Hip hip Heyrod! Festival organiser talks about putting on Band contest

This year’s Whit Friday contest will be the 175th anniversary of the first competition in Stalybridge.

Natalie McEvoy is one of the organisers of the Heyrod contest and she provides a personal insight into what is involved ensuring the future of the event in this small community.

She told the Correspondent: “My partner and I moved to Heyrod five years ago, one Friday night we came home from work to find the road closed and very randomly a brass band marching along it.

“Little did I know five years later I would be one of those responsible for making sure the right band had the right board!

“A year ago now the people who had ran the contest for 26 years said they felt it was time to retire.

“The large funds that needed to be raised and the wads of health and safety paperwork that needed to be checked, made running the contest and unappealing prospect for most.

“When no one else stepped forward Emma, Colette and myself did.

“The road ahead was long and we had no idea what we faced. Little did we know the most controversial decision was what pies we were going to have. For the record we are having a tikka curry bar this year.

“Or which brewery we should order from, don’t panic the Millstone is ordered!

“We faced monthly meetings where we sat in dismay not knowing the difference between and e flat horn and a euphonium!

“After much discussion we decided the children were the future. Whether it be playing in a band or marching in front of one with your new clothes, Whit Friday is all about the kids so we want to make the day as magical as possible for them.

“Fortunately, our friends at the Rotary Club have enabled us to increase our kids’ prizes, meaning we now have a whopping £330 available for youth prizes!

“The experience for the kids attending is equally vital to the day being a success in our eyes.

“We have had special T shirts made that kids can wear whilst #marchingon in Heyrod.

“This year we are doing face painting with all proceeds going to the Appeal for the families of the victims of last month’s bomb attack.

“The Tameside Brass Band contest is the original contest. It dates backs to 1870, bringing it into the 21st century has been a challenge.

“We have a twitter account @heyrodhall where we share hot off the press info on the bands playing.

“As a region the Tameside contest has decided to use #whitbrass17, to keep you posted with up to date info from all of the individual contests.

“We would love to see as many local faces as possible! Come try a tikka and pint of the special stuff.”

The Heyrod contest begins at 4pm.


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