Sound of brass returns to Saddleworth with Whit Friday band contests

THE sound of brass rang around Saddleworth as the popular Whit Friday Band Contests returned for the first time in three years.

The event, dubbed as ‘The Greatest Free Show on Earth’, was cancelled for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic but was back on the calendar for June 10.

Across the villages, contests attracted hundreds of local spectators and bands as well as those from up and down the country and even abroad, including Emmental Band  from Switzerland and Skeie Brass from Norway.

Prizes were awarded by each contest, as well as to an overall winner, with Black Dyke named champions for the first time since 2015.

Led by Musical Director Professor Nicholas Childs, they secured victories at Denshaw, Dobcross, Greenfield and Lydgate as well as runners-up in Grotton and third in Delph, claiming around £7,000 in prize money.

Scouthead-based Oldham Band (Lees), with MD John Collins, claimed third place, with victories at Diggle and Scouthead & Austerlands, taking home £3,300.

There were some eye-catching performances from Chav Brass – who impressed the adjudicators as well as the crowds to finish seventh – as well as Trom Boney-M and Bad Ass Brass.

See a full list of results online:

  • The Whit Friday Band Contests took place almost without incident, as GMP confirmed only one male was arrested on suspicion of driving offences in Delph.

A GMP spokesperson said: “The event has to be regarded as a success for all concerned and was a great family day.

“It was good to be involved with a community event again following Covid and passed off peacefully, apart from a couple of medical matters.

“The incident in Delph related to a man arrested for drink driving and the incident in Diggle was a cardiac arrest and thankfully first responders and police did an excellent job and revived the patient.”

  • The next Autumn Leaves brass band competition will take place on Sunday, September 4 on Ladhill Playing Field and Greenfield Cricket Club, with around 20 local bands competing. More details to follow soon.

One Reply to “Sound of brass returns to Saddleworth with Whit Friday band contests”

  1. Greenfield was brilliant, the band’s and public support was excellent. Locals and visitors bonded in a unanimous feeling of pride, enthusiasm and enjoyment in an excellent, feeling of comradeship. All were thouraly enthralled.

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