2010 Scottish Regional Championship - Championship Section - Runners & Riders


An appreciation of English Heritage should go down well here in Scotland

SBBASunday 14th March
Adjudicators: Brett Baker & Chris Wormald
Test Piece:  English Heritage (George Lloyd)
Draw: 13.35pm
Commences: 15.05pm

Not that the English like being reminded, but their particular brand of ‘Heritage’ does contain in debit side of the historical ledger more than a few crushing defeats at the hands of the Scots.

The usual battles are there for all to see, (from Bannockburn and Bruce in 1314 to Wembley and Jim Baxter in 1967), but one very important one also occurred in the capital in 1990, with CWS Glasgow’s historic win at the National Finals.

Unofficial world champions

20 years later quite a few people will remember that event, as the ten best bands north of the border get to grips with the very piece that gave banding supporters, like their football brethren, the chance to brag for a while that they were unofficial champions of the brass band world.

Only once since then has the cry of victory been heard in Kensington as the past decade has been as fruitful as Scottish football teams trying to qualify for the World Cup; brave efforts, doomed to away fixture failure.  

Scotland hasn’t had a top six finish since at the Albert Hall since 2000, hasn’t sent three bands to the finals since 1998, or tasted ultimate victory since 1996. No wonder this particular ‘English Heritage’ is remembered with such significance.

Last year’s qualifiers did what was about expected of them (9th & 17th), but it did show that Scotland’s best were some way away from being considered potential major championship winners.


That was born out by returns at the British Open and the Scottish Open too, where Fountain City beat the best the Scots could offer with some degree of comfort. In purely results terms, 2009 was a pretty miserable year for top section banding north of the border.

A new year and fresh optimism then, and there should be plenty to enjoy as these bands lock horns to see who gets to London as well as gaining the rather more dubious honour of having first refusal on the invite to the European in Montreux in 2011.

Reigning champion

Brett Baker and Chris Wormald are a youthful duo in the box, and will have plenty to ponder over as reigning champion Co-operative Funeralcare look to retain their title.

The 2009 Scottish Band of the Year seems to have turned a corner of late and with top 10 finishes at the Open and Nationals, should be the bookies favourites under Russell Gray to claim at least a qualification place.  ‘English Heritage’ holds nothing but good memories for this band.

The two traditional heavyweight challengers of Kirkintilloch and Whitburn come to the contest with something to prove.

Frank Renton will conduct Kirkintilloch for the first time here since 2004, as they look to claim a title last won in 2007 and return to the Albert Hall for the fifth consecutive year.  The West Lothian champion had an uneven 2009 at the majors and ended the season in 5th place at the Scottish Open, so they know the pressure will be on.

So too Whitburn. The 2008 champion failed to return to London last year and endured a miserable British Open too, and whilst they still enjoyed occasional domestic success, the end of season podium finish at the Scottish Open was in retrospect a bit of an under whelming hurrah.  

Much is expected, but they need to deliver if they are not to miss out again and start the season on the back foot against their rivals.

2010 could well be a season to remember if Bon Accord Silver can improve on last year’s 4th place and claim a place back at the Albert Hall for the first time since 1983.

The band will of course have one eye on their trip to Linz and the European Championship, but they will know that they will have to up their form from the rather non descript showing at the Scottish Open if a London trip will be on the horizon too.

If there is to be something of an upset in Glenrothes on the weekend then it could well come from Kingdom Brass.

Although they didn’t set the world of fire at the Scottish Open, Andrew Duncan has a competitive band under his wing, and one that could well push on from last year’s 5th place to book a place at the Albert Hall.

Fife Charities winners Dalmellington also failed to shine at the Scottish Open where they came 13th, but under the experienced direction of Archie Hutchison they are consistent performers at this contest. You have to go back to the early 1980’s though for the last time the band qualified for London, so a return trip is long overdue.

The two promoted bands from the First Section come to the contest after enjoying decent seasons in 2009.

Kirkintilloch Kelvin
took the First Section title in considerable style and went on to become Band of the Year and Northern Counties Champion, although they only managed 12th at Harrogate and 16th at the Scottish Open. They will know just what they need to do to make a mark on the weekend.

So too Newtongrange, who make a welcome return to top flight banding after qualifying for Harrogate last year. There they delivered a fine performance to come 6th under Nigel Boddice MBE. Winners of the Scottish Borders contest and Fife, they came 14th at the Scottish Open.

That leaves two bands fronted by two players who will know this particular test piece very well indeed.

Allan Ramsay was the principal cornet of Scottish Co-op when they won at London and will bring all that experience to bear with Unison Kinneil as they look to improve on last year’s 8th place and encouraging top ten finish at the Scottish Open to return to London for the first time since 2000.

Meanwhile, trombone star Paul Kiernan will front Fife winners Clackmannan as they seek to improve on their encouraging 7th place last year.

As for a winner?

Only two bands other than the big three of Co-op, Whitburn and Kirkintilloch have managed to gain a qualification place since 1996 (Kinneil in 2000 and Newtongrange in 2005) and it’s hard to think that will change this year too.

Scottish Co-op look to have that solidity about them to retain their title, whilst Whitburn should rouse themselves to make it to London.

Kirkintilloch may just miss out this year, whilst Kingdom Brass, Unison Kinneil and Bon Accord should chase the top three hard to the finishing line.  Our dark horse is Dalmellington.

4BR Prediction:
1. Co-operative Funeralcare
2. Whitburn
3. Kirkintilloch
4. Kingdom Brass
5. Unison Kinneil
6.  Bon Accord

Dark Horse: Dalmellington

Bon AccordBon Accord
John Maines
4BR Ranking: 68

Last 14 Years:

2009: 4th (J. Maines)
2008: 6th (M. Hansen)
2007: 7th (R. Evans)
2006: 4th (J. Roberts)
2005: 7th (D. Beckley)
2004: 6th (A. Swainson)
2003: 2nd in First Section (A. Swainson) (prom)
2002: 10th in Championship (A. Swainson) (rel)
2001: 7th (A. Swainson)
2000: Winners of First Section (A. Swainson) (prom)
1999: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1998: 10th in First Section (rel)
1997: 5th
1996: 10th in Championship (rel)

ClackmannanClackmannan District Brass
Paul Kiernan
4BR Ranking: 112

Last 14 Years:

2009: 7th (P. Kiernan)
2008: 2nd in First Section (P. Kiernan) (prom)
2007: 3rd (R. Tennant)
2006: 5th (J. Scott)
2005: 4th (J. Scott)
2004: 6th (J. Davies)
2003: 10th in Championship (J. Smith) (rel)
2002: 2nd in First Section (N. Law) (prom)
2001: 3rd (N. Law)
2000: 10th in Championship (J. Davies) (rel)
1999: 2nd in First Section (prom)
1998: 4th
1997: 9th in Championship (rel)
1996: 8th

CoopCo-operative Funeralcare
Russell Gray
4BR Ranking: 16

Last 14 Years:

2009: Winners (R. Gray)
2008: 4th (A. Ramsay)
2007: 3rd (A. Ramsay)
2006: Winners (N. Childs)
2005: 3rd (N. Childs)
2004: Winners (N. Childs)
2003: Winners (N. Childs)
2002: 7th (D. King)
2001: Winners (N. Childs)
2000: Winners (H. Snell)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners
1997: Winners
1996: Winners

Archie Hutchison
4BR Ranking: 70

Last 14 Years:

2009: 6th (A. Hutchison)
2008: 7th (A. Hutchison)
2007: 5th (A. Hutchison)
2006: Winners of First Section (A. Hutchison) (prom)
2005: 3rd (A. Hutchison)
2004: 7th in Championships Section (R. Evans) (rel)
2003: 8th (R. Evans)
2002: 6th (R. Evans)
2001: 3rd (R. Evans)
2000: 6th (R. Newsome)
1999: 5th
1998: 8th
1997: 4th
1996: 5th

kingdomKingdom Brass
Andrew Duncan
4BR Ranking: 48

Last 14 Years:

2009: 5th (J. Gourlay)
2008: 3rd (C. Anderson)
2007: 4th (C. Anderson)
2006: 5th (G. O'Connor)
2005: 5th (R. Farr)
2004: 5th (D. Hirst)
2003: 7th (A. Duncan)
2002: 4th (A. Morrison)
2001: 4th (T. Wyss)
2000: 2nd in First Section (prom) (T. Wyss)
(Kingdom Brass formed from amalgamation of Cowdenbeath and Kelty & Blairadam in 1999)

Frank Renton
4BR Ranking: 20

Last 14 Years:

2009: 2nd (S. Simonsen)
2008: 2nd (S. Simonsen)
2007: Winners (N. Boddice)
2006: 2nd (S. Bastable)
2005: 4th (S. Bastable)
2004: 3rd (F. Renton)
2003: 2nd  (F. Renton)
2002: Winners (F. Renton)
2001: 5th (F. Renton)
2000: 4th (F. Renton)
1999: 2nd
1998: 5th
1997: 3rd
1996: 3rd

KirkintillochKirkintilloch Kelvin Brass
Charles Keenan
4BR Ranking: 106

Last 14 Years:

2009: Winners of First Section (C. Keenan) (prom)
2008: 5th (C. Keenan)
2007: 8th in Championship Section (A. Orr) (rel)
2006: 9th (A. Orr)
2005: 2nd in First Section (prom) (A. Orr)
2004: 3rd (A. Orr)
2003: 6th  (C. Bradley)
2002: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (A. Ramsey)
2001: 5th (R. Tennant)
2000: 2nd in Third Section (prom) (R. Tennant)
1999: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
1998: 3rd
1997: 9th
1996: 10th

NewtongrangeNewtongrange Silver
Nigel Boddice MBE
4BR Ranking: 71

Last 14 Years:

2009: 2nd in First Section (N. Boddice MBE) (prom)
2008: 8th in Championship Section (R. Farr) (rel)
2007: DNC
2006: 6th (A. Ramsay)
2005: Winners (A. Ramsay)
2004: Winners First Section (K. Wilkinson) (prom)
2003: 9th  (B. Hurdley) (rel)
2002: 3rd (R. Farr)
2001: 6th (R. Farr)
2000: 5th (D. Hirst)
1999: 6th
1998: 3rd
1997: 5th
1996: 4th

kinneilUnison Kinneil
Allan Ramsay
4BR Ranking: 79

Last 14 Years:

2009: 8th (A. Duncan)
2008: 5th (C. McKenzie)
2007: 6th (C. McKenzie)
2006: 8th (A. Berryman)
2005: 6th (R. Tennant)
2004: 4th (A. Ramsey)
2003: 3rd (A. Ramsay)
2002: 5th (E. Dunlea)
2001: 8th (J. Hinckley)
2000: 2nd (A. Hutchison)
1999: Winners of First Section
1998: 9th (rel)
1997: 8th
1996: 2nd in First Section (prom)

Steven Mead
4BR Ranking: 18 

Last 14 Years:

2009: 3rd (S. Mead)
2008: Winners (R. Gray)
2007: 2nd (P. McCann)
2006: 3rd (A. Duncan)
2005: 2nd (A. Duncan)
2004: 2nd (A. Duncan)
2003: 6th  (P. McCann)
2002: 2nd (P. McCann)
2001: 2nd (P. McCann)
2000: 3rd (P. McCann)
1999: Winners
1998: 2nd
1997: 2nd
1996: 2nd

Past Qualifiers:

2009: Scottish Co-op, Kirkintilloch
2008: Whitburn, Kirkintilloch
2007: Kirkintilloch, Whitburn
2006: Scottish Co-op, Kirkintilloch
2005: Newtongrange, Whitburn
2004: Scottish Co-op, Whitburn
2003: Scottish Co-op, Kirkintilloch
2002: Kirkintilloch, Whitburn
2001: CWS (Glasgow), Whitburn
2000: CWS (Glasgow), Unison Kinneil
1999: Whitburn, Kirkintilloch
1998: CWS (Glasgow), Whitburn, Kirkintilloch*
1997: CWS (Glasgow)*, Whitburn, Kirkintilloch
1996: CWS (Glasgow), Whitburn
1995: Bo'ness and Carriden, Newtongrange
1994: CWS (Glasgow), Newtongrange
1993: Whitburn, CWS (Glasgow)
1992: Whitburn, CWS (Glasgow)
1991: Newtongrange, Whitburn, Bo'ness and Carriden, CWS (Glasgow)*
1990: Kirkintilloch, Whitburn, CWS (Glasgow)
1989: CWS (Glasgow), Whitburn
*Pre Qualified

How Scottish bands did in London:

2009: 9th, 17th
2008: 12th, 13th
2007: 9th, 17th
2006: 8th, 10th
2005: 11th, 14th
2004: 8th, 17th
2003: 8th, 9th
2002: 10th, 14th
2001: 8th, 10th
2000: 6th, 18th
1999: 9th, 11th
1998: 7th, 12th, 13th
1997: 4th, 11th, 16th
1996: 1st, 17th
1995: 13th, 15th
1994: 6th, 13th
1993: 6th, 8th
1992: 4th, 11th
1991: 4th, 10th, 12th, 19th
1990: 1st, 5th, 19th
1989: 3rd, 10th  


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