Boarshurst Silver Band lead the way among Saddleworth bands in the 2019 North West Regional Brass Band Championships

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens proved to be a happy hunting ground for some of Saddleworth’s brass bands. With thousands of brass band players and spectators descending on the iconic venue, the North West Regionals have a vibrant atmosphere of its own. For three of Saddleworth’s bands, the 2019 contest was one to remember.

In the First Section Regional Finals, Boarshurst Silver Band came second, improving on last year’s fourth place position. With their recent success at the Empress Ballroom and a First Section win at the Butlins Mineworkers’ Championship last month, Boarshurst Silver Band gained promotion to the Championship Section.

In 2020, Boarshurst Silver Band’s elevation to the top flight of brass banding will mark a 30-year gap since their last stint. Eight years ago, they were a Fourth Section band. Only four years ago they began their steady rise from the Third Section to the Championship Section. As 170th birthday presents go, you couldn’t have asked for a better gift.

Following the adjudicators’ decisions, the Empress Ballroom was met with rapturous reception. In the First Section, Boarshurst Silver finished above Robert’s Bakery, Mossley, Eccles Borough, and Middleton bands. Only Rainford Band finished higher with both Rainford and Boarshurst Silver bands heading to The Centaur at Cheltenham Racecourse this September.

There was great joy for Uppermill Band who also finished second in the Third Section final hosted at The Pavilion Theatre. They will follow Third Section regional winners Valley Brass (Haydock) and Boarshurst Silver to Cheltenham.

In the Fourth Section, Dobcross Youth Band finished fifth – six places above the village’s senior band (Dobcross Silver Band). With some of Boarshurst’s players previously playing for Dobcross Youth, this was met with ecstatic praise at Greenbridge Lane as well as Platt Lane.

For Greater Manchester brass bands (including our fellows from Saddleworth), it was quite a mixed North West Regional Championships. In the Championship Section, Pemberton Old Wigan DW finished third and gained a place in the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain Final in October (Royal Albert Hall, London). Ashton-under-Lyne finished 11th, below Freckleton Band.

Alongside Boarshurst Silver and Uppermill bands, four more Greater Manchester bands will be making their way to The Centaur, Cheltenham this September. Besses Boys and Farnworth and Walkden bands will be flying the Greater Manchester flag for the Second Section. In the Third Section, they will also be joined by Valley Brass (Haydock) and Hawk Green bands. For the Fourth Section, Sale Brass will be heading to Cheltenham as the highest placed Fourth Section band in the North West.

Two Musical Directors made their North West Regional Championship debuts with their respective bands. For the world’s oldest brass band (Stalybridge Old Band), one of our youngest MDs in the form of James Atkins. For Stuart Barton, as part of the Red Admiral Brass Academy‘s first serious contest. Though results didn’t go their way, this was more than made up for by each band’s enthusiasm.

North West Regional Championship Results

Please note that Greater Manchester brass bands are denoted in italics; Saddleworth bands are also denoted in bold type.

* Denotes qualified bands. ** Denotes pre-qualified bands.

Championship Section

  1. Foden’s (Russell Gray)**
  2. Leyland (Thomas Wyss)*
  3. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)*
  4. Fairey (Garry Cutt)
  5. Wardle Anderson Brass (Sean Conway)
  6. Milnrow (Dennis Hadfield)
  7. TCTC Group (Jef Sparkes)
  8. Wingates (Paul Andrews)
  9. Oldham (Lees) (John Collins)
  10. VBS Poynton (Stig Maersk)
  11. Ashton-Under Lyne (Philip Chalk)
  12. Freckleton (John Pearson)
  • Test Piece: Seascapes (Ray Steadman-Allen);
  • Adjudicators: Howard Evans and Sheona White.

First Section

  1. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)*
  2. Boarshurst Silver (James Garlick)*
  3. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
  4. Blackburn & Darwen (Daniel Thomas)
  5. Haydock (Mark Quinn)
  6. Middleton (Kevin Gibbs)
  7. Roberts Bakery (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)
  8. Flixton (Matthew Ryan)
  9. Silk Brass (Tony Wyatt)
  10. Eccles Borough (Mareika Gray)
  11. Manx Concert Brass (Ian Clague MBE)
  12. Diggle (Alan Widdop)
  13. Mossley (Duncan Byers)
  14. Haslingden and Helmshore (John Binns)
  15. Cheshire Constabulary (David Woollam)
  16. Crewe Brass (Matt Pithers)
  • Test Piece: Symphony of Marches (Gilbert Vinter);
  • Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and John Doyle.

Second Section

  1. Bollington Brass (Peter Christian)*
  2. Besses Boys (James Holt)*
  3. Farnworth & Walkden (Luke Pallister)*
  4. Eagley (Chris Wormald)
  5. Blackpool Brass (Len Charnock)
  6. Pemberton Old Wigan DW ‘B’ (Mike Golding)
  7. Marple (Stephen Curtis)
  8. Tyldesley (Robert Taylor)
  9. Delph (Philip Goodwin)
  10. Old Hall Brass (John North)
  11. Poulton-Le-Fylde (Alex Webb)
  12. Besses o’ th’ Barn (Trevor Halliwell)
  13. Allerton Brass (Adam D.J. Taylor)
  14. Formby (Louise Hough MBE)
  15. Rivington & Adlington (Malcolm Wilson)
  16. Hazel Grove (Nigel Beasley)
  17. Greenfield (Patrick Marshall)
  • Test Piece: Rise of the Phoenix (Darrol Barry);
  • Adjudicators: Derek Broadbent and Brian Rostron.

Third Section

  1. Valley Brass (Haydock) (David Chadwick)*
  2. Uppermill (Dean Redfern)*
  3. Hawk Green (Neil Hewson)*
  4. Trinity Girls (Richard Evans)
  5. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Steve Hartley)
  6. Whitworth Vale & Healey (Chris Binns)
  7. Eccleston Brass (John Wood)
  8. Douglas Town (Ken Mitchell)
  9. Thornton Cleveleys (Stephen Craig)
  10. City of Chester (Ewan Easton MBE)
  11. Parr St Helens (John Ludden)
  12. Greenall’s (Phil Boardman)
  13. Hoover Bolton (Craig Mann)
  14. Darwen Brass (Mike Cotter)
  15. Lostock Hall Memorial (Joshua Hughes)
  16. Golborne Brass (Jason Smith)
  17. Littleborough (Adrian Woodhead)
  18. Stalybridge Old Band (James Atkins)
  • Test Piece: First Suite in E Flat (Gustav Holst);
  • Adjudicators: Sarah Groarke-Booth and Ian Brownbill.

Fourth Section

  1. Sale Brass (John Anderson)*
  2. Rode Hall Silver (Nigel Butler)*
  3. BMP Europe Ltd Goodshaw (Alan Seymour)
  4. Blackley (Adrian Smith)
  5. Dobcross Youth (M.Hindle)
  6. Skelmersdale Prize (Ben Coulson)
  7. Brindle (Matthew Balson)
  8. Stacksteads (Fred Bowker)
  9. Ramsey Town (Robert Quane)
  10. Cadishead Public (David Holland)
  11. Dobcross Silver (Grenville Moore)
  12. Red Admiral Brass (Stuart Barton)
  • Test Piece: Stantonbury Festival (Ray Steadman-Allen);
  • Adjudicators: Jim Davies and Andrew Warriner.

Towards the National Championships of Great Britain – and next week

Congratulations are in order for all our bands. Whether in the band room, out on the streets, or in concert, the hard work starts now. Not only with this year’s test piece but also fundraising efforts.

The next concert at Boarshurst Band Club will be Thornton Cleveleys Band. Starting at 8.00pm (doors open from 7.00pm), admission is £4.00 or £3.00 for members of Boarshurst Band Club. First Greater Manchester’s 180 and 350 bus services stop outside the former Conservative Club on Chew Valley Road. Parking is available on the Boarshurst Band Club rear forecourt.

S.V., 25 February 2019.

One thought on “A Saddleworth Sweep in the North West Regional Championships

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