Desford in the Grand Shield?


According to the runners and riders listed in 4BR, Desford are in the Grand Shield not the Senior Cup.

The last I heard was that they, like us, were to be demoted following their poor result in Blackpool last year. I'm fairly sure that the list of demoted bands was published somewhere.

I had a moan on the 4BR comments board back in May about the unfairness of last years relegation rules (which they've now ditched ) and David Batte made similar comments in June. The heading of my e-mail to 4BR was Grand Shield Self Preservation and I, like David obviously feared the worse regarding decisions about the big-name bands.

Out of interest my band, Burry Port, came 14th out of 21 in our first Grand Shield last year following promotion from the Senior Cup in 2002. Desford finished 20th in the Grand Shield in 2003 and withdrew in 2002.

Who do you think deserved to be relegated?

PS I'm not having a go at Desford themselves in this instance - good luck to them. I'm just very annoyed with the organisers and the whole thing is an insult to ourselves and the other demoted bands.

Gareth John (EB Bass - Burry Port Town)


Well-Known Member
Extract from 4bars Results Archive - Grand Shield - 2003

16 Aveley and Newham N. Taken 6 -
17 Desford Colliery P. Parkes 2 -
18 Bodmin R. Gray 3 -
19 Freckleton P. Dalton 20 -
20 Thoresby Colliery J. Hudson 14 -
21 Ransome B. Grant 7 -

Qualifiers for 2003 British Open:
Carlton Main Frickley Colliery and Scottish Co-op.

The bottom six bands were relegated to the Senior Cup for 2004


Desford 17th not 20th - no sensationalism intended. Apologies Desford.

The rules that applied to last year were more complicated (and unfair)than a simple 6 up 6 down scenario and they penalised the newly promoted bands. See my 4BR letter below:

Grand Shield Relegation - Self Preservation?

... they have changed the way in which relegation is decided for these contests to "give bands the chance to stay up for at least 2 years without being relegated".

To do this they have devised a system similar to that, which exists for the National Championships with rankings based on placings in last year's contest added to that of this year's contest. Using the Grand Shield as an example, the first 2 bands were promoted to the British Open last year, and thus bands placed 3 to 13 were awarded 3 to 13 points respectively, and the bottom six were relegated to the Senior Cup.

This is all well and good until it comes to the bands who are new to the Grand Shield this year, ie. those relegated from the Open along with those promoted from the Senior Cup. In their wisdom, instead of giving all these bands an average mark like in the Nationals, they will be awarding the 2 relegated bands a notional placing of 3rd for last year's Grand Shield while the 6 who fought hard for their promotion to the Grand Shield have to do with a notional placing of 13th or effectively last of those that retained their Shield status.

...I cannot see how this system will make it easier for bands to stay in the Shield for 2 years, as the newly promoted bands are going to be immediately disadvantaged by this notional 13th place. The same goes for the bands who were promoted from the Senior Trophy...



Taken from 4BR article - "2003 Remembered - May"

At the Spring Festival Carlton Main Frickley Colliery took the Grand Shield on ‘Tallis Variations’, reward for their continued building progress through the early months on 2003. Nick Childs guided the strengthening Scottish Co-op to a place in the British Open alongside Carlton however it was a nervous time for bands finishing in the lower places as they waited for the calculations to be completed to see who would drop into the Senior Cup. In the final analysis it was to be B.T., Ransome, Burry Port Town, Desford Colliery, Bodmin, Freckleton & Thoresby Colliery.


Active Member
BT got relegated instead of Desford, despite turning up to compete. We came 12/20 in 2001, 11/18 in 2002 and 15/21. Wonder if that would have happened if we'd not turned up.

Pointless moaning about it, but we're in the Senior Cup now, even though we've never come in the bottom 5. Never mind eh. Onwards and upwards!! :? :shock:


Not really a moan Laura as we had accepted our fate many months ago. However, at that time, our one and only consolation was that the rules had seemingly been applied fairly to everyone, even if we thought the rules themselves were a pile of c**p!

I sent a letter directly to the organisers explaining the unfairness of the relegation system back in May and, although they did not reply to me or my band in person, they did send out a photocopied letter containing a list of the relegated bands a few months later. Now they come up with this bombshell.

I just don't like being fobbed off by some "old (and not so old) farts", to pinch the phrase of an ex-England Rugby Captain.


Active Member
I didn't mean you were moaning, I meant me!!! Sorry if it came across that way! Rules eh! Grrrrrr! :twisted:


But it's good to moan! - anyway, the powers that be will continue to abuse their positions unless people speak up.


I know that in the past they have kept a band in the section they were supposed to be relegated from if another band withdraws.
If you look down the lists and compare them to who was supposed to be relegated, you will probably see a couple of anomalies.

However, this is generally reserved for the bands that were on the fringes of relegation ie: the lowest points total to get relegated. Not sure if Desford were in that situation or not!


We were relegated to the senior cup in 2002, and that year they changed the rules from a "last six go down" to an aggregate over two years. Now they've changed it back, wish they'd make up their minds!

Our record in the grand shield

2000 - 7th
2001 - 8th
2002 - 15th and relegated
2003 - 1st place in the senior cup and back up again.


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