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Midnight hour returns to Scouthead

People power ensures that the popular Scouthead & Austerlands Whit Friday contest can keep going — right up to midnight!



4BR has been informed that the immediate future of the Scouthead & Austerlands Whit Friday contest has been secured following successful lobbying by event organisers to Greater Manchester Police and other statutory authorities.


The victory comes after the 2012 contest was curtailed as a result of a last minute decision by Greater Manchester Police to remove traffic management controls from 10.30pm, whilst all other Saddleworth contests were allowed to ‘march up’ until 12.00 midnight at their own discretion.

After gaining immense popular support the hard working event has now received an assurance from the authorities that there will be no repeat of last year’s premature curtailment, and as a result the 2013 event will take place—with bands marching up right up to the last stroke of midnight.


Event Secretary David Needham told 4BR: "The change of heart has come about from strong lobbying, which included two petitions.

It is also fair to say that as an organising committee we had not anticipated the possibility of a domino effect, whereby the closure of our contest may have ultimately led to the loss of other Saddleworth events.

We were totally unprepared for the amazing reaction and the overwhelming support—especially from the bands themselves."

Traffic management

David revealed that to remove any uncertainty regarding the finishing time, traffic control will be handled by Amberon Limited—a nationwide traffic management specialist.

"This should enable us to guarantee that bands who register by 11.00pm, will have sufficient time to ‘march up’ before the midnight cut-off," he added.

David is now looking forward to the 36th running of the increasingly popular event.

The change of heart has come about from strong lobbying, which included two petitionsContest Secretary, David Needham

Looking forward

He concluded: "We offer our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused to bands by the police’s early removal of traffic management controls at last year’s contest and look forward to normal service being resumed at our event on Whit-Friday.

We should also like to express our gratitude for the remarkable support and goodwill generated by the bands last time out. It was, and still is, genuinely appreciated."

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