Travelling Back In Time – Whit Friday – 2007
The Saddleworth Whit Friday Band Contest is now truly International, not just with the many visitors who once lived in the area and return for the Whit celebrations, the many musicians and supporters who come from all around the world to listen to the growing number of bands, but the bands themselves and with the cost of hotels, air travel and coaches, spend a lot of money to be part of this wonderful event. This year, we welcomed such bands as, Alexander Band from Norway, Constantijn Huygens from Holland and M.G.R. Root from Switzerland together with Clogher Valley Brass from Northern Ireland and the Fountain City Brewery, U.S.A.
Why do they come? They come because there is nothing like it in the world. The music, the atmosphere, the beautiful surroundings and the wonderful reception they receive from the local people is second to none. The nice thing about these bands is they want to share in the whole day, from the processions with the churches and congregations in the morning, right through to the competitions in the evening and, these bands know, that with England turning out it’s finest Brass Bands, the chances of them making a profit out of the trip is nil.
It is also very nice to know that they have been guided by Saddleworth people and, to see them up-holding the true Brass Band values of smart appearance, deportment, and a big brass sound that reverberates
from the stone buildings as it has done for over a hundred years. When we see these bands next year, let’s give them the appreciation and encouragement that they come for and lets hope that the Whit Friday Band Contest lives forever in the future as it has in the past.