Page 6 - Saddleworth Monthly June 2019
P. 6

6 Whit Friday: The Best Day of the Year!

       Trying to describe a Saddleworth Whit
       Friday to someone outside the area who has
       never experienced it is actually quite
       difficult! The combination of the morning
       church Whit Walks, the afternoon
       children’s games, the brass band
       competitions in multiple locations until late
       evening and the 18 hour festival
       atmosphere is not something people from
       other places can easily comprehend.
       The church festival of Whitsunday is  received its premier at the Civic Hall
       always on the seventh Sunday after Easter.  recently. The march is based on the
       It commemorates the visit of the Holy  traditional Whit Friday hymn ‘Hail Smiling
       Ghost (or Holy Spirit) and is why the Whit  Morn’ so Uppermill Band are delighted to
       Walks take place: they are a procession of  be playing it as they march this Whit Friday
       witness by the churches, celebrating the  If there are any players who would like to
       Holy Spirit which enabled the disciples to  join them that morning, please call 07949
       go out and spread the word of God.
       The church walks are accompanied by  The Saddleworth Brass Band Contests
       brass bands, some local and some from  which start at around 4.30pm and continue
       much further afield. Weston Silver Band  until late evening, are understandably
       from Toronto, Canada and Brass Band  famous right across the brass band world.
       Reykjavik from Iceland will be playing in  Now usually attracting over 100 different
       the St Chad’s and Sacred Heart Church  bands from all over the country and abroad,
       joint procession this year.          the contests are open to all, from local
       Uppermill Band will be taking to the streets youth bands to those with world renown,
       on Friday morning with a new march   and provide what is often called ’the
       commissioned to celebrate their 40th  greatest free show on earth’.
       Anniversary. With support from       With eleven contests taking place in
       Saddleworth Festival of the Arts and  different villages, some people stay in one
                                 by the     venue whilst others walk from one to
                                            another to take a few - road closures and
                                 renowned   the number of visitors make driving and
                                 brass band
                                 composer   parking a challenge on Whit Friday.
                                 Derek         Thank you to all who organise
                                 Broadbent,   these events, (it’s a lot of work!) -
                                 the new      happy days and happy memories.
                                 march         Whit Friday2019 is on June 14th
                                 Brass’     Photos courtesy of local l photographer
                                            Brian Gibson

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