Thousands are expected to line the streets of Tameside and Oldham as the annual Whit Walks and band contests take place. Last years events saw more than a million people attend the contests.
This year there will be more than 20 contests taking place across the two districts. Bands from all over the country will be seen driving all over both districts in order to compete in the minimum of six contests to qualify for the cash prizes.
Each band must perform two pieces, on a march as they arrive at the contest and then their second prepared piece. The bands will be judged ‘blind’ by a judge who will remain hidden so they can only hear the band and not know who is playing. Prizes are awarded to the best ranking across any six contests in Oldham and Saddleworth or across Tameside. Some contests have a separate prize open for youth bands.
The first contest was held in Stalybridge in 1870, followed by two more in Saddleworth in 1881. Since then they have spread across Saddleworth and Tameside, always held the Friday after Whit Sunday.
Contests in Tameside are as follows.
Aldwinians Rugby Union Football Club, Droylsden Road, Audenshaw, M34 5SN: 4pm - 10.30pm
Broadoak Hotel, Broadoak Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 8QD: 5pm - 11pm
Carr Rise, Carrbrook, Stalybridge, SK15 3NY: 4.30pm - 10.30pm
Denton Cricket Club, Egerton Street, Denton, M34 3PB: 4.15pm - 11.15pm
The Bush Inn, Moorside Street, Droylsden, M43 7HL: 4.30pm - 11pm
Tame Valley Hotel, Park Road, Dukinfield, SK16 5LX: 4.30pm - 11pm
John Street, Wakefield Road, Heyrod, Stalybridge SK15 3BW: 4.30pm - 10.30pm
Hurst Village Contest:
Ashton United FC, Surrey Street, Hurst Cross, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 9EQ: 4.30pm - 10.15pm
Stalybridge Celtic Contest:
Stalybridge Celtic Football Club, Bower Fold, Mottram Road, Stalybridge SK15 2RT: 4.30pm - 11pm
Stalybridge Labour Club, Acres Lane, Stalybridge, SK15 2JR: 4.30pm - 10.30pm
Upper Mossley Contest:
St Joseph’s School Yard, Market Street, Mossley: 4.30pm - 10pm