On Whit Friday (29th May 2015), several members of TSB plus supporters were engaged in the annual Whit Friday Marches contest held in Saddleworth. When we started the journey at 8:30am the weather was awful and it didn’t improve much on the trip north! Torrential rain and very low temperatures are not conducive to playing outdoors. We arrived at our hotel in Rochdale around midday and to our relief the rain stopped and a glimmer of sun flickered overhead. Could we be that lucky?
The competition started at 4pm and so 26 players plus supporters were regularly checking the local forecast on phones and iPads, hoping and praying that the rains stayed away. I’m delighted to report that they did but the very low temperature and winds made for a challenging afternoon and evening!
TSB teamed up with members of the Mellingriffith Band Cardiff and Newport Brass. The first time that we played together was in the car park of the Premier Inn, Milnrow! We had all been practising our part at home so fingers were firmly crossed that the ‘Scratch Band’ made a decent sound! Not only was this our first time playing together we then had to march. The first couple of practice runs were not a pretty sight, but after two laps of the hotel car park, we were primed and ready to go!
The Band visited 6 of the 11 villages and performed well. The organisation at each venue is first class with a specified road route for all buses designed to get the Band’s to the starting point for the march with minimum fuss and then allow the Band’s to make a quick getaway after playing the standing contest march.
Many of the UK Championship Bands were competing including the famous Black Dyke, Fairey’s and Brighouse & Rastrick.
Each village has its own adjudicator who will listen to every band and provide an overall ranking list at the close of play.
On what was always intended as a serious but social event the TSB-Mellingriffith-Newport Band acquitted itself very well. Listed below are the six villages that we played at together with our ranking and the total number of competing Bands at each venue.
Black Dyke were disqualified in Delph which means that technically we beat the World Champions!!