2009 West of England Regional Championship - Second Section: Runners & Riders


Another 14 band field will set their musical sights westwards to find the musical inspiration to head north to Harrogate in September.

TorquaySaturday 14th March
Adjudicators: Nigel Boddice & Alan Fernie
The Forum
Test Piece: New World Sketches – Dan Price

Draw: 8.45am
Commences: 10.00am

BristolBristol East & Kingswood
J. Griffin 

Last 12 Years:
2008: Winners (R. Curran)
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)
After tasting bitter disappointment here in 2007, Roy Curran led Bristol to an emphatic victory 12 months ago, and went on to post a well earned 8th place at the Finals too.

Now they return as reigning champions, and determined, we are sure, under the baton of their new MD to make speedy return to Harrogate. More of last year’s form and they won’t be far off for certain. 

CamborneCamborne B
Alan Pope 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 5th (A. Pope)
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
Alan Pope continues to do wonderful work down in Camborne, and there is a real possibility that his young band could well be taking to the stage with their senior rivals in the next few years if they carry on with their remarkable progress.

5th place last year on their debut was a fine achievement, and they were also runner up at Torquay late last season too. We suspect the upward journey hasn’t reached it’s final destination quite yet.    

Dave Lea
Last 12 Years:
2008: 14th in First Section (L. Baglin) (rel)
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

Nice to see Dave Lea making his annual trip from the Midlands down to Cinderford once again.

In the last few years the band has lost form somewhat here, dropping from 2nd place in 2005 to 14th last year, and through the relegation trap door in the First Section. They will want to stop that particular decline pretty sharpish, and the man  from Jaguar may well have to put some bite into their performance if they are to do just that.    

City of BristolCity of Bristol
Ceri Thomas 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 11th in First Section (I. Holmes) (rel)
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)

The appointment of Ceri Thomas as the new MD will have given City of Bristol a boost ahead of this contest – and they may well need it after their relegation from the First Section last year. 

That was perhaps a bit predictable anyway, given that they did not compete in either of the preceeding two years, and it may well have been a good thing too, as the band should be able to find its contesting feet as it retruns for the first time since 2006. 

Filton Concert Brass
Bryn James

Last 12 Years:
2008: 10th (B. James)
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

A bit of a blip for Bryn James and his band last year after they seemed to be climbing towards possible qualification and promotion in the previous couple of years.

10th was a blow and may well mean that they will have to keep an eye on not being drawn into a possible relegation battle. The quality has been there in the past though and should resurface once more.   

ForestForest of Dean
Jackie Gwynne 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 6th (J. Gwynne)
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)
Forest of Dean has experienced it’s fair share of ups and downs here over the past decade or more – from appearances in the top section to relegation back here in 2007.

Jackie Gwynne continues to produce solid performances from her band year in year out though, and their recent 4th place at Torquay may well suggest that yet another upward move in the contesting fortunes is on the books come Saturday.

GillinghamGillingham Imperial Silver
Alan McRae 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 8th (A. MacRae)
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

Gillingham has produced two solid performances in the past two years under the baton of Alan MacRae, and they were not too far off pinching a top six place last time out.

If the band has been able to build on that in the last few months then a possible repeat of their 4th place in 2004 may be in sight.   

HeylHeyl Town
Derek Johnston

Last 12 Years:
2008: 4th in Third Section (D. Johnston) (prom)
2007: 6th (D. Johnstone)
2006: DNC
2005: 3rd in Third Section  (D. Johnston) (prom)
2004: 2nd (D. Johnston)
2003: Winners of Fourth Section (D. Johnston) (prom)
2002: 2nd (D. Johnston)
2001: 9th (D. Johnston)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: 14th in Third Section (rel)
1997: DNC

Upward, upward, upward. Heyl continue on their rapid progress up the sections, although they have achieved promotion in the past couple of years by not really setting the contesting stage on fire.

4th place last year was enough to gain the step up, but they have performed better on their travels in the last season or two. Time for a bit of strong home form then, but they know they will have to up the ante from their 4th place in the Third Section at Torquay if they are to start looking at B& B brochures in North Yorkshire.   

PhoienixPhoenix Brass (Crewkerne)
Paul Slator

Last 12 Years:
2008: 7th (P. Slator)
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)

Paul Slator has turned around the fortunes of Phoenix at this contest in the last two years, and although they couldn’t improve on the 4th place of 2007 last year, they were still impressively solid in coming 7th.

5th place at the Torquay contest suggests more of the same, and an outside chance of a possible qualification spot for the Finals for the first time since 1999. 

ShrewtonShrewton Silver
Stan Lippeatt

Last 12 Years:
2008: 2nd (M. Dunford)
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
Shrewton were good value for their runner up spot last year under Michael Dunford, and went on to come 13th at Harrogate. They will return a much better band for that experience we are sure.

Whether or not they return back to NorthYorkshire this time is another matter, but if they have the desire to go with their talent then they had better start opening the saving account come Monday morning.  

SolentSolent Concert
Hayden Garner 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 12th (W. Garner)
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)
A contest down this neck of the woods wouldn’t be the same without the name of Garner tagged onto a competing band (This time it is Hayden not his father Wes due to ill health).  Solent will need to recover the type of form that used to see them hold their own in the First Section a few years back though, as in the past couple of outings they have fallen off the pace.

A good result is needed to avoid the spectre of relegation, so all the Garner experience will be needed come the weekend. 

South MoultonSouth Molton Town
D. Marshall

Last 12 Years:
2008: 9th (T. Treherne)
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

Six years in a row now South Molton has posted a better result than the year before, and more of that this time and they could well be looking at a possible qualification place for Harrogate.

That would be some achievement for sure, but with a new MD at the helm confidence should be high. 

St PinnockSt. Pinnock
J. Willcock 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 11th (S. White)
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 has just found life a bit tough of late here, and they will need a decent result this time around if they are not to be looking at a relegation battle.

The good news is that they posted an impressive 3rd place at Torquay late last year, so more of that form and they should be more than just OK.   

VerwoodVerwood Concert Brass
David Johnson

Last 12 Years:
2008: Winners of Third Section (D. Johnson) (prom)
2007: 4th (D. Johnson)
2006: Winners of Fourth Section (D. Marshall) (prom)
2005: Winners (P. Norley)
2004: 11th (P. Norley)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC (rel)
2001: 18th
2000: N/K in Third Section (rel)
1999: 16th
1998: 18th
1997: 11th
Three time winners in the past four years, Verwood will not lack for confidence that is for sure, after taking the Third Section title in such splendid fashion twelve months ago.

That led to them coming runner up at Harrogate, so they will be bursting at the seams with well placed confidence as they look to book yet another trip north. They may even get a hotel discount for being regulars if they do.  

Past Qualifiers:

2008: Bristol East & Kingswood, Shrewton Silver
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: 

2008: 8th, 13th
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: 

A little corker of a contest could well be in store at the Forum on Saturday morning if these bands really hit top form.

There is a whole batch that could well come away with the champions laurels or a qualification place without too much trouble. Nigel Boddice and Alan Fernie will have much to enjoy as well as ponder over.

For us, we think it could well be a battle between the likes of Heyl Town, Camborne B, Phoenix Brass (Crewkerne), Filton Concert, Shrewton and reigning champions Bristol East, with a dark horse in St Pinnocks.

1. Camborne B
2. Heyl Town
3. Phoenix Brass (Crewkerne)
4. Filton Concert
5. Shrewton
6. Bristol East & Kingswood

Dark Horses: St Pinnocks


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