Band-tastic! Autumn Leaves contest huge success!

IT’S too early to confirm if there will be an Autumn Leaves brass band contest encore next year.

But Greenfield’s inaugural musical party in the park hit all the right notes with bands, audience and organisers alike.

An estimated 4,000 attended throughout the event at Ladhill playing fields as for five hours the hills were alive to the sound of music once again.

Frank Rothwell and Richard Fletcher

After taking out staging costs and prize money, it is hoped a small surplus will be available to put back into the banding community.

Any funds will be distributed across Saddleworth’s brass band community and to the organising committee of Greenfield’s Whit Friday contest.

“It couldn’t have gone any better,” beamed Frank Rothwell, who masterminded the event, backed up by tireless committee volunteers.

“I am so happy,” said the village based, record-breaking Atlantic oarsman.

“Last week, it was forecast for thunder and lightning but we were blessed with the weather.

“The audience were so appreciative and seemed to know their band music.

“They were all very quiet while the bands played and then showed their appreciation after they had finished

John Whittle

“What was really pleasing was to see how many children were here as well.

“We wanted to make it a family, party in the pack and that’s just what we got. It is exactly what I wanted.

“The quality of the bands was brilliant and the contest gave them an opportunity to get together again.“To get Brighouse and Rastrick (11-time Greenfield winners in the past 13 years) to play was beyond my wildest dream.

“We asked a lot of top bands and Brighouse said they’d love to come but play as a non-competitive band.”

All bands received £200 for taking part in addition to extra prize money.

And it was fitting independent adjudicator Chris Wormald and trainee adjudicator Matt Brown judged Boarshurst Brass Band, based on Greenbridge Lane in Greenfield, as competition winners.

Just a single point separated them from Diggle Band. Uppermill Band finished third followed by Dobcross Silver Band and Wardle Anderson Brass.

Friezland Band finished as leading non-competitive band with Dobcross Youth Training Band also recognised.

Saddleworth South councillor and committee member Jamie Curley added: “The bands and the public all said ‘thank you’ for doing it.
“They really appreciated what had been done to put the event on. They had been crying out for a community event.

“The weather helped, of course. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.

“The bands are short of places to play and the fact they got something out of it, means a lot to them.”

Saddleworth’s annual Whit Friday contest had to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2022 event is scheduled to take place on June 10.

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