Villagers rally together to save Whit Friday traditions in Dobcross

RESOLUTE villagers have answered a rallying call to assure the future of one of Saddleworth’s most colourful spectacles.

Dobcross Band at the Whit Fridays Walks 2018

A crisis meeting was held after fears the traditional Whit Friday celebrations at Dobcross were in jeopardy.

But after a thronged meeting organised by the Whit Friday contest secretary Gavin Roberts, the future of part of Saddleworth’s ‘greatest show in earth’ has been protected.

Pam Rose, a former chair of Dobcross Village Community, is now chair of The Dobcross Whit Friday United Effort Committee.

And after the meeting, secretary Pam Raymer, said: “We’ve held a very positive gathering to save Whit Friday activities in the village.

“These events are run by the church in the morning and by a small committee in the afternoon and evening, providing much fun and entertainment for young and old.

“Dobcross has a very strong community spirit and the success of the meeting which explained the desperate need for more volunteers showed how positive and supportive everyone is.

‘Many new volunteers were recruited. No one wanted to lose Whit Friday.”

She continued: “The small committee, led by Pam Rose, decided though they spent many hours planning and volunteering to do jobs themselves the day needed much more help.

“Many of the committee have spent several years and hundreds of man hours ensuring the success and safety of the events.

“Each year more bureaucracy means more work organising each event and with several hundred people attending the band contest, the workload has greatly increased.

“This however has not stopped everyone feeling very positive about the future of Whit Friday in Dobcross.

“The Dobcross Whit Friday United Effort Committee would like to say a huge thank you to all of the villagers who attended the meeting for their support in continuing the tradition.”

Terry Lawless, President of Dobcross Band Club, who attended the meeting, said: “There was an excellent turnout and with an encouraging mix of old and new faces offering their services, the future of the Dobcross Whit Friday celebrations looks assured.

“The Whit Friday Band Contest provides a spectacle to rival anything in the world.”

Paul Clegg, chair of the Dobcross Village Community executive, said: “I am much encouraged by the response and the fact the Whit Friday effort will continue.”

The problems surfaced when a number of long-standing committee members announced their intention to stand down after this year’s contest on Friday, June 14.

Organisers painted a bleak future which could have meant no more traditional walks in the morning, children’s lunches, afternoon sports events and the end of hugely popular band contests which had been held in the evening for 50 years.

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