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2018 Whit Friday contests
Preview of the Tameside and Saddleworth events

The main brass bands candidates will be joined by a ballot paper full of representatives around the Whit Friday constituencies of Tameside and Saddleworth this year.

Wardle
Getting ready for Whit Friday: Wardle Academy will out and about the villages (copyright: Lorne Campbell)

A week, let alone a year may be a long time in British politics, but it’s also a pretty short gap between major contesting attractions in the brass banding world.

12 months ago, Whit Friday dawned the day after the General Election, as well as to the prospect of another battle between the major brass band parties in the musical constituencies of Tameside and Saddleworth. 

And whilst 50 weeks later the political debate remains much the same and just about the same list of candidates will present their musical manifestos on the doorsteps from Broadoak to Uppermill and all stops in between, there have been some very significant changes.

Misunderstanding

One political refrain that has certainly rung true in the past 12 months with Whit Friday is that there is no longer a ‘magic money tree’ of sponsorship and prize money to be dangled in front of cash hungry bands.  

Cut-backs and austerity measures - some small, some much bigger have nibbled away at the funds that have been taken for granted by competitors over the years.

There is also a great misunderstanding about the roles (and financial support) that is now given by both Oldham and Tameside Councils.

One political refrain that has certainly rung true in the past 12 months with Whit Friday is that there is no longer a ‘magic money tree’ of sponsorship and prize money to be dangled in front of cash hungry bands.  

It’s worth remembering that immensely difficult funding decisions in all areas of local authority provision are being taken every day by local councillors and staff that are working exceptionally hard to maintain and support an event that some may think ‘appears by magic’ year in year out.

Hands
The usual demands for prize money will be tempered this year...

Forward thinking

For instance, this year it has meant some adjustments to the central prize fund in Tameside, with a forward thinking initiative put in place to encourage participation at all levels – not just at the very top. It’s a long overdue move to encourage bands at all levels to compete at six or more contests on the circuit.

Meanwhile, local contest organisers on both circuits have once more worked minor miracles to fund their various events and come up with substantial prize funds - so before anyone starts complaining, spare a thought for those who put in hours of hard work to get things up and running. 

Many of these wonderful contests are now literally run on a financial knife edge and depend on a huge amount of goodwill from volunteers.  A little thank you and a bit of consideration for their efforts wouldn’t go amiss even when contest passions run high. 

Many of these wonderful contests are now literally run on a financial knife edge and depend on a huge amount of goodwill from volunteers.  A little thank you and a bit of consideration for their efforts wouldn’t go amiss even when contest passions run high. 

Great debut

In Tameside, due to redevelopment work ongoing at Aldwinians RUFC, there is no contest at the Audenshaw venue, but it is hoped that that it will return in 2019.  Meanwhile, The Albion in Dukinfield, which had a great debut last year, returns once again and the Broadoak contest continues at its new home of Ashton Rugby Club. If you visit Mossley, you may just get recorded for Yorkshire Brass. In the Saddleworth district, at Scouthead the well known The Three Crowns Inn is currently closed, but the contest will continue as normal. Bands should register outside the pub as in previous years. At Dobcrooss, they're looking to the future by encouraging Youth bands who participate by wavering their entry fee.

Once again there will be plenty of overseas visitors. Musikverein Buckten and Musikgesellschaft Brass Band Dagmersellen are over from Switzerland and Kleppe Musikklag from Norway, so look out for them on the night as well as the morning processions in Saddleworth and Mossley and in concerts over the weekend.

Also keep your eyes peeled for a film crew or two out with bands as part of a proposed programme to be shown on the Sky Arts channel later this year. 

And if you can't get to Whit Friday and still want to enjoy a taste of the action you can subscribe to www.BrassPass.tv who will be streaming the contest live from Delph (please check terms and conditions).

Major candidates

As always there will be a great deal of interest in which of the major banding candidates will be looking for a substantial boost to their funds.

And whilst the Yorkshire champion Black Dyke will be enjoying a rest, 2017 National and Saddleworth champion, Brighouse & Rastrick will be looking to claim a hat-trick of overall titles.

Fairey's no doubt will be looking to boost their coffers after their recent European trip, while the usual list of suspects such as Grand Shield winners Hammonds Saltaire, Senior Cup winners Oldham (Lees) and the march specialists such as Marsden and Hepworth will also be looking to pick up plenty of cash.  

Over in Tameside Foden's will be looking to make it 17 out of 18 ‘overall champion’ title successes, although they could be faced with a strong challenge from the likes of Rothwell Temperance and Ashton under Lyne amongst others. 

Tameside contests will be using the hash-tag #WhitBrass18 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.

Over in Tameside Foden's will be looking to make it 17 out of 18 ‘overall champion’ title successes, although they could be faced with a strong challenge from the likes of Rothwell Temperance and Ashton under Lyne amongst others. 

volunteers
The contests have always been indebted to amazing volunteers

Results

4BR will aim to publish the results as soon as possible, including the identity of the overall champions in Saddleworth. 

In Tameside, whilst the bands will have worked out their placings and winnings, no formal announcement will be made until after the Bank Holiday.

Patience

One final note though to band representatives eager to find out where they have come. 

Please be patient. 

It's not the end of the world if you have to wait to get your result, so do not pester the local organisers in the early hours of the morning to find out if you have won an extra £50. The number of complaints has risen in recent years from exhausted volunteers and hosts about ill-mannered band reps who demand to know where they have come - so have a bit of respect for their efforts. 

The number of complaints has risen in recent years from exhausted volunteers and hosts about ill-mannered band reps who demand to know where they have come - so have a bit of respect for their efforts. 

4BR will try its best to get all the results through official channels – so just log into us throughout Saturday and all will eventually be revealed.

Malcolm Wood


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 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: Glyn Williams
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:

Tameside Area Open Champions: £2,000, 2nd: £1,000, 3rd: £750, Overall First Section: £500, Overall Second Section: £400 Overall Third Section: £350, Overall Fourth Section: £300 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.

Broadoak:
Contest: 5.00pm -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)

Carrbrook:
Contest: 4.00pm -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 £1,325
The Bush Inn
Adjudicator: Ryan Breen
Contact: Sheila Bowater (07886361242)

Dukinfield (Tame Valley):
Contest: 4.30pm -11.00pm
Main Prize: £400 from a total prize fund of £1,050
Tame Valley Hotel
Adjudicator: Brian Rostron
Contact: Sharon McDonald (0161 339 0072)

Dukinfield (Albion Hotel):
Contest: 4.30pm -11.00pm
Main Prize: £450 from a total prize fund of £1,575
Albion Hotel
Adjudicator: Nigel Lawless
Contact: Adam Pickles (07825 254177/0161 330 3488)

Heyrod:
http://www.heyrodbandcontest.com
Contest: 4.30pm -11.000pm
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: Cat Tomlinson (07500830583)

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 £1525
Stalybridge Celtic FC
Adjudicator: C. Evans
Contact: Gordon Greenwood (07770 433336)

Mossley:
Contest: 4.30pm -10.00pm
Main Prize: £750 from a total prize fund of £2,180
Mountain Street
Adjudicator: Gary Hallas
Contact: Jenny 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

https://www.facebook.com/WhitFridayContest/



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BMus(Homs)
Conductor and Adjudicator