The band contests are back in town

MOSSLEY’S Whit Friday band contest has a new venue on June 14.

The Upper Mossley event has been switched from the schoolyard at St Joseph’s to Mossley Football Club’s Seel Park ground which is only a goal kick away.

The contest, which is adjudicated by Gary Hallas, is between 4.30pm and 10pm. It has a £2,180 prize fund with £750 going to the winner.

Stalybridge has four contests at The New Stalybridge Labour Club, Stalybridge Celtic where it is being staged for a 27th consecutive year, Carrbrook and Heyrod.

Sam Gosling, the new manager of the Labour Club, is hoping to make his first contest a fun night out for the family.

There will be a free bouncy castle and face painting as well as burger, curry and ice cream vans present along with an outside bar serving real ale and cider.

There are an additional two contests in Dukinfield at Tame Valley Hotel and The Albion.

Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council’s executive member with responsibility for culture, said:

“These contests, which began in the 1880s, have rightly become known as the greatest free show on earth. Thanks to some very dedicated volunteers they have expanded from their original base in Stalybridge and Mossley and spread right across the borough.

“Nothing sums up the nine towns of Tameside more than the sound of brass which comes from deep within our industrial soul. The Whit Friday band contests are the jewel in the crown of Tameside’s cultural events and it’s no wonder they attract such huge crowds year after year.”

To have a chance of being crowned champions, bands must perform at a minimum of six contests.

As well as demanding proof of musical prowess, the evening also tests bands’ discipline, stamina and organisational skills.

Defending champions Foden’s have won the overall contest 16 times in the last 19 years, but they are guaranteed a difficult time if they are to defend the Rose Bowl.

Adam Pickles, chair of Friend of Whit Friday Brass Band Committee, added: “Whether you’ve been before or not, the contests are an unbelievably exciting event. You never know which bands will be out and about on the circuit. With support from Tameside Council, the individual contests, businesses and an army of volunteers, it really is an evening to remember.”

Entry for the Tameside overall element of the Whit Friday brass band contest is automatic for all bands that compete at six or more of the borough’s contests.

What constitutes a local band differs at each contest. However, the Tameside local prizes can only be allocated to a band which resides (has a band room or primary practise space) within a six-mile radius of Ashton Town Hall steps.

Bands and followers are able to keep abreast of events throughout the evening via: Twitter @WhitFridayBrass and by using the hashtag #WhitBrass19
Facebook @WhitFridayContest.

Full information and prize breakdowns can be found online at

Ashton-Under-Lyne R F C
St Albans Avenue, Gambrel Bank,
Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 8TU
4.30pm – 11pm

Carr Rise, Carrbrook,
Stalybridge SK15 3NY
4pm – 10.30pm

Denton Cricket Club, Egerton Street,
Denton M34 3PB
4.15pm – 11.15pm

The Bush Inn, Moorside Street,
Droylsden M43 7HL
4pm – 11pm

Dukinfield Tame Valley
Tame Valley Hotel, Park Road,
Dukinfield SK16 5LX
4.15pm -11pm

Dukinfield The Albion
The Albion, 66 Jeffreys Drive,
Dukinfield SK16 4BZ
4pm – 11pm
John Street, Wakefield Road,
Heyrod, Stalybridge SK15 3BW
4.30pm – 11pm

Hurst Village
Ashton United FC, Surrey Street,
Hurst Cross, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 9EQ
4.30pm – 10.15pm

Stalybridge Celtic
Stalybridge Celtic Football Club,
Bower Fold, Mottram Road,
Stalybridge SK15 2RT
4.30pm – 11pm

The New Stalybridge Labour Club
The New Stalybridge Labour Club,
Acres Lane, Stalybridge SK15 2JR
4.30pm – 11pm

Upper Mossley *
Mossley AFC, Seel Park,
Market Street,
Mossley OL5 0ES
4.30pm – 10pm
* Please note the Upper Mossley contest is no longer held at St Joseph’s School Yard.

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