2008 Whit Friday - Introduction

16-May-2008

The greatest free brass band show on earth in here again - let's hope it stays fine though.


When the question, ‘Will the band be going out on Whit Friday?’ started to be asked throughout band rooms up and down the land, banding folk could have been forgiven for thinking that it can’t be that close to Whit Friday already, can it? 

The answer is yes, it is. With Easter falling as early as it has done in living memory the day has arrived once again.  It’s not unknown for Whit Friday to fall in May, and it can be either just before or just after the Masters contest, but this is the earliest it has fallen since 1913, and it won’t fall on 16th May again till 2160. So it’s not exactly something we have to worry for a while now is it?

Traditional start

Traditionally, the day will start at 9.00am with the Processions of Witness taking place in Delph, around Uppermill and in Mossley and following the religious services the churches walk back to where they started from. All this is done and dusted by lunchtime.

For many, this is what Whit Friday is all about – the band contests come a very poor second, and whilst the event has now become something of a phenomenon, its roots should never be forgotten. 

Once again the roads around Saddleworth, Oldham and Tameside will be a hive of activity with bands intent on enjoying the night, competing at as many contests as they can (or in some cases want too) and swelling the band coffers.

21 contests

This year twenty one contests will take place and through the generous support of local businesses, Tameside Council, and the dedication of people who work tirelessly all year round to raise money for their contest, there is around £50,000 in prize money to be won on the night.

Both Saddleworth and Tameside are awarding £2,500 to the band who has the highest aggregate of placings having competed at a minimum of six contests. 

Individually, a couple of the contests in Saddleworth (most notably Delph and Greenfield) are offering £900 and £1,000 respectively as their first prize, so those two contests will no doubt attract some of the leading lights out and about on the circuit.

Absent

Unfortunately, two contests from Tameside are absent this year. 

Having been revived last year, Millbrook will take a year out due to essential road repairs that are close to the venue, whilst just down the road, Micklehurst has stooped after failing to find new volunteers to help through the day.   It is hoped that with a new landlord in place at the New Bridge Inn the contest can be revived.

Heavyweights

The word is that a fair number of the top bands will be out.  Brighouse, Faireys, Fodens,  Hepworth, Grand Shield winners, Leyland, Marsden, Rothwell, Wingates and YBS are bands to look out for. 

Two Yorkshire heavyweights, Black Dyke and Grimethorpe will be absent this year though.  Dyke are continuing their policy of being out on alternative years and they have a major concert with the ISB the night after at The Sage whilst Grimey spent last weekend in Suffolk and Norfolk after their European exploits and they’re also out on the 17th May. You can still spot the odd player out with other bands though we are sure!

St Austell will be making the long trek north from Cornwall for the first time this year and Jaguar (Coventry), fresh from qualifying for the Grand Shield, are intent on making the journey from the Midlands.

Those bands aside, there’ll be the usual mix that make it down from north of the border and the youth bands will forget about their exams for a bit and there will be the usual sprinkling of overseas visitors.

Oversea visitors

Once again, local banding entrepreneur, Phil Beck will be escorting three bands around the circuit after participating in the walks in Uppermill in the morning. 

Two Swiss bands, Championship Section outfit Brass Band Lucerne will be joined by Musik Frohsinn Oberburg from the Third Section, whilst a bit closer to the UK, Guernsey Concert will make another pilgrimage to the contests. 

Over the course of the weekend, the bands will appear in concerts in Saddleworth and further details can be got from Phil on 07976 1651815.

Unsporting behaviour

Hopefully, there won’t be any reports this year of the so-called ‘un-sporting behaviour’ that went on around the circuit. 

Bands trying to cut corners on the night and gain an advantage where they can has always gone on, but last year it caused more than a stir and by Saturday afternoon, the 4BR Team had been besieged by calls and emails about events during the night. 

The dry weather of late should continue on Friday, but it looks like being cooler with the possibility of a shower or three!

4BR will aim to get the results published on Saturday as quickly as we can and confirm the news of who has been declared Saddleworth and Tameside Champions as soon as it becomes official. Saddleworth tends to be known by Sunday at the latest, whilst Tameside will be announced on Monday.

List of Contests:

Broadoak
Contest: 5.00-10.30pm
Main Prize: £400 from a total prize fund of £1250
Adjudicator: Mr D R Howard
Contact: Mr J Smith, 0161 339 2174

Carrbrook
Contest: 4.30-10.30pm
Main Prize: £600 from a total prize fund of £1515
Adjudicator: John Davies
Contact: Pete Sims, 01457 835703

Denton
Contest: 4.30-10.45pm
Main Prize: £250 from a total prize fund of £1025
Adjudicator: Mr Halliwell
Contact: Mr J Wood, 0161 320 0683

Droylsden
Contest: 4.30-11pm
Main Prize: £500 from a total prize fund of £1725
Adjudicator: Mr R Breen
Contact: George Fairclough, 0161 370 2811

Dukinfield
Contest: 4.30-11pm
Main Prize: £400 from a total prize fund of £1500
Adjudicator: Mr D Chapman
Contact: Brian Hill, 0161 339 0072

Heyrod
Contest:4.30-10.30pm
Main Prize: £500 from a total prize fund of £1280
Adjudicator: Mr S Broadbent
Contact: Deanne Clayton, 0161 303 9827

Hurst Village
Contest: 4.30-11.00pm
Main Prize: £300 from a total prize fund of £1400
Adjudicator: Mr G Pritchard
Contact: Eric Stafford, 0161 330 5253

Stalybridge
Contest: 4.30-10.30pm
Main Prize: £500 from a total prize fund of £1435
Adjudicator: Derek Broadbent
Contact: Colin Hamilton, 0161 339 8647

Stalybridge Celtic
Contest: 4.30-10.45pm
Main Prize: £350 from a total prize fund of £880
Adjudicator: Duncan Beckley
Contact: John Hall, 0161 338 2828

Upper Mossley
Contest: 4.30-10.00pm
Main Prize: £400 from a total prize fund of £1260
Adjudicator: Mr M Tweedle
Contact: Margaret Gaskell, 01457 832752


Find the venue

To enable bands to plan their routes and find the contest venues, visit the following link www.tameside.gov.uk/brassband/whitfriday

Further details for the Tameside Contests are available from 0161 342 4144 or via email at events@tameside.gov.uk


Delph
Contest: 4.30-10.30pm
Main Prize: £900 from a total prize fund of £3490
Adjudicator: Mr K Hollinshead
Contact: Mr R Rodgers, 01457 874354

Denshaw
Contest: 4.00-10.45pm
Main Prize: £750 from a total prize fund of £2940
Adjudicator: A Holdsworth
Contact: A Baxter, 01706 881915

Dobcross
Contest: 4.00-10.00pm
Main Prize: £600 from a total prize fund of £2315
Adjudicator: D Horsfield
Contact: K Haynes, 01457 877267

Friezland
3rd, 4th & Youth Sections only
Contest: 4.30-10.30pm
Main Prize: £150 from a total prize fund of £525
Adjudicator: J Newbigging
Contact: L Jones, 01457 870081

Greenacres
Contest :4.30-10.30pm
Main Prize: £750 from a total prize fund of £2470
Adjudicator: Mr D Wilby
Contact: A Clayton, 0161 678 7255

Greenfield
Contest: 5.00-10.00pm
Main Prize: £1,000 from a total prize fund of £3380
Adjudicator: Mr R Farr
Contact: J Buckley, 01457 874794

Grotton
Contest: 4.30-10.00pm
Main Prize: £600 from a total prize fund of £1850
Adjudicator: Mr R Roe
Contact: S Hodgkiss, 0161 633 7296

Lydgate
Contest: 4.30-10.30pm
Main Prize: £775 from a total prize fund of £2020
Adjudicator: Mr D Southcott
Contact: C Brierley, 01457 872566

Lees and Springhead
Contest: 4.30-10.00pm
Main Prize: £600 from a total prize fund of £2285
Adjudicator: Mr A Fernie
Contact: W Cullen, 0161 626 7625

Scouthead and Austerlands
Contest: 4.30-11.00pm
Main Prize: £600 from a total prize fund of £3025
Adjudicator: C Brian Buckley
Contact: D Needham, 0161 652 0341

Uppermill
Contest: 4.30-10.00pm
Main Prize: £700 from a total prize fund of £2195
Adjudicator: D Marshall
Contact: T Hopkinson, 01457 876010

Further details on Whit Friday can be found on www.whitfriday.brassbands.saddleworth.org

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