2010 Midlands Regional Championship - Second Section: Runners & Riders


A well matched field of bands should enjoy a bit of Dragon slaying on the weekend.

Civic HallSunday 14th March
Adjudicators: Malcolm Brownbill & Paul Norley
Test Piece: The Kingdom of Dragons (Philip Harper)
Draw: 9.00am
Commences: 10.00am

It may seem a touch odd that there are only the ten bands in the Second Section given the size of the rest of the fields on show during the weekend, but ten it is for Malcolm Brownbill and Paul Norley to get to grips with on Philip Harper’s ‘The Kingdom of Dragons’.


Two promoted bands and two relegated ones join six returning contenders all hoping to make to through to Harrogate on what is proving to be a highly enjoyable and testing work.

The Midlands is well known as the industrial heartland of England, as well as having its fair share of old historic ruins, some green and pleasant parkland, the odd modernised city centre and even an appreciation of the oval ball game.  Getting to grips with this piece should be a doddle then.


Getting to grips with the National Final is another matter of late though – last year’s qualifiers came a disappointing 13th and 17th respectively, although the region celebrated a victory in 2004 and had posted at least one top six finish in three of the last four years.

The consistent Arrow Valley Brass will return this year under the baton of Andy Culshaw looking to push for promotion and a return to Harrogate for the first time since 2005.

Meanwhile, Bakewell Silver will be full of confidence after gaining promotion on the back of their 2nd place last year, which led to them coming 14th at Harrogate. Mark Wilcockson has done a cracking long term job in building up a solid competitive outfit.

Promotion push

The same goes for Brian Clarke at Bilton Silver (Rugby), who will be looking to push for a promotion place after three steady years at the contest, whilst Blidworth Welfare will be determined to make a speedy return to the First Section following their relegation. 13th place at Butlins shows that they may have some work to do under Martin Heartfield’s baton though.

Leicestershire Co-op Snibston is another band that has been improving slowly but surely over the last decade under the baton of Graham Jacklin, and they will be looking to build further on 5th place last year, and an encouraging 7th at Butlins.

Matlock meanwhile will have been boosted by their Butlins performance where they came 5th, as they look to take another step towards the First Section under the direction this year of sop star Geoff Hawley.

Welcome back

It’s nice to see Sarah Groarke back conducting at the contest, and she will be leading Tintwistle’s challenge as they seek to reverse a period of declining fortunes at the contest. 4th place last year was a good start but they will have to up the ante from their 9th place at Pontins late last season.

The same goes for Towcester Studio, who not so long ago was performing in the Championship Section. David Jones is a very experienced conductor who knows just what it takes to succeed at the highest level, so this may be the year in which Towcester take a step back in the right direction.

There can’t be many bands in any region around the country that can boast as good a record as Wellington at the Areas in recent years, and their remarkable run of form continued last year by claiming 2nd place and leading to Harrogate for the fourth time in five years, where they came 17th.  Mark Phillips takes over from Steve Curtis this year as they look to book their September B&B once again.

Finally, Wem Jubilee and the experienced Roger Thorne, who gained promotion on the back of 8th place in the Third Section last year – strangely their worse result at the contest since they returned in 2007. Hopefully that won’t continue this weekend.

As for a winner?

Another hard one to predict but looking at the field we opt for a top six made up of Matlock, Tintwistle, Wellington (Telford), Leicester Co-op Snibston, Bilton Silver and Blidworth with our dark horse, Towcester Studio

4BR Prediction:      
1. Matlock
2. Tintwistle
3. Wellington (Telford)
4. Leicestershire Co-op Snibston
5. Bilton Silver
6. Blidworth Welfare

Dark Horse: Towcester Studio

Arrow ValleyArrow Valley Brass
Andy Culshaw

Last 13 Years:
2009: 8th (D. Stanley)
2008: 8th (A. Culshaw)
2007: 8th in Third Section (A. Culshaw) (prom)
2006: 6th (A. Culshaw)
2005: 2nd (A. Culshaw)
2004: 17th in Second Section (A. Culshaw) (rel)
2003: 16th (A. Culshaw)
2002: 3rd in Third Section (prom)
2001: 5th
2000: 18th in Second Section (rel)
1999: 13th
1998: 16th
1997: 4th

BakewellBakewell Silver
Mark Wilcockson

Last 13 Years:
2009: 2nd in Third Section (M. Wilcockson) (prom)
2008: 6th (M. Wilcockson)
2007: 6th (M. Wilcockson)
2006: 15th (M. Wilockson)
2005: 9th (M. Wilcockson)
2004: 14th (M. Wilcockson)
2003: 3rd in Fourth Section (M. Wilcockson) (prom)
2002: 6th
2001: 9th
2000: 15th in Third Section (rel)
1999: 12th
1998: 10th
1997: 17th

BiltomBilton Silver (Rugby)
Brian Clarke

Last 13 Years:
2009: 7th (B. Clarke)
2008: 5th (B. Clarke)
2007: 10th (B. Clarke)
2006: 16th in First Section (B. Clarke) (rel)
2005: 14th (B. Clarke)
2004: 7th in Second Section (B. Clarke) (prom)
2003: 7th (B. Clarke)
2002: 4th
2001: 14th
2000: 20th in First Section (rel)
1999: 12th
1998: 12th
1997: 11th

Blidworth Welfare Band
Martin Heartfield
Last 13 Years:
2009: 11th in First Section (K. Steward) (rel)
2008: 12th (K. Steward)
2007: 16th (G. Hawley)
2006: 2nd in Second Section (G. Hawley) (prom)
2005: 9th (G. Hawley)
2004: 6th (G.Hawley)
2003: 9th (G. Hawley)
2002: 10th (M.Wardle)
2001: 5th (K. Wardle)
2000: 12th (N/K)
1999: 8th
1998: 18th in First Section (rel)
1997: 17th

LeicesterLeicestershire Co-op Snibston Charnwood
Graham Jacklin

Last 13 Years:
2009: 5th (G. Jacklin)
2008: 3rd (G. Jacklin)
2007: 4th in Third Section (G. Jacklin) (prom)
2006: 2nd (G. Jacklin)
2005: 8th (G. Jacklin)
2004: 6th (G. Jacklin)
2003: 16th (G. Jacklin)
2002: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
2001: 10th
2000: 12th
1999: 17th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Geoff Hawley

Last 13 Years:
2009: 6th (R. Jepson)
2008: Winners of Third Section (R. Jepson) (prom)
2007: 2nd (R. Jepson)
2006: 9th (R. Jepson)
2005: Winners of Fourth Section (R. Jepson) (prom)
2004: 3rd (R. Jepson)
2003: 12th (K. Short)
2002: 18th in Third Section (K. Short) (rel)
2001: 15th (N/K)
2000: 10th (N/K)
1999: 8th
1998: 9th
1997: DNC

Sarah Groarke

Last 13 Years:

2009: 4th (P. Denton)
2008: 16th in First Section (D. Shutter) (rel)
2007: 13th (D. Shutter)
2006: 13th (D. Shutter)
2005: 12th (D. Shutter)
2004: 5th (D. Shutter)
2003: 12th (D. Shutter)
2002: 10th
2001: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
2000: 7th
1999: 10th
1998: 18th in First Section (rel)
1997: DNC

Towcester Studio
David Jones

Last 13 Years:

2009: 14th in First Section (H. Thomas) (rel)
2008: 13th (H. Thomas)
2007: 15th (B. Johnson)
2006: DNC (rel)
2005: 11th in Championship Section (A. Sellers)
2004: 3rd in First Section (A. Sellers) (prom)
2003: 7th (A. Sellers)
2002: 4th (A. Sellers)
2001: Winners of Second Section (A. Sellers) (prom)
2000: 8th (A. Sellers)
1999: 7th in First Section (rel)
1998: 16th
1997: 18th

WellingtonWellington (Telford) Brass
Mark Phillips

Last 13 Years:

2009: 2nd (S. Curtis)
2008: 2nd in Third Section (S. Cutis) (prom)
2007: 3rd (S. Curtis)
2006: Winners of Fourth Section (S. Curtis) (prom)
2005: 2nd (S. Curtis)
2004: 9th (S. Curtis)
2003: 17th (S. Curtis)
2002: 8th (S. Curtis)
2001: 11th (S. Curtis)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC

Wem Jubilee
Roger Thorne

Last 13 Years:

2009: 8th in Third Section (R. Thorne) (prom)
2008: 5th (R. Thorne)
2007: Winners (R. Thorne)
2006: DNC
2005: 10th (R. Thorne)
2004: 8th (R. Thorne)
2003: 4th (R. Thorne)
2002: Winners of Fourth Section (prom)
2001: 5th
2000: 4th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: 4th

Past Qualifiers:

2009: Shirland Welfare, Wellington (Telford)
2008: City of Coventry, Harborough
2007: Phoenix West Midlands Brass, Harborough
2006: Foresters Brass 2000, Hopkins Solicitors Blidworth
2005: Shirland Welfare Training, Wigston
2004: Hathern, Raunds Temperance, Stourport on Severn
2003: Shirley Band, Darley Dale, Stourport on Severn
2002: Langley, Shirley, Brackley
2001: Towcester, Tintwistle, Harborough
2000: Ibstock Building, Bedworth
1999: Moulton Brass '77, City of Stoke on Trent
1998: Bedworth, Derwent, Shirland Miners
1997: Newstead Welfare, Greasley Old Hall, Derwent Brass
1996: Riddings, Premier Brass (Stamford), Ibstock Building Products
1995: Glossop Old, Unity Brass, Harborough
1994: Darley Dale, Unity Brass, City of Stoke

Midlands Bands at the Finals:

2009: 13th, 17th
2008: 6th, 14th
2007: 3rd, 15th
2006: 5th, 16th
2005: 11th, 13th
2004: 1st, 17th
2003: 16th, 17th, 18th
2002: 2nd, 3rd, 7th
2001: 3rd, 6th, 9th
2000: 3rd, 6th
1999: 7th, 11th
1998: 2nd, 6th 


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