A NEW team is heading up Greenfield’s Whit Friday contest organisation as Saddleworth’s villages prepare for another “greatest free show in the country”.
New Chairman Dave Allonby and Vice-Chair Jamie Curley have been involved with the organising of the contest for some time but this year have been busy with the detailed planning.
Dave said: “There is an awful lot of paperwork to be filled in and much of it has to be with the Council before New Year, so planning for the next contest starts almost as soon as the previous one has finished.
“Fortunately our previous Chairman Frank Rothwell and our Treasurer Glynis Williamson have put a lot of things in place so we haven’t had to start from scratch.”
Jamie added: “We are really fortunate in Greenfield that we have great, many of whom volunteer year after year and work hard not only on the day but collecting around the village beforehand and also setting up for the contest and clearing up afterwards.
“I can’t praise the committee enough. They are superb and work really hard to make it a great day for the bands, locals and visitors.”
The Greenfield team is hoping for better weather than last year although as Dave pointed out: “last year’s rain didn’t put the bands off and we had a record number.”
One of the jobs the team have do is ensure potholes and road defects are put right so bandsmen can concentrate on marching and not watching where they are stepping out. Dave said: “We have the longest march on the circuit and it is a really fine sight to see a full brass band march the length of the village. We need to make sure they can do so with confidence.”
To aid their task this year Dave and Jamie marked out potential hazards using a GPS device to pinpoint potholes and ensure they can be easily identified for the repair teams.
This year the team have also had to make new arrangements for the bands to book in for the contest after the closure of Greenfield Conservative Club at the end of April.
Jamie explained: “We have made alternative arrangements with special event tents which will be next to the club. The bands will be setting off from the same place outside the club.”
2017 also sees a new prize on offer to youth bands. The Mike and Janet Payne Trophy will be awarded to the best soloist in a youth band and has been provided by Mike and Janet’s family to honour the two Boarshurst Band stalwarts.
Dave concluded: “This year’s contest will start at 4pm with Chris Wormald in the adjudicator’s box and hopefully good weather for everyone to enjoy the best day.
“Chew Valley Road will be closed between Wellington Road and Berry Brow with manned barriers at Wellington Road and Berry Brow, Greenbridge Lane and Ladhill Lane will be closed for their entire length and Oak View Road will be closed at the pack horse bridge. Closures will be in effect from 3.30pm on the day.”