36 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Gavin Hall
Euphonium: Derick Kane
Soprano: Robert Domingue
Trombone: Paul Yarrow
Horn: Trevor Foster
Flugel: Dave Lewis
Baritone: Mark Parfitt
Eb Tuba: David Klein
Bb Tuba: Gwyn Press

Appearances: 21st time
Debut: 1969 as Newham: 1990 as Aveley: 1995 as now.
Best Result: 5th in 1989 as Newham: 7th as Aveley and Newham 2000
Last Year: 14th

2008 Qualification: Runners-up at London and Southern Counties Regional Championships conducted by Nigel Taken.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 14th (Nigel Taken) (5)
2006: 18th (Nigel Taken) (9)
2005: 18th  (Nigel Taken) (7)
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: 12th (Nigel Taken) (10)
2001: 12th (Nigel Taken) (1)
2000:  7th  (Nigel Taken) (19)
1999: 13th (Nigel Taken) (4)
1998: 18th (Nigel Taken) (15)
1997: 17th (Melvin White) (4)
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
No Wins:
1 Fifth: 1989
2 Sixths: 1985, 1986
16 Unplaced: 1969 (N/K), 1982 (18th), 1984 (15th), 1987 (10th), 1990 (21st), 1992 (13th), 1993 (15th), 1995 (17th), 1997 (17th), 1998 (18th), 1999 (13th), 2000 (7th), 2001 (12th), 2002 (12th), 2005 (18th), 2006 (18th), 2007 (14th)

Form Guide:
Perhaps expectations are not that high for Aveley & Newham, but they have been solid performers here in the past.

The band continue to rebuild slowly but surely under the command of Nigel Taken, and although they were some way off the pace at the Grand Shield where they came 13th, they were much better at the Masters were they finished a solid 11th.

If further progress has been made since, then another midfield finish could be the outcome against a high class field.

Player to watch out for: Derek Kane –  Always a delight to hear one of the best in business.  

DykeBlack Dyke
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Richard Marshall
Euphonium: David Thornton
Soprano: Paul Duffy
Trombone: Brett Baker
Horn: Sandy Smith
Flugel: Alexandra Kerwin
Solo Baritone: Gareth Brindle
Eb Tuba: Joseph Cook
Bb Tuba: Matt Routley

Appearances: 76th time
Debut: 1900
Best Result: 20 Wins
Last Year: 4th

2008 Qualification: Winners of Yorkshire Regional Championships (pre-qualified) conducted by Dr. Nicholas Childs.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 4th (Nicholas Childs) (13)
2006: 2nd (Nicholas Childs) (8)
2005: 2nd (Nicholas Childs) (17)
2004: Winners (Nicholas Childs) (11)
2003: 4th (Nicholas Childs) (3)
2002: 3rd (Nicholas Childs) (4)
2001: Winners (Nicholas Childs) (12)
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: 5th (James Watson) (11)
1997: DNQ
1996: 3rd (James Watson) (6)

Overall Record:
Wins: 20 times - 1902, 1928, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1959, 1961, 1967, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2004
Second place: 18 times - 1900, 1923, 1924, 1930, 1932, 1936, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 2005, 2006
Third place: 11 times - 1903, 1913, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1952, 1960, 1973, 1974, 1996, 2002
Fourth place: 5 times - 1912, 1921, 1934, 2003, 2007
Fifth place: 3 times - 1908, 1955, 1998
Sixth place: 4 times - 1904, 1926, 1956, 1984
Unplaced: 14 times – 1909 (N/K), 1920 (N/K), 1922 (N/K), 1925 (N/K), 1927 (N/K), 1929 (N/K), 1931 (N/K), 1933 (N/K), 1945 (N/K), 1953 (N/K), 1958 (N/K), 1962 (8th), 1965 (N/K), 1990 (7th)

Form Guide:
Dyke would have hoped to have been able to come here with more than just the one title in the bag for 2008.

Winning at Bradford is always nice of course, but they were well beaten at Preston by Grimethorpe and the British Open saw their luck run out with the balls in the velvet bag.

It was a quality account nonetheless off number 1, but victory was always going to be beyond them on the day, and although 6th place may have been a touch unlucky, they had no real cause for complaint.  

Their last win here was four years ago now, so the pressure is mounting for a return to the top of the London pecking order.
Player to watch out for: Paul Duffy  – Came of age at the British Open with a fine display of mature soprano cornet playing.    

Philip Harper
4BR Ranking: 18

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ian Roberts
Euphonium: Mark Hutcherson
Soprano: Meirion Davies
Trombone: N/K
Horn: Jeff Hutcherson
Flugel: Alexandria James
Baritone: Tim Jones
Eb Tuba: Kate James
Bb Tuba: Tim Evans

Appearances: 10th time
Debut: 1988
Best Result: 5th
Last Year: DNQ

2008 Qualification: Runners-up at Welsh Regional Championships conducted by Graham O’Connor

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 7th (Jason Katsikaris) (10)
2006: DNQ
2005: 16th (Philip Harper) (14)
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: DNQ
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: 19th  (Alan Morrison) (9)
1997: DNQ
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
No Wins:
1 Fifth: 1991
8 Unplaced: 1988 (14th), 1989 (21st), 1990 (5th), 1993 (10th), 1994 (12th), 1998 (19th), 2005 (16th), 2007 (7th)

Form Guide:
A solid performance at the British Open where they came 13th showed that BTM was certainly not out of their depth against the very highest class of bands. It also showed however just how far they still have to go if they are to make anymore of a mark than a decent midfield finish too.

The appointment of Philip Harper could be the spark to ignite the blue touch paper, as he is guarenteed to bring something a little different to the proceedings. 

It could be a question of standing back a safe distance then, as the potential is certainly there for another trip close to the top six if it goes off with the bang they intend.
Player to watch out for: Ian Roberts – A principal cornet of high quality and points winning playing. 

CarltonCarlton Main Frickley Colliery
Russell Gray
4BR Ranking:  14

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kirsty Abbotts
Euphonium: Toni Howden 
Soprano: Gary Bates
Horn: Leah Williams
Flugel: Sam Fisher
Trombone: Becky Lundberg
Baritone: Bob Archer
Eb Tuba: Ben Dixon
Bb Tuba: Ray Sykes MBE

Appearances: 18th time
Debut: 1925
Best Result: 2nd twice
Last Year: DNQ

2008 Qualification: 3rd place at Yorkshire Championships conducted by Russell Gray.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: DNQ
2006: DNQ
2005: DNQ
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: DNQ
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: 17th (John Hinckley) (7)
1998: DNQ
1997: DNQ
1996:  DNQ

Overall Record:
No wins
2 Seconds: 1959, 1960
2 Thirds: 1927, 1957
2 Fourths: 1925, 1979
Unplaced: 11 times – (1928(N/K), 1929 (N/K), 1930 (N/K), 1952 (N/K) 1958 (N/K), 1971 (N/K), 1973 (N/K), 1978 (N/K), 1982 (N/K), 1983 (N/K), 1999 (17th)

Form Guide:
An interesting one this for any student of the contesting turf.

At times unlucky, at times disappointing, at times rather inspired – all in the past three races. What Carlton Main will bring to London on their first appearance back at the contest since 1999 is anyone’s guess, but if they are on form then they could well end up in the top six.

The British Open a few weeks ago showed just how good a band they are when they came a well deserved 7th, so if the the piece suits Russell Gray’s musical tastebuds then who knows?
Player to watch out for:  Kirsty Abbotts – Great to see such a fine performer back on the biggest stage of all. 

Dr. Robert Childs
4BR Ranking: 3

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ian Williams
Euphonium: David Childs
Soprano: Michelle Ibbotson
Trombone: Chris Thomas
Horn: Owen Farr
Flugel: Joanne Childs
Baritone: Susan Thomas
Eb Tuba: Oliver Brown
Bb Tuba: Fraser Bish

Appearances: 47th time
Debut: 1924
Best Result: 5 Wins
Last Year: 3rd

2008 Qualification: 3rd place at Welsh Regional Championships (pre-qualified) conducted by Dr. Robert Childs

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 3rd (Robert Childs) (11)
2006: 4th (Robert Childs) (7)
2005: 3rd (Robert Childs) (6)
2004: 4th (Robert Childs) (20)
2003: 3rd (Robert Childs) (12)
2002: 2nd (Robert Childs) (9)
2001: 5th (Robert Childs) (13)
2000: Winners (Robert Childs) (12)
1999: DNQ
1998: 6th (Jeremy Wise) (17)
1997: 6th (Jeremy Wise) (11)
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
Wins: 5 times - 1974, 1982, 1983, 1984, 2000
Second place: 3 times - 1948, 1979, 2002
Third place: 4 times – 1971, 2003, 2005, 2007
Fourth place: 2 times – 2004, 2006
Fifth place: 3 times - 1972, 1986, 2001
Sixth place: 6 times - 1949, 1952, 1967, 1976, 1997, 1998
Unplaced: 23 times – 1924 (N/K), 1945 (N/K), 1950 (N/K), 1951 (N/K), 1956 (N/K), 1959 (N/K), 1960 (N/K), 1961 (N/K), 1962 (N/K), 1963 (N/K), 1964 (N/K), 1965 (N/K), 1966 (N/K), 1968 (N/K), 1973 (N/K), 1975 (11th), 1977 (17th), 1978 (=7th), 1980 (6th), 1981 (=13th), 1988 (18th), 1992 (9th), 1994 (14th)

Form Guide:
The high of Stavanger was replaced by the low of Birmingham for Cory, as despite the usual trademark intricately detailed assault, they were still beaten into 3rd place in defence of their title.

Strange as it may seem, but the Albert Hall does suit the band better, even if they are yet to repeat their Millennium victory, and their record suggests they should once again be there or thereabouts come the announcement of the results. 

They are also a band that seems to revel in Kenneth Downie works, so the ingredients for a sixth National title are perhaps already in place?
Player to watch out for: Michelle Ibbotson – Swang song for the highly talented soprano star, who has been an integral part of the bands succes in recent years.     

DesfordDesford Colliery
Conductor: Nigel Seaman
4BR Ranking:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David Smith
Euphonium: Robin Taylor
Soprano: Martin Britt
Horn: Murray Borthwick
Flugel: Brian Winter
Trombone: David Bremner
Baritone: Lloyd Shipp
Eb Tuba: Jon Truscott
Bb Tuba: Phil Blake-Covey
Appearances: 23rd time
Debut: 1976
Best Result: 4 Wins
Last Year: DNQ

2008 Qualification: Winners of Midlands Regional Championships conducted by Nigel Seaman.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 10th (Nigel Seaman) (4)
2006: DNQ
2005: 9th (Nigel Seaman) (15)
2004: DNQ
2003: 10th (Major Peter Parkes) (6)
2002: 8th (Major Peter Parkes) (13)
2001: DNQ
2000: 11th (Major Peter Parkes) (11)
1999: DNQ
1998: 15th (Frank Renton) (19)
1997: DNQ
1996: 10th (Bramwell Tovey) (3)

Overall Record:
Wins: 4 times - 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990
Second place: 2 times - 1985, 1992
Third place: 1 time - 1995
Unplaced: 14 times – 1976 (9th), 1977 (10th), 1979 (13th), 1980 (7th), 1982 (7th), 1984 (7th), 1986 (11th), 1993 (21st), 1996 (10th), 1998 (15th), 2000 (11th), 2002 (8th), 2003 (10th), 2005 (9th), 2007 (10th)

Form Guide:
After having a break after the Masters by not taking part in the English Nationals, hopes were high at Desford for a strong challenge at the British Open.

It wasn’t to be however and although the band ended up unluckily in 14th place, a trademark musical performance was also bedevilled by too many unforced errors – a sign perhaps that they need a bit more intensive preperation time to make a mark at the top two majors.

If they have managed to do that this time around then who knows? A return to the glory years of the late 1980’s may just be beyond them at present, but never under estimate Desford and their ability to surprise.

Player to watch out for: Murray Bothwick – A solo horn performer of the old school – no nonsense class.  

eymsEast Yorkshire Motor Services
Frans Violet
4BR Ranking:  41

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Neil Day
Euphonium: Neil Johnson
Soprano: John Belton
Trombone: Mark Unsworth
Horn: Alison Grantham
Flugel: Kathy Newiss
Baritone: John Mathews
Eb Tuba: David Fox
Bb Tuba: Steve Gibson

10th time
Debut: 1996
Best Result: 8th
Last Year: DNQ

2008 Qualification: Runners-up at North of England Championships conducted by Robert Childs.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 12th (Jim Davies) (2)
2006: DNQ
2005: DNQ
2004: 20th (Gareth Pritchard) (17)
2003: 14th (Gareth Pritchard) (13)
2002: 20th (Gareth Pritchard) (3)
2001: 14th (Gareth Pritchard) (10)
2000: DNQ
1999: 15th (John Roberts) (18)
1998: 10th (John Roberts) (5)
1997: 13th (Robert Childs) (5)
1996: 8th (Robert Childs) (14)

Overall Record:
Unplaced: 8 times – 1996 (8th), 1997 (13th), 1998 (10th), 1999 (15th), 2001 (14th), 2002 (20th), 2003 (14th), 2004 (20th), 2007 (12th)

Form Guide:
An interesting one this. When ever Frans Violet is in front of a band you can be sure that his charges will be on the top of their game and worked to the bone in preperation.

The combination certainly worked well at the Senior Cup earlier in the season where they were decisive winners, whilst they were also good value for their qualification under Robert Childs in Darlington.

This is however a real step up in class, although last year they showed that they were more than capable of making it - just missing out on a top 10 finish off the dead man’s draw of number 2. More of the same could be on the cards.   
Player to watch out for: Neil Day – The bands new top man is a top notch performer too. 

Philip Chalk
4BR Ranking: 13

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Laura Hirst
Euphonium: Mark Bousie
Soprano: Mark Harrison
Trombone: Stephen Sykes
Horn: Chris Pannell
Flugel: Lucy Murphy
Baritone: Mike Wells
Eb Tuba: Richard Evans
Bb Tuba: Johnny Shaw

Appearances: 45th time
Debut: 1945
Best Result: 9 wins
Last Year: DNQ

2008 Qualification: 3rd place at North West Regional Championships conducted by Philip Chalk.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: DNQ
2006: 7th (Simon Stonehouse) (6)
2005: 8th (Simon Stonehouse) (9)
2004: 10th (David Evans) (19)
2003: Winners (Allan Withington) (19)
2002: Winners (Allan Withington) (14)
2001: 4th (Howard Snell) (2)
2000: 8th (James Gourlay) (9)
1999: 5th (James Gourlay) (14)
1998: 3rd (James Gourlay) (16)
1997: 2nd (James Gourlay) (13)
1996: 4th (James Gourlay) (7)

Overall Record:
Wins: 9 times - 1945, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1965, 1986, 1993, 2002, 2003
Second place: 4 times - 1946, 1947, 1994, 1997
Third place: 5 times - 1966, 1978, 1980, 1992, 1998
Fourth place: 4 times - 1984, 1987, 1996, 2001
Fifth place: 4 times - 1962, 1975, 1988, 1999
Sixth place: 6 times - 1953, 1958, 1959, 1982, 1990, 1991
Unplaced: 12 times - 1948 (N/K), 1955 (N/K), 1957 (N/K), 1963 (N/K), 1972 (N/K), 1979 (15th), 1983 (8th), 1995 (8th), 2000 (8th), 2004 (10th), 2005 (8th), 2006 (7th)

Form Guide:
Better than their last appearance suggests – much better in fact.

2008 hasn’t been the greatest of contesting years so far for Fairey, but for the most part Lady Luck hasn’t been very evident in her support for the 9 times former winners.

The British Open result of 15th was a case in point, whilst their returns at the Masters and English National were not really a true relfection of their solid performances under Philip Chalk.   Could do with a bit of luck then – and it is overdue.

Player to watch out for:  Mark Bousie -  a superb player who has the ability to lead Fairey right back into the big time. 

Garry Cutt
4BR Ranking: 2

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Mark Wilkinson
Euphonium: Glyn Williams
Soprano: Alan Wycherley
Trombone: John Barber
Horn: Lesley Howie
Flugel: Helen Williams
Baritone: Natsumi Inaba
Eb Tuba: Les Neish
Bb Tuba: Toby Hobson

Appearances: 59th time
Debut: 1909
Best Result: 12 Wins
Last Year: 2nd

2008 Qualification: Winners of the North West Regional Championships conducted by Garry Cutt. (pre-qualified)

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 2nd (Garry Cutt) (6)
2006: 5th (Garry Cutt) (15)
2005: DNQ
2004: DNQ
2003: 5th (Thomas Wyss) (2)
2002: 4th (Bramwell Tovey) (20)
2001: 2nd (Bramwell Tovey) (20)
2000: 3rd (Bramwell Tovey) (15)
1999: Winners (Nicholas Childs) (5)
1998: 4th (Nicholas Childs) (20)
1997: 3rd (Nicholas Childs) (2)
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
Wins: 12 times - 1910, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1950, 1953, 1958, 1999
Second place: 11 times - 1909, 1911, 1921, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1988, 1990, 1991, 2001, 2007
Third place: 7 times - 1912, 1923, 1947, 1954, 1959, 1997, 2000
Fourth place: 5 times - 1928, 1957, 1989, 1998, 2002
Fifth place: 6 times – 1922, 1956, 1978, 1983, 1985, 2006
Sixth place: 3 times - 1925, 1931, 1961
Unplaced: 14 times – 1913, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1955, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1972, 1976 (13th=), 1977 (15th) , 1980 (16th=), 1993 (11th)

Form Guide:
Will any band head to London as full to the brim with confidence as Fodens we wonder?

At Symphony Hall they were simply outstanding and fully deserved to take the old  Gold Trophy back to Sandbach, whilst their record here over the last decade suggests that they have all the ingredients in place to mount yet another serious assault on the title.

That said, the contesting fates have been a touch fickle with Fodens this year too (the Masters for instance), so they won’t be taking anything for granted.  If they produce the form of Birmingham though the second double in their history (the first was in 1910) may well be in their sights. 

Player to watch out for: Glyn Williams – The euphoium star has was a man inspired at Symphony Hall, and it may well continue here too.   

GrimethorpeGrimethorpe Colliery
Allan Withington
4BR Ranking: 1

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Roger Webster
Euphonium: Michael Dodd
Soprano: Kevin Crockford
Trombone: Richard Brown
Horn: Arfon Owen
Flugel: Andrew Holmes
Baritone: Rob Richardson
Eb Tuba: Shaun Crowther
Bb Tuba: Gary Proctor

Appearances: 29th time
Debut: 1962
Best Result: 4 wins
Last Year: Winners

2007 Qualification: Runners-up at Yorkshire Regional Championships conducted by Allan Withington. (pre-qualified)

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: Winners (Allan Withington) (18)
2006: Winners (Allan Withington) (16)
2005: 4th (Allan Withington) (20)
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: 7th  (James Gourlay) (11)
2001: DNQ
2000: 10th (Garry Cutt) (2)
1999: DNQ
1998: DNQ
1997: 7th   (Major Peter Parkes) (8)
1996: 2nd  (Major Peter Parkes) (19)

Overall Record:
Wins: 4 times - 1970, 1992, 2006, 2007
Second place: 3 times - 1974, 1977, 1996
Third place: 3 times - 1972, 1978, 1991
Fourth place: 7 times - 1962, 1967, 1969, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2005
Fifth place: 1 time – 1976
Sixth place: 1 time – 1964
Unplaced: 9 times – 1963 (N/K), 1968 (N/K), 1973 (N/K), 1981 (=10th), 1984 (10th), 1989 (9th), 1997 (7th), 2000 (10th), 2002 (7th)

Form Guide:
Immortality awaits.

If ever a band can do it then Grimethorpe and Allan Withington surely can. In a sense everything has been building to this point in 2008, and despite the win at Preston and the near misses at Bradford, Stavanger and Birmingham, the very apex of their contest year will take place sometime on Saturday.    

Only a very early draw or a catastrophic loss of form can stop them, as in the past two years they have been untouchable here. The romantics in the audience will provide the sentiment, the players and the MD, the talent and the form.  It could well become a historic moment. 
Player to watch out for:  All of them. If they do it, they will deserve every plaudit that comes their way.   

Selmer Simonsen
4BR Ranking: 15

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David Prentice
Euphonium: Neil Philip
Soprano: Steve Stewart
Trombone: Chris Rivera
Horn: Allan Wardrope
Flugel: Caron Robson
Baritone: James Corrigan
Eb Bass: Andy McKreel
Bb Bass: Dave Truesdale

Appearances: 12th time
Debut: 1968
Best Result: 4th in 1997
Last Year: 17th

2007 Qualification: Runners-up at Scottish Regional Championships conducted by Selmer Simonsen.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 17th (Nigel Boddice) (8)
2006: 8th (Steve Bastable) (19)
2005: DNQ
2004: DNQ
2003: 8th (Frank Renton) (9)
2002: 14th (Frank Renton) (16)
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: 11th (Frank Renton) (3)
1998: 12th (Frank Renton) (6)
1997: 4th (Frank Renton) (17)
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Fourth place: 1 time -1997
Fifth place:
Sixth place:
Unplaced: 10 times - 1968, 1984 (9th), 1985 (13th), 1990 (19th), 1998 (12th), 1999 (11th), 2002 (14th), 2003 (8th), 2006 (8th), 2007 (17th)

Form Guide:
Resurrected from the dead, Kirkintilloch was a  band reborn at the British Open.

There, under the most intense pressure to survive the drop, they produced a wonderful performance that not only dragged them from the abyss, but saw them crack into the top six in style.

The combination of an extremely talented Norwegian MD and a vibrant bunch of players is working a treat, and another performance of the Birmingham quality will have them up and around the top six here for sure. They were that good, so don’t miss them.

Player to watch out for: David Prentice – Quality leadership in Birmingham and quality leadership here for sure.  

Jason Katsikaris
4BR Ranking:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Nick Walkley
Euphonium: Brenden Wheeler
Soprano: Matthew Balson
Trombone: Daniel Brooks
Horn: Kate Eggleshaw
Flugel: Nicki Longden
Baritone: Katrina Marzella
Eb Tuba: Chris Doran
Bb Tuba: Bill Carter
Appearances: 23rd time
Debut: 1981
Best Result: Winners 
Last Year: 13th

2007 Qualification: Runners-up place at North West Regional Championships conducted by Jason Katsikaris.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 13th (Russell Gray) (15)
2006: 6th (Russell Gary) (20)
2005: Winners (Russell Gray) (5)
2004: 16th (Garry Cutt) (13)
2003: 17th (Garry Cutt) (5)
2002: 15th (Garry Cutt) (6)
2001: 6th (Garry Cutt) (8)
2000: 14th (Howard Snell) (16)
1999: 10th (Richard Evans) (6)
1998: 8th (Richard Evans) (4)
1997: DNQ
1996: 7th (Richard Evans) (9)

Overall Record:
Wins: 1 time - 2005
Third place: 1 time - 1984
Fourth place: 1 time - 1990
Fifth place: 2 times - 1993, 1995
Sixth place: 2 times – 2001, 2006
Unplaced: 15 times 1981 (=10th), 1982 (8th), 1985 (8th), 1987 (9th), 1991 (7th), 1994 (7th), 1996 (7th), 1998 (8th), 1999 (10th), 2000 (14th), 2002 (15th), 2003 (17th), 2004 (16th), 2007 (13th)

Form Guide:
A band and MD that has the talent to regain the National title – and this time it wouldn’t be as big a surprise as 2005.

When it all clicks Leyland are a high octance mix of musical excitement that can burn off the very best bands in the business, but they can also be prone to self immolation too.

At Birmingham they were on fire and came 4th, but elsewhere this year, such as the English Nationals, they got their fingers singed. Something big is going to happen sooner or later though and it could be all guns blazing on Saturday.   
Player to watch out for: Brenden Wheeler – Now a very mature and classy performer of considerable talent.    

Mount CharlesMount Charles
Andrew Duncan
4BR Ranking: 23

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ian Thomas
Euphonium: Neil Pascoe
Soprano: Jon Small
Trombone: Martin Saunders
Horn: Sarah Whitehead
Flugel: Tim Whitehead
Baritone: Terry Sleeman
Eb Tuba: Shawn Woodland
Bb Tuba: Alistair Whitehead

Appearances: 4th time
Debut: 2004
Best Result: 7th
Last Year: 20th

2008 Qualification: Winners of the West of England Regional Championship conducted by Andrew Duncan.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 20th (Andrew Duncan) (9)
2006: 9th (Nigel Weeks) (17)
2005: DNQ
2004: 7th (Bryan Hurdley) (5)

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Unplaced: 3 times – 2004 (7th), 2006 (9th), 2007 (20th)

Form Guide:
A band on the up and making rapid progress after a year that started with many a disappointment. Mount Charles will come here full of confidence and looking for a vast improvement on last years bottom finish.

They will have been revitalised after the way in which they performed at Preston at the English Nationals. There Andrew Duncan’s sensible musical approach work was enhanced by a collective self belief that paid dividends, and they were not by any means fortuitous to end up in 4th place.

It coud be asking a great deal for more of the same, but a return towards the top 10 will show just how far they have come.

Player to watch out for: Jon  Small – The soprano player was the catalyst at Preston and he may well be again on Saturday. 

RedbridgeRedbridge Brass
Jeremy Wise
4BR Ranking: 29

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ralph Brill
Euphonium: Lisa Brill
Soprano: Bob Stradling
Horn: Megan Morgan
Flugel: Alan Roberts
Trombone: Jayne Murrell
Baritone: Colin Leggett
Eb Tuba: Chris Bearman
Bb Tuba: Graham Patterson

Appearances: 13th time
Debut: 1988
Best Result: 7th
Last Year: 15th

2008 Qualification: Winners of London and Southern Counties Regional Championships conducted Robert Wiffen.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 15th (Melvin White) (14)
2006: DNQ
2005: 7th (Melvin White) (4)
2004: 12th (Melvin White) (3)
2003: 15th (Melvin White) (20)
2002: 11th (Melvin White) (15)
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: 20th (Melvin White) (12)
1997: 18th (Graham Wilson) (16)
1996: 13th (Graham Wilson) (10)

Overall Record:
Unplaced: 12 times 1988 (19th), 1990 (18th), 1991 (18th), 1992 (19th), 1996 (13th), 1997 (18th), 1998 (20th), 2002 (11th), 2003 (15th), 2004 (12th), 2005 (7th), 2007 (15th)

Form Guide:
The arrival of Jeremy Wise at Redbridge has brought a greater degree of self belief to a band that has always been talented, but has also been a notorious under achiever in the past too.

The highlight so far this season was the performance at the Masters where the band mirrored the elegant baton work of the MD, whilst they produced more artisan qualities at the Grand Shield and the English Nationals.

They have shown glimpses of their real potential here in the past, and although it would be asking a bit much for a breakthrough top six finish, a possible top 10 result is a relalistic prospect. 

Player to watch out for: Bob Stradling – The soprano player brings  a touch of experience and class to every performance.   

Reg VardyReg Vardy
Allan Ramsay
4BR Ranking: 22 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Jim Hayes
Euphonium: Paul Robinson
Soprano: Tom Glendinning
Trombone: Chris Bentham
Horn: Steve Hardy
Flugel: Nicola Bentham
Baritone: Laura Boyle
Eb Tuba: Tony Taylor
Bb Tuba: Alistair Storey

Appearances: 41st time
Debut: 1963 as Craghead Colliery, 1969 as Ever Ready, 2004 as Reg Vardy
Best Result: 3rd
Last Year: 19th

2008 Qualification: Winners of North of England Regional Championships conducted by Nicholas Childs.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 19th (Ray Farr) (7)
2006: 16th (Ray Farr) (10)
2005: 10th (Ray Farr) (8)
2004: 3rd (Ray Farr) (18)
2003: 12th (Ray Farr) (15)
2002: 9th (Ray Farr) (8)
2001: DNQ
2000: 13th (Stephen Roberts) (3)
1999: 19th (Robert Childs) (8)
1998: DNQ
1997: 5th (Stephen Roberts) (10)
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
Third place: 1 time - 2004
Fourth place: 1 time - 1976
Fifth place: 2 times - 1982, 1997
Sixth: 3 times -1970, 1973, 1988
Unplaced: 32 times – 1963 (N/K), 1964 (N/K), 1965 (N/K), 1966 (N/K), 1967 (N/K), 1968 (N/K), 1969 (N/K), 1972 (N/K), 1974  (=11th), 1975 (7th), 1977 (7th), 1978 (9th), 1979 (9th), 1980 (11th), 1981 (16th), 1984 (11th), 1985 (12th), 1986 (12th), 1987 (13th), 1989 (17th), 1990 (14th), 1991 (8th), 1992 (16th), 1993 (17th), 1994 (16th), 1995 (19th), 1999 (19th), 2000 (13th), 2002 (9th), 2003 (12th), 2005 (10th), 2006 (16th), 2007 (19th)

Form Guide:
After a couple of free fall years at the major contests, Reg Vardy returned to form in 2008, although they are still a band a few steps away from completing the rebuilding process.

Getting here saw them produce their best form at Darlington, whilst they were unlucky in more than one respect both at Cambridge and Preston, where two midfield places didn’t perhaps do them justice.

They have shown here in the past that they can produce the goods, and with Allan Ramsay at the helm they should more than hold their own to be in line for a possible top 10 finish.  
Player to watch out for: Jim Hayes – The principal cornet player has brought a sense of solidity to the top of the band that has renewed confidence all around the stands.   

RothwellRothwell Temperance
David Roberts
4BR Ranking: 20

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: James McCabe
Euphonium: Andrew Marsh
Soprano: Paul Argyle
Horn: Catherine Roberts
Flugel: Sian Carradus
Trombone: Nick Walker
Baritone: Andy Padgett
Eb Tuba: Edward Hodkin
Bb Tuba: Ben Ridgeon
Appearances:  3rd time
Debut: 1999
Best Result: 6th in 1999
Last Year: DNQ

2008 Qualification: 4th place at the Yorkshire Regional Championship conducted by David Roberts.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: DNQ
2006: 14th (Dave Roberts) (11)
2005: DNQ
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: DNQ
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: 6th (David Roberts) (17)
1998: DNQ
1997: DNQ
1996: DNQ

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Sixth place: 1 time - 1999
Unplaced: 1 time – 2006 (14th)

Form Guide:
Hopefully Rothwell will use the disappointment of losing their place at the British Open as a means of drawing the very best out of themselves, as they return to the Royal Albert Hall for the third time in their history.

Birmingham was a hard one to swallow though and it will take all of Dave Roberts abilities as a motivator to ensure that it doesn’t have a corrosive effect on their performance here. They will be going all out to make a point for sure, but it needs to be focused.

Given their usual approach has proved to be succesful over the last couple of years, that little extra spice may just be the added ingredient required for a top 10 finish or above. That should put a few smiles on the faces. 
Player to watch out for: Paul Argyle – A top quality soprano player and a performer who shines on the major contesting platforms.  

SWT WoofallsSWT Woodfalls
Melvin White
4BR Ranking: 48

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kevin Darby
Euphonium: Graham Lawrence
Soprano: Mark Pye
Trombone: Scott Stewart
Horn: Trish Chislett
Flugel: Adrian Wallace
Baritone: Chantal Pye
Eb Tuba: Terry Cawte
Bb Tuba: Jim Slade

Appearances: 10th time
Debut: 1952
Best Result: 10th in 1978
Last Year: DNQ

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: DNQ
2006: DNQ
2005: DNQ
2004: DNQ
2003: DNQ
2002: 18th (Frans Violet) (2)
2001: DNQ
2000: DNQ
1999: DNQ
1998: 16th (Steve Sykes) (8)
1997: DNQ
1996: 15th (Melvin White) (2)

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Unplaced: 9 times 1952 (N/K), 1953 (N/K), 1967 (N/K), 1968 (N/K), 1975 (=16th), 1978 (10th), 1996 (15th), 1998 (16th), 2002 (18th)

Form Guide:
A little bit of a mystery to how well SWT Woodfalls are actually playing, as they have been a little hit and miss this year so far.

The hits certainly came at the Senior Trophy at Blackpool where under the baton of Nicholas Childs they took a step closer to the British Open,  and Torquay of course. The misses though were at Yeovil and Butlins – although to be fair both were at the beginning of the year.

With the experienced Melvin White at the helm they will certainly be well prepared, but it is asking a great deal for them to deliver more than a midfield finish. 
Player to watch out for: Mark Pye – A cracking soprano cornet is always a bonus for any band, and he is certainly one of those. 

Ian Porthouse
4BR Ranking: 10

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dewi Griffiths
Euphonium: Darren Morris
Soprano: Steve Barnsley
Trombone: Gareth Robinson
Horn: Chris Davies
Flugel: Andrea Lewis
Baritone: Geraint Chamberlain
Eb Tuba: Gethin Rees
Bb Tuba: Andy Russell

Appearances: 22nd time
Debut: 1964
Best Result: 2nd
Last Year: 8th

2008 Qualification: Winners of Welsh Regional Championships conducted by Ian Porthouse.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 8th (Ian Porthouse) (19)
2006: DNQ
2005: DNQ
2004: 5th (Russell Gray) (10)
2003: 2nd (Steve Bastable) (11)
2002: DNQ
2001: 7th (Steve Bastable) (14)
2000: 5th (Steve Bastable) (13)
1999: 3rd (Thomas Wyss) (11)
1998: DNQ
1997: DNQ
1996: 11th (Nicholas Childs) (4)

Overall Record:
Second place: 2 times – 1993, 2003
Third place: 1 time - 1999
Fifth place: 3 times - 1994, 2000, 2004
Sixth place: 2 times - 1977, 1979
Unplaced: 13 times – 1964 (N/K), 1967 (N/K), 1974 (=13th), 1978 (=14th), 1981 (15th), 1983 (14th), 1985 (=16th), 1990 (17th), 1992 (8th), 1995 (9th), 1996 (11th), 2001 (7th), 2007 (8th)

Form Guide:
One of the real form bands of 2008, and many people’s dark horse to do well here on the weekend, after a cluch of impressive performances at home and on their travels.

Some of those victories have come in second or third tier contests, but they certainly deserved their runners-up spot at Cambridge and were unlucky not to have qualified for the British Open.

They have come a long way in a short space of time under the talented Ian Porthouse, so does the Royal Albert Hall promise another boost to their ranking. They certainly have a decent record here over the years to suggest they could more than make a mark.  
Player to watch out for: Dewi Griffiths – The principal cornet has been the figurehead of the band’s revival of late.  

GUSVirtuosi GUS
John Berryman
4BR Ranking: 26

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: James Fountain
Euphonium: Robert Woods
Soprano: Gary Fountain
Trombone: Chris Jeans
Horn: Simon Smith
Flugel: Cliff Pask
Baritone: Mark Giles
Eb Tuba: Linda Hobbs
Bb Tuba: Mike Smith

Appearances: 46th time
Debut: 1935
Best Result: 6 wins
Last Year: DNQ

2008 Qualification: Runners-up at Midlands Regional Championships conducted by John Berryman.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: DNQ
2006: DNQ
2005: DNQ
2004: 6th (David Stowell) (9)
2003: DNQ
2002: 16th (Brian Grant) (18)
2001: 16th (Frank Renton) (3)
2000: 12th (Melvin White) (10)
1999: DNQ
1998: DNQ
1997: DNQ
1996: 14th (John Berryman) (12)

Overall Record:
Wins: 6 times -1935, 1955, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1966
Second place: 2 times - 1938, 1972
Third place: 6 times - 1946, 1956, 1963, 1965, 1968, 1983
Fourth place: 6 times - 1947, 1949, 1959, 1961, 1974, 1986
Fifth place: 1 time - 1969
Sixth place: 2 times – 1995, 2004
Unplaced: 22 times – 1936(N/K), 1937 (N/K), 1958 (N/K), 1962 (N/K), 1967 (N/K), 1973 (N/K), 1976 (=15th), 1978 (11th), 1980 (=12th), 1981 (=7th), 1984 (8th), 1985 (15th), 1987 (7th), 1989 (22nd), 1990 (13th), 1991 (16th), 1993 (9th), 1994 (10th), 1996 (14th), 2000 (12th), 2001 (16th) 

Form Guide: 
Nice to see one of the great banding names of the National return once more to the contest after a three year break away – and always nice to see John Berryman return too.

GUS are not quite the band they once were of course, but their rebuilding plans have been based on secure foundations - although they have had a wobbly moment or two this year to show things are not quite complete, just yet.

There is a solidity about their player base that the MD can work with confidence, and if they can just rid themselves of that touch of inconsistency it could signal a return to a possible high finish.
Player to watch out for: Chris Jeans – As good as they come on trombone. 

Steven Mead
4BR Ranking: 11

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Chris Bradley
Euphonium: Evelyn Bradley
Soprano: Scott Forest
Trombone: Alex Phillip
Horn: Iain Fleming
Flugel: Jim Chamberlain
Baritone: Anne Crookston
Eb Bass: Graham Frazer
Bb Bass: Alan Gourlay

Appearances: 27th time
Debut: 1968
Best Result: 3rd
Last Year: DNQ

2008 Qualification: Winners of Scottish Regional Championships conducted by Russell Gray.

Last 12 Years: (Position, MD, Draw)
2007: 9th (Steven Mead) (17)
2006: DNQ
2005: 11th (Andrew Duncan) (2)
2004: 8th (Andrew Duncan) (2)
2003: DNQ
2002: 10th (Phillip McCann) (19)
2001: 8th (Phillip McCann) (6)
2000: DNQ
1999: 9th (Phillip McCann) (9)
1998: 13th (Major Peter Parkes) (10)
1997: 11th (Richard Adams) (3)
1996: 17th (Chris Houlding) (5)

Overall Record:
No Wins:
Third place: 2 times - 1981, 1989
Fifth place: 2 times -1990, 1991
Unplaced: 22 times – 1968 (N/K), 1971 (N/K), 1972 (N/K), 1974 (=13th), 1975 (=16th), 1976 (20th), 1977 (19th), 1980 (18th), 1982 (10th), 1986 (7th), 1987 (17th), 1992 (11th), 1993 (8th), 1996 (17th), 1997 (11th), 1998 (13th), 1999 (9th), 2001 (8th), 2002 (10th), 2004 (8th), 2005 (11th), 2007 (9th)

Form Guide:
Whitburn display all the right ingredients for a band to do well at London, but somehow they just haven’t been able to mix them all together well enough to do themselves any favours here of late.

The draw hasn’t helped at times, but they have also not played to form either too.

This year has been a decent one so far with some second and third tier contests wins supplementing the bank balance. It’s the partnership with Steven Mead that is gaining interest though, and after a solid showing at the Open where they came 10th, they should have it about them to push for another single figure finish.     

Player to watch out for: Scott Forrest – The young soprano player is making a fine reputation for himself as a high class performer. 


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