2010 All England Masters International Championship - Five of the best/worse dates


With the Masters heading to its new home in Kettering this weekend, 4BR looks back at some of the significant dates that gave the contest its brilliant highs and controversial lows.

Evans1. Sunday May 28th 1989

The very first contest and Leyland DAF under the direction of the mercurial Richard Evans takes the title with a blistering performance of ‘Cloudcatcher Fells’.

The piece is chosen by ballot by the 16 competing bands, and with the exception of Black Dyke the top six reads as a who’s who of the best English bands and conductors of the time:

Leyland (Richard Evans); Desford (James Watson); Kennedy Swinton (David King); Yorkshire Imps (James Scott); Grimethorpe Colliery (Frank Renton) and Sun Life (Bryan Hurdley).

Brand2. Sunday May 24th 1998

The first year of the new adjudication system and all hell breaks loose.

Brighouse & Rastrick takes the title by being placed individually; 3rd, 2nd and 4th by Geoffrey Brand, Eric Crees and William Relton.

Yorkshire Building Society come fourth after Crees and Relton place them first, but Geoffrey Brand places them 13th.  

Geoffrey Brand finds the performance of NSK-RHP Ransome to his liking the most, placing them 1st, whilst the other adjudicators place them 20th and 17th.

Snell3. Sunday May 28th 1995

Foden’s win the Masters with perhaps the most complete performance of a test piece at the contest.

Under the direction of Howard Snell they gain 199 points from Trevor Green, William Relton and Philip Sparke for what was later called ‘ a searing’ rendition of ‘Paganini Variations’.

The contest comes to it’s climax with four of the last five bands in the draw; Brighouse, Sellers, Rigid Container’s and finally, Foden’s as the last band of the day providing performances of rare merit.

Foden’s pip BNFL by a point, whilst the top eight bands in the prize list all bag 191 points or more.

4. Sunday May 29th 2005

The day the Masters changed forever. Rumblings of discontent, talk of boycotts and the contests’ demise as the organisers opened the doors to ‘non English’ bands for the first time.

Cory’s proposed invitation the previous year was the catalyst that led to the complex schism that saw former champions Leyland and YBS lead the protest by not competing.  

Leyland has yet to return to the contest it won on three occasions, but YBS returned in 2008.

King5. Sunday May 30th 2004

The last winning performance at the Masters from Yorkshire Building Society under the baton of David King as they triumph on ‘Harrison’s Dream’ ahead of Brighouse & Rastrick.

In the 11 year period from 1994 under the Australian they take the title three times (1999, 2000 & 2004), and are never placed lower than sixth.

Arguably they should have won in 1998 (the year of their infamous 13th place from Geoffrey Brand) and 2001 (Roy Newsome awarding them 7th place whilst the two other judges had them placed 1st).

During the period 1998 – 2001, eight of the twelve judges individually place them first, yet they win the title only twice.

Their last win comes when the adjudication system returns back to the traditional method of three men in a box.


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