THE sounds of brass band music will once again echo across the area as the Whit Friday contests will return.
In 2020 and 2021, the day that should have seen the showpiece was silent – bar individual bands doing their own thing.
But June 10 will see crowds flock once again to sites around the borough after it was decided to bring ‘the greatest free show on Earth’ back to the calendar.
Following a relaxation of covid restrictions, the Friends of Tameside Brass Band Contests decided the time is right to bring back the traditional Whit Friday competitions after the only non-wartime break they have known in their 138-year history.
A total of 10 sites – Broadoak in Ashton, Carrbrook, Denton Cricket Club, Droylsden, Dukinfield Tame Valley, Heyrod, Ashton’s Hurst Village, Mossley, Stalybridge Labour Club and Stalybridge Celtic. – will be the scene of bands performing as they aim for prizes.
Adam Pickles, chairman of the Friends of Tameside Brass Band Contests, said: “We’re pleased bring back the band contests.
“Foden’s did an outstanding job with the online competitions but nothing compares with the real thing.
“The past two years have been difficult and we’re really grateful to have something to look forward to.
“The towns and villages that make up Tameside will once again be resounding to the brilliant sound of brass this year and hopefully long into the future.”The contests are organised by dedicated groups of volunteers and to have a chance of winning bands must perform at six venues.
As well as demanding proof of musical prowess, the evening also tests discipline, stamina and organisational skills.
Councillor Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council’s executive member for culture, added: “The Whit Friday contests started in Stalybridge in 1884 so I’m delighted they will be taking place once more in 2022.
“They are an integral part of our borough’s heritage and I’m delighted the council will be renewing its support for them.
“By offering the overall Tameside prizes, we help brass bands of all levels while making sure our residents have the opportunity to see and hear some of the best brass bands in the country.”