The 2016 National Championships of Great Britain

The previous weekend’s National Championships of Great Britain at The Centaur, in Cheltenham Racecourse, was a good one for Yorkshire’s brass bands with top Second and Third Section honours. Taking the Second Section title was Stannington Band led by Derek Renshaw. In the Third Section, it was Crofton Silver Band led by Dean Jones.

For Boarshurst Silver Band, ‘three’ was a magic number for James Garlick and Co. Apart from being third in the draw, they finished in third place. This makes Boarshurst the highest placed Section 2 band from the North West heats which took place at Winter Gardens. Plus, they are the second highest placed Second Section band in the West Riding of Yorkshire (for the benefit of our younger readers, the pre-1974 boundaries).

The highest place Lancastrian band in Boarshurst’s section was Haydock, led by Mark Quinn. They finished in fourth place.

Runners and Riders: The Top Three Bands of Each Section

Section 1:

9.30 am, Cheltenham, 18 September 2016. Carpet: good to firm, soft under foot.

Test Piece: Ballet for Band, Joseph Horovitz

  1. St. Dennis (Darren Hawken);
  2. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Neil Samuel);
  3. Aveley and Newham (Robert Nunnery).

This year’s competition was a good one for Vernon Building Society Poynton band, whom a fair few had the joy of seeing at Boarshurst Band Club on the 13 March 2016. The First Section competition was the only one where the Red Rose County bands got one over their White Rose fellows. Rainford (conducted by Gareth Brindle) finished 9th, above John Roberts’ Lockwood Brass in tenth place.

Adjudicators: John Maines and Alan Morrison

Section 2:

9.30 am, Cheltenham, 17 September 2016. Carpet: good to firm, soft under foot.

Test Piece: Images for Brass, Stephen Bulla

  1. Stannington (Derek Renshaw);
  2. City of Bristol (Bryn James);
  3. Boarshurst Silver Band (James Garlick).

Locally, Glossop Old Band and Cheshire Constabulary – whom have previously entertained the Boarshurst faithful recently – finished 14th and 15th.

Adjudicators: Alan Fernie and Steve Sykes

Section 3:

9.30 am, Cheltenham, 18 September 2016. Carpet: good to firm, soft under foot.

Test Piece: Lake of the Moon, Kevin Houben

  1. Crofton Silver (Dean Jones);
  2. J36 (Andrew Warriner);
  3. Tendring Brass (Anthony Sanders).

Of particular note are J36 Brass Band, a newly formed brass band which takes their name from a junction of the M6 motorway. The best placed North West bands were Farnworth and Walkden (Matthew Shaw, 5th place), and Blackpool Brass (John Pearson, 6th). Haydock’s Valley Brass (David Chadwick) came ninth.

Adjudicators: David Childs and Richard Marshall

Section 4:

9.30 am, Cheltenham, 17 September 2016. Carpet: good to firm, soft under foot.

Test Piece: Music from Kantara, Kenneth Downie

  1. Phoenix (Goodwick) (Luke Jenkins);
  2. Cleobury Mortimer Concert (David Maplestone);
  3. Hatherleigh Silver (Matt Green).

The top North West band in the Fourth Section was Thornton-Cleveleys (Stephen Craig) who finished in fourth place. For brass banding historians, this was the band where Derek Broadbent cut his teeth, prior to being Brighouse and Rastrick’s legendary musical director. For Yorkshire, the highest placed band was Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whittaker, 8th place).

Adjudicators: Dr. Robert Childs and Gary Davies

Best Instrumentalist Prizes:

  • First Section: Anne Britt Hermanen (Principal Cornet, Vernon Building Society Poynton);
  • Second Section: Percussion Section (City of Bristol);
  • Third Section: Steven Craig (Flugelhorn, J36);
  • Fourth Section: Matthew Jenkins (Euphonium, Phoenix (Goodwick)).


Well done to everyone who participated in the 2016 National Championship of Great Britain in Cheltenham.

The contesting season shall continue at the Royal Albert Hall next month. Before the announcement of the results on the 08 October, defending world champions, Cory band will be providing a concert. Tickets are available from the Royal Albert Hall box office in person, by telephone (0207 589 8212) or online via As for low-cost train tickets, finding a reasonably priced ticket may be as challenging as the Cambridge Variations test piece.

S.V., 19 September 2016.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s