Weather fails to dampen band contest spirits
Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 26 May 2018
The Whit Friday Band contest scene at Diggle. Pictures courtesy of John Eccles
Early rain and thick clouds failed to dampen spirits among thousands of fans who attended yesterday's Whit Friday brass band contests.
Staged annually on the first Friday after Pentecost, this year's hugely popular event featured contests spanning numerous villages throughout Saddleworth and Tameside.
More than 20 band contests took place on the day, with the ultra-competitive one at Delph once again the largest.
More than 80 bands played there, while other villages showcasing some brilliant brass band talent included Denshaw, Diggle (pictured below is the damp scene there yesterday morning), Dobcross, Friezland, Greenfield, Grotton, Lees, Springhead, Lydgate, Scouthead, Austerlands and Uppermill.
Once again the crowds roared across Saddleworth as more than 100 bands featured in all.
The festival is famous throughout the brass band world, as nothing likes it takes place anywhere else.
The traditional 'street march' took centre stages earlier in the day, before nerves began to kick in as the players took to the relevant village contest stand.
Revellers watched on amazed as each village contest boasted a range of prizes donated by local people and former band players.
One of the highlights of the Saddleworth social calender certainly delivered once again.