Foden's are the 'Tameside Whit' Champions

Posted by Mark Wilkinson on 13 June 2022

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

On Friday 10th June over 100 brass bands participated in twenty different contests at venues scattered around the areas of Tameside and Saddleworth.

At each venue bands march to a central location where they perform a contest march which is judged by an adjudicator. Foden's played the popular march 'The President' conducted by Michael 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 UK's top bands. For the players, 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 show 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.

This year Foden's competed at all 9 venues in Tameside starting at 4pm and finished at 11.45pm, as well as competing in 2 venues in the Saddleworth Area. Following the announcement of the results Foden's were crowned the 'Tameside Whit Friday Champions' for the 19th time in 20 years.

In Tameside Foden's were placed 1st at 4 venues, 2nd at 4 venues as well as a 3rd. In Saddleworth we were placed 1st and 3rd 

whit friends of tameside2

For any conductor and every audience, Foden’s Band is a musical Magic Carpet. It continually takes the listener to places that few other ensembles rarely even approach Howard Snell