Fodens are the 2013 Whit Friday Champions

Posted by Mark Wilkinson on 26 May 2013


From the first Whit Friday Marches in 1884, the event has grown in popularity.

This year over a hundred brass bands participated in some twenty different contests at venues scattered around the areas of Tameside and Saddleworth. At each 'venue' bands march down to a central location where the band then performs a 'contest march' which is judged by an adjudicator. Foden's played the popular march 'The President' conducted by Mike Fowles. After this the band members get back on their coach, travel to the next village where they repeat the same procedure again! The contests are open to all-comers so the local youth bands get to match their skills against the top bands. For bands people the dash from contest to contest makes for an exhilarating (though exhausting) evening. Thousands of spectators travel to Saddleworth and Tameside to watch was it commonly called 'The Greatest free event in the world'.

Each contest offers prizes for the best band, best youth band, best soloists etc with each venue attracting between 50 - 70 bands. Each contest is organised by local volunteers with the running costs and prize money being raised by local donations, sponsorship and fund-raising events.

At the end of the night (each contest has its own finish time which is usually around 11pm) the adjudicator announces the results. To qualify for the overall prize i.e. the Champion of Tameside or Saddleworth bands must compete at a minimum of 6 venues and the band that has the best results takes the overall prize.

Fodens competed at 11 contest venues in Tameside, starting at 4pm and finishing at 10.45pm. Following the announcement of the results we were awarded

8 x 1st places
3 x 2nd places

The band were crowned the '2013 Tameside Whit Friday Champions' and won a total of £7600 in prize money

Foden's band maintains a world class reputation for providing entertainment in the field of brass music with a tradition and unique style Mark Wilkinson