Whit Friday Marches Cancelled

It has been announced that the organisers of the Saddleworth & Oldham Whit Friday contests and the Tameside Whit Friday contests have made the decision to cancel the event on 5th June.
The statement from Adam Pickles, Chairman of The Friends of Tameside Whit Friday Brass Band Contest Committee reads:
"In light of the Government's advice regarding large scale public gatherings and in order to protect both the banding community and the public at large, 'The Friends of Tameside Whit Friday Brass Band Contest Committee' have taken the unprecedented step to postpone the 2020 contest in Tameside until 2021. 
“Whilst we want to apologise for any inconvenience this may causes, we can assure you all this decision has not been an easy one to make and has not been taken lightly.
We firmly believe the postponement is in the best interests of all groups involved; bands, organisers, volunteers and the wider public.
“The Whit Band contests are one of, if not the oldest brass competitions in the country and have been running for well over 140 years. This legacy and heritage of the event is of utmost importance to us and we will do everything we can to ensure the contests continue into 2021 and beyond."
A statement has also been issued by Bob Rodgers, Chairman of the Saddleworth & Oldham District Whit Friday Contests stating:
"Following Government guidelines on Pandemic Covid-19 and taking into consideration the projected peak of the infection, it was the consensus of opinion that we have a duty of care to protect all participants and therefore should adopt a responsible and proactive approach for the safety of everyone. 
“The decision has been made taking into account the recommendations of Brass Bands England who were following the advice of Public Health England, it has been taken now to avoid unnecessary expense being incurred to bands by booking of coaches and possibly accommodation etc.
“We would like to thank Oldham Council Officers, GM Police, the bands and the public in general for their support at this difficult time. We look forward to putting on a great show on 28th May 2021."


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