Advice for A Whit Friday newby

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Boneman, May 7, 2005.

  1. Boneman

    Boneman Member

    For the first time ever this year I intend to attend the Whit Friday marches (as a spectator).

    Can anybody give me some advice as to what is a good location to go to - What I am after is a good set of bands and a good atmosphere. I am currently a bit bewildered by all the various locations etc - any advice (tips from veterans!) would be very welcome!

  2. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    A better suggestion is to come and join us on trombone. Don't stand around all day waiting - take part ;)

    Dobcross, Delph, Saddleworth (anywhere) I think all the big names are doing the saddleworth circuit.
  3. sterlingsop

    sterlingsop Member

    For me, there is one place in Saddleworth that sums up the spirit and atmosphere of Whit Friday and that is Greenfield. I think most bands try to stop there, and there's a decent length march down the high street to hear the bands on the move. The playing arena is in a field with plenty of space for moving around and there's plenty of beer and food on offer.

    My favourite!

    Second favourite would be Delph village. The bands are led down the high street by mounted police (one of which has been known to high-step in time to the music) and the tiny village is usually crammed with spectators. Fab!
  4. JDH

    JDH Member

    I have been up to listen a couple of times and have also found Greenfield a good venue. It is easy to reach on a main road, there is plenty of room to move around and as said previously a good length march.

    Delph and Denton I also like. There is no reason why you have to stay in one village the whole evening. Maybe spend 2-3 at one and then move on to another. You should see/hear 50+ bands during the evening.

    I am going to participate playing this year and am looking forward to the experience!
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Even better for us Simon is if you were to come and join the tMP band for the event. We are playing a brilliant unique march - one that no-one else will be playing, and have everything lined up for what I am sure will be a great evenings entertainment.

    Drop a PM if you're interested.

  6. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    The villages are very close so do try to get to more than one.
    When my daughter and I first went as spectators we took our bikes in the back of the car and cycled between several villages. (Its a bit impractical moving by car because of all the restrictions and jams).
    Dobcross is a loverly contest setting on the green under the big tree and is a great early evening spot - If you are not going to move its a great spot to claim a bit of grass and take a picnic.
    At the opposite end of the spectrum just up the road is Delph which gets very busy and crowded later on. You have the spectacle of the Police horses escorting the band down and the pubs overflowing with drunken bandsmen and spectators. Denshaw is very small and cosy and is a good atmosphere as they play right outside the pub.
    We camped overnight just up the road from this one. Drifted off to sleep in our tent still listening to the last bands at past midnight.

    If you are making a day of it there are usually other things going on from midday. Uppermill usually has a whit carnival and service with a band playing and all the school kids and churches dressed up in fancy garb for the occasion. When we went we also stumbled upon a school and youth band competition on a nearby recreation ground.

    My best advice would be do your own research, find out all the local info you can and plan a route. Also - top tip - take a folding chair.
    Whatever you do your first time is magic. And its were you really see why bands like YBS, Fodens, Grimethorpe etc have such good reputations. Their class just oozes. Thats not to take anything away from the other bands. You will very impressed with some of the youth and school bands.
  7. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    Hi Simon.
    best way to see it is to join up with a band and experience it from the inside. ive only done iit twice, so wouldnt exaclty call myself aveteran, but if your going up, have a blow.

    cant garantee youd see any of the big boys, but we were lucky enough to be the filkling in a black dyke/grimey concert the other year! donesnt get much better than that!

    go there have fun dude.
    play on!
  8. Big Twigge

    Big Twigge Active Member

    Yey! come and play with tmp. You and Elin could recreate your pontins dancing :clap:

    (and the hotel has a late bar apparently)
  9. HorniKaz

    HorniKaz Supporting Member

    There are many excellent villages to go to, namely Dobcross, Delph & Greenfield. But my main advice would be to

    avoid Uppermill !

    Its a shame but this is where the trouble usually starts. You know its bad when the police give you a very quick escort back to your coach!!
  10. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    play them a bit of alice dj, then you're sorted...

    if you are playing, I'd advise cutting through the stitches in your jackets fake pockets to allow beer-holder potential to be realised.
  11. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    also take rain mack,big umbrella, beer, food, sun hat and suncream, camera!:biggrin:
  12. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    Don't forget, there is lots of background information here!
  13. Sellers_Bird

    Sellers_Bird Active Member

    whit friday starts early in the morning.. usually bout 9am when all the bands around saddleworth (delph,dobx, greenfield etc) march from their bandrooms to uppermill and have a short service and then all march back... the drinkin usually starts after this!!! if i were to spectate, then delph would be my first choice for definate.... the big name bands are mainly doing tameside this year so i hear, with one or two saddleworth (my reckoning on uppermill being one of them) delph, dobx, lees, greenfield, uppermill are all good venues.uppermill gets kinda crazy about 9pm tho...:D
  14. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Wow... were you really that bad?
  15. Griffin

    Griffin Active Member

    I think Uppermill is a great place to start... lots of pubs in close proximity. Definatley would finish a Dobcross, great atmosphere..

    Have fun.

    P.S. 2 years ago, If anyone saw a group inebriated young men with someone in a shopping trolly bieng pushed through the streets... that was me. Sorry... it was my first time!!
  16. HorniKaz

    HorniKaz Supporting Member

    Cheeky!!! :tongue:
  17. Boneman

    Boneman Member

    Many thanks to every one who has posted here - I certainly have some ideas of where to go now, (and perhaps where not to!!) - I guess I should be ashamed that I have never managed to get to the Whit Marches in the past (despite playing for 20 years this year!)

    Also thanks thanks for the tips. re chairs macs etc etc.

    Unfortunaltley I can't really commit to playing this year as I am going with friends and we are not sure when we will get there (wherever we are going!), due to work commitments etc.

    Hopefully I will see some of you - from the posts on this Thread I will most definatley go to Greenfield and Delph and see hows it goes form there.

    Thanks again! best of luck to all the players and spectators!
  18. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Broadoak is my favourite - the bands play on the pub car park so it isn't far to go to get your beers!

    As I recall (it's a few years since I was last there) the pub is pretty good, and there is an excellent chippy just across the village green - what more can you want for a good night out?!

  19. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    I've always enjoyed playing at Delph and you're guaranteed loads of bands including some big names. I heard that Uppermill got closed for a bit last year due to fighting in the streets (?) so may be one to avoid. Just watch the flying eggs at Delph! Oh, and take you own supply of beverages as getting served can be nightmare. I think that bandspeople should get serving priority!
  20. Aaron

    Aaron Member

    I've been competing at whit friday for about 9 years, & therefore have to agree with most people in that Greenfield is by far the best for all round atmosphere..especially come the end of the night! I also think Broadoak is a cracking venue, & you do get the big guns there as i remember a couple of years ago we followed Faireys down the street...playing the same bloomin march!!!

    I would also say that if you want to stop in at uppermill, go early afternoon/evening when its fun & family friendly, but anything after about 7pm its got to be a no go zone because it seems to get the same drunken idiots, who have no interest or respect for the bands taking part, who cause trouble & make it a hostile place to be.
    But no matter what venue you choose you are guaranteed an excellent day out, taking in one of the longest running & largest entered band events on the calendar today..have fun!!

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