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2017 Whit Friday preview
Making the magic and the money come together

4BR's Malcolm Wood looks ahead to the Whit Friday contests and wonders what would happen if there was no brass band magic money tree to sprout prizes each year?

Money
There is no Whit Friday magic money tree...

The traditional mid-point signpost of the contesting year has been reached once again, with more than a few Musical Directors going into ‘politician-mode’ by promising a windfall bonus from the brass band equivalent of the ‘magic money tree’ on the various Whit Friday circuits. 

However, despite it being widely regarded as ‘The Greatest Free Show on Earth', Whit Friday has to be paid for - and, as if by magic, the remarkable contest organisers have once again been able to do this (and costs increase year on year) and meet the insatiable prize money demands by working their socks off to raise sponsorship at every level (over £60,000 this year alone) - from individual prizes for soloists to the overall ‘Championship’ titles.

Feed the roots

A nod of appreciation wouldn’t go amiss this year then to the hard working volunteers and supporters who get this particular ‘free’ show on the road: So instead of buying an extra pint, why not buy a souvenir programme, or pop a few quid in a collecting pot (for whatever good charitable cause) as you enjoy the spectacle.  Every little bit will help feed the roots for years to come.

So instead of buying an extra pint, why not buy a souvenir programme, or pop a few quid in a collecting pot (for whatever good charitable cause) as you enjoy the spectacle.  Every little bit will help feed the roots for years to come.4BR

For many of the competitors, the promise of a bumper payday drives their modern day Whit Friday ethos.

Black Dyke
Black Dyke will be looking to reclaim a Whit Friday title or two

Show the world

There have been some rather mean spirited gripes on social media in the past couple of years about the ‘lack’ of prize money from people who have little idea of just how difficult it is to run these contests - and after the recent terrible events in Manchester and London, perhaps now is the time to show the world that communal music making remains a priceless expression of the freedom we can sometimes take for granted.  No amount of extra prize money will ever compensate for that if it is lost.  

after the recent terrible events in Manchester and London, perhaps now is the time to show the world that communal music making remains a priceless expression of the freedom we can sometimes take for granted.  No amount of extra prize money will ever compensate for that if it is lost 4BR

So whilst the major awards generously supplied by those hard-working folk of Saddleworth and Tameside will probably end up in the bank accounts of the elite bands, the life blood of the event can still be felt coursing through the veins from early morning to late at night of the performances from youth bands and local outfits, scratch ensembles and overseas competitors.

New venue

The Whit Friday magic money tree rewards those who put in the effort, dedication and graft, and whilst many bands may not end the night in the black after all their expenses have been taken into account, they will all be better off for having entered into the true spirit of an event like no other – including giving numerous march performances of ‘The Acrobat’ for the DKMS Blood Cancer Appeal. 

It’s also great to see a new venue at The Albion in Dukinfield on the Tameside circuit this year, as well as a new home for the Broadoak contest at the nearby Ashton Rugby Club.
  
This year could also see the largest overseas contingent ever competing, as well as participating in the traditional Walks of Witness in Mossley and Saddleworth on Friday morning. Fanfare Cécilia Chermignon, Brass Band Zell, MG Brass Band Lengnau, Brass Band Harmonie Neuenkirch have all made the journey from Switzerland, Rong Brass have flown over from Norway and Tanunda Town Band from Adelaide in South Australia will round off a memorable UK tour with their participation.

vISITORS
One of the great Whit Friday attractions always comes from overseas

Title seekers

Closer to home, Foden's will be out to claim a sixteenth overall Championship title in the last 17 years in Tameside, although experienced contenders in Rothwell Temperance and Ashton under Lyne will surely be out to stop them.

Meanwhile, in Saddleworth, Black Dyke will be looking to reclaim the title that is currently in the hands of their great rivals Brighouse & Rastrick, whilst Fairey will hope to fill their boots alongside the recently crowned Masters champion, Milnrow and British Open bound Wingates. 4BR

Meanwhile, in Saddleworth, Black Dyke will be looking to reclaim the title that is currently in the hands of their great rivals Brighouse & Rastrick, whilst Fairey will hope to fill their boots alongside the recently crowned Masters champion, Milnrow and British Open bound Wingates.

There is also sure to be a great deal of interest in a band put together by local raconteur, Gilbert Symes, who turns 70 this year. Age does not weary those who enjoy a pint and good march. Watch out for them.

Tameside contests will be using the hash-tag #WhitBrass17 whilst a number of the venues now utilise social media to keep bands abreast of waiting times and anything else they need to know – so keep tuned into your mobile phones.

Results

4BR will aim to publish the results as soon as possible over the weekend, including the identity of the overall champion in Saddleworth and Tameside. 
 
Please be patient though. It's not the end of the world if you have to wait. The hard working volunteers will do their very best, so please don’t pester them at them at the end of what will be a very long and exhausting day.


Saddleworth & Oldham District:

Area Open Champions: £2,500, 2nd: £1,000, 3rd: £750, Youth: £250 
Local Area Champion: £750, 2nd: £600, 3rd: £400
 
The Saddleworth & Oldham Contests are supported by Oldham Council, Redrow Homes and Saddleworth & Lees District Partnership

Delph:
http://www.delph-whit-friday.co.uk
Contest: 4.15pm - 10.30pm
Main Prize: £1,000 from a total prize fund of £4,000
Adjudicator: Mike Kilroy
Contact: Mr R. Rodgers (01457 874354)
twitter: @delphcontest

Denshaw:
http://www.denshawcontest.co.uk/
Contest: 4.00pm - 10.30pm
Main Prize: £1,000 from a total prize fund of £3,690
Adjudicator: Allan Holdsworth
Contact: Andrina Baxter (07920763979)
twitter: @denshawcontest

Diggle:
http://www.digglebandcontest.co.uk
Contest: 4.15pm - 10.30pm
Main Prize: £800 from a total prize fund of £3015
Adjudicator: Simon Kerwin
Contact: B. Cliffe (01457 873901)
twitter: @DiggleContest

Dobcross:
Contest: 4.00pm - 10.00pm
Main Prize: £750 from a total prize fund of £2,995
Adjudicator: Kevin Wadsworth
Contact: Gavin Roberts (07877015169)
twitter: @DobcrossWhitFri

Friezland:
3rd, 4th & Youth Sections only
Contest: 4.30pm - 10.30pm
Main Prize: £200 from a total prize fund of £575
Adjudicator: T. Newbigging
Contact: J. Barrett (01457 870612)
 
Greenfield:
Registration from: 3.30pm
Contest: 4.00pm - 10.00pm
Main Prize: £1,000 from a total prize fund of £4,000
Adjudicator: Chris Wormald
Contact: Dave Allonby (07967 455663)
 
Grotton:

Contest: 4.00pm - 10.00pm
Main Prize: £700 from a total prize fund of £2,465
Adjudicator: Nicholas Garmon
Contact: Graham Talboys-Smith (07761 593342)
twitter: @WhitBrass
 
Lydgate:
Contest: 4.00pm -10.30pm
Main Prize: £850 from a total prize fund of £3,210
Adjudicator: Derek Southcott
Contact: Gordon Beverley (07932 747590)
 
Lees & Springhead:
Contest: 4.30pm - 10.00pm
Main Prize: £500 from a total prize fund of £1,755
Adjudicator: Alan Fernie
Contact: Val Sedgewick ( 07732516333)
 
Scouthead & Austerlands:
Contest: 4.15pm -11.00pm
Main Prize: £800 from a total prize fund of £3,680
Adjudicator: Jonathan Pippen
Contact: D. Needham (0161 6520341)
Bands waiting on the night number: (07880 743876)
 
Uppermill:
Contest: 4.00pm - 10.30pm
Main Prize: £1,000 from a total prize fund of £2,660
Adjudicator: David Marshall
Contact: Pam Byrne (01457 820149)
twitter: @BandContest


Tameside:

Area Open Champions: £2,500, 2nd: £1,000, 3rd: £750, Youth: £200, 2nd £100
Local Area Champion: £750, 2nd: £600, 3rd: £400
 
The Tameside contests are supported by Premier Kia (Dukinfield) in conjunction with Tameside Council and the Friends of Tameside Whit Friday Brass Band Contest Committee.
 
Audenshaw:

http://www.clubbz.com/club/4633/manchester/aldwinians_rufc_brass_band_contest_2010
Contest: 4.00pm -10.30pm
Main Prize: £500 from a total prize fund of £1,750
Aldwinians Rugby Club
Adjudicator: Paul Holland
Contact: Sylvia Donley (07947 018175)  
 
Broadoak:
Contest: 4.30pm -11.00pm
Main Prize: £500 from a total prize fund of £1,600
Ashton Rugby Club
Adjudicator: Duncan Beckley
Contact: Graham Hall (0161 339 8341) Rick Parker (07801 152 097)
 
Carrbrook:

Contest: 4.30pm -10.30pm
Main Prize: £600 from a total prize fund of £1,555
Carr Rise
Adjudicator: John Davies
Contact: Kathryn Heyes (07760 274 629)
twitter: @CarrbrookWhitFr 
 
Denton:
Contest: 4.15pm -11.15pm
Main Prize: £250 from a total prize fund of £1,260
Adjudicator: Mike Lyons
Contact: Mrs Joan Emery (0161 2925319/07939 383147)
twitter: @DBBAwhitfriday
 
Droylsden:
Contest: 4.30pm -11.00pm
Main Prize: £400 from a total prize fund of £1,650
The Bush Inn
Adjudicator: Duncan Wilson
Contact: Sheila Bowater (07886361242)
 
Dukinfield:

Contest: 4.30pm -11.00pm
Main Prize: £400 from a total prize fund of £1,600
Tame Valley Hotel
Adjudicator: Dave Chapman
Contact: Sharon McDonald (0161 339 0072)
 
Dukinfield:
Contest: 4.30pm -11.00pm
Main Prize: £450 from a total prize fund of £1,675
Albion Hotel
Adjudicator: Nigel Lawless
Contact: Adam Pickles (07825 254177/0161 330 3488)
 
Heyrod:
http://www.heyrodbandcontest.com
Contest: 4.30pm -10.30pm
Main Prize: £600 from a total prize fund of £2080
John Street
Adjudicator: Martin Heartfield
Contact: Colette Shaw (07983 335733) 
 
Hurst Village:
Contest: 4.30pm -10.15pm
Main Prize: £300 from a total prize fund of £1,275
Ashton United FC
Adjudicator: Richie Howard
Contact: Denise Pinder (0161 308 4076, 07789392856)
 
Stalybridge Labour Club:
Contest: 4.30pm -10.30pm
Main Prize: £400 from a total prize fund of £1,190
Stalybridge Labour Club
Adjudicator: Paul Norley
Contact: Leanne Feeley ( 07815 886 763)
 
Stalybridge Celtic:
Contest: 4.30pm -11.00pm
Main Prize: £400 from a total prize fund of £1,525
Stalybridge Celtic FC
Adjudicator: C. Evans
Contact: Gordon Greenwood (07770 433336)
 
Mossley:
Contest: 4.30pm -10.00pm
Main Prize: £600 from a total prize fund of £1,900
Mountain Street
Adjudicator: Gary Hallas
Contact: Paul Harrison (07876214425)


Find the venue:

To enable bands to plan their routes and find the contest venues, visit the following link: 
 
http://www.tameside.gov.uk/brassband/whitfriday/
 
Further details for the Tameside Contests are available from: http://www.tamesidebrassbands.org



Rhyl Silver Band - Rhyl Silver Band and Cor Clwyd

Saturday 21 October • Town Hall. RHYL LL18


Black Dyke Band - Denby Dale Ladies Choir

Saturday 21 October • Huddersfield Town Hall, Corporation St, Huddersfield, HD1 2TA


Concert - Grimethorpe Colliery: Beck Theatre

Sunday 22 October • Grange Rd, Hayes UB3 2UE


Black Dyke Band - Skipton

Thursday 26 October • High St, Gargrave, Skipton BD23 1AH


The Hepworth Band - Frank Renton & Isobel Daws

Friday 27 October • Yeadon Town Hall


The Tilbury Band

October 21 • Tilbury Brass Band (Essex) have the following vacancies. . Cornet (position negotiable). Bass (position negotiable). Principal Euph . Percussion (Kit and Tuned). . We rehearse in our own Band Hall in Tilbury on Wednesdays at 8pm and Sundays at 7.30pm


Hungerford Town Band

October 21 • Having recruited a top class principal trombone, Hungerford Town Band require a Bb Bass player to complete the section. We have hard but fun rehearsals and work together as a close nit team.


Strata Brass

October 21 • Bb BASS in this Yorkshire Championship Band (1st Section 2018)- MD Jonathan Bates(Solo Horn - Fodens Band).. Rehearsals SUN/WED,bandroom 5 mins from J35/36 M1 (Hoyland).. Currently preparing new concert programme and for Butlins/Area 2018..


John Maines

BA (Hons)
Presenter, compere and conductor