Excitement at the Whit Friday Marches 2017!

Click HERE for write up from 4barsrest
Click HERE for write up from Northants Telegraph
Click HERE for write up from BBC
We had received a phone call a couple of weeks ago with some very good news! WOW!! Were we able to keep this under wraps so that we could surprise the girls on 9th June?
This news meant that the plan we already had in place for the Whit Friday Marches, needed to be adjusted with timings and the route etc. Originally, we intended arriving at The Premier Inn, Denton at 2pm but now we needed to be LEAVING there before 2pm as we had to be in Delph, ready to play at 3pm. Having spoken with the coach company, we informed all the players of the new arrangement,  due to an “invitation to perform a mini concert at Delph prior to the contest commencing”. The new plan was in place and, thankfully, everyone was able to work with this.
Friday morning arrived – the `Boob Crew` were up bright and early to prepare the feast for the coach journey up north – sandwiches, sausage rolls, crisps, other goodies AND `Jane`s mums cake` (yum,yum)
So far, so good – but would everyone arrive on time, would anyone be ill, would anyone be held up?
No need for all the worry – these “Boobies” can be relied upon and, in fact, we departed ten minutes early.
With full tums, we arrived at our hotel and hoped that those travelling independently would be there. They were! I was greeted by one of the girls with - `have you seen 4 bars rest, there is something special happening at Delph between 3 and 4, it`s to do with .......` but before any more could escape from her lips, my glare hit her which immediately registered `do not say another word!!!!!`
Upon arrival at Delph, we located the arranged meeting place which was adorned with flags and bunting advertising “BBC Music Day”, microphones, BBC producers, cameramen and Frank Renton!

There were lots of quizzical expressions amongst the band but they carried on with their business of putting up stands, sorting their music and getting prepared and looking smart in their pink jackets.
In his ever professional manner, Mr Renton began speaking into the microphone and was introducing ` one of the most colourful bands to be appearing at the 2017 Whit Friday Marches – Boobs & Brass – who will now play Glemdene by John R. Carr`.
The band struck up under the direction of Martin Dawson who had travelled from Montserrat to be part of this event.
On the conclusion of this, Mr Renton went on to announce the real reason why we were there  - “Boobs & Brass have been chosen as the recipients of the BBC Music Day, Power of Music Brass Band Award 2017”.  For the players, everything then fell into place and for me – phew! Thank goodness for that, everyone now knows – I hate keeping secrets!!
The trophy was presented to me and Jane and we received it on behalf of everyone of those people who, over eleven years,  have contributed to the concept of Boobs & Brass.
The band went on to play `I`ll Walk With God`. A local lady, hanging out her washing,  heard us and had to find out who was playing it. With tears streaming down her face, she told Keith how this had been her dad`s  favourite piece of music and that sadly she had lost him in recent months.
Our `mini concert` ended with Music to Watch Girls By.
Several interviews took place to establish what Boobs & Brass meant to various individuals and to discuss the Power of Music.
With some time to spare before the contest began, we were able  to reveal how this had all come about – that we had seen the request for Bands attending the Saddleworth Whit Marches to enter the competition with a write up  to say how they felt their band might qualify for this award and a recording of the band. We had done this, and from all the bands that entered, a panel of judges selected us to be the winner.
We sincerely thank that panel of judges for choosing “Boobs & Brass”  and  the BBC for creating this award. We feel extremely  honoured and very proud.

Once the excitement had subsided, we made our way up the hill to line up and get ready to play number 1 at Delph.  After a great reception, we moved on to Upper Mossley, then Carrbrook, then Greenfield and who did we find there? None other than one  of our greatest supporters, Mark Walters. Despite his attire, he was gently persuaded to take my cornet, put on the pink jacket and become part of the team. Thanks Mark – it means a lot to see you amongst the ranks!!

Then off to Staleybridge, Lydgate and lastly Denton.  We had travelled round the windy roads  under the expert guidance of Peter Herbert and fortunately did not encounter any hold ups but each venue allowed us a little bit of breathing space.
What a wonderful night – even the weather was kind to us – I told you the power of prayer is amazing!! – not a drop of rain all night so the plastic ponchos did not get an outing.
Seven contests done and feeling  a  little weary, it was time to head back to the hotel where the bar was awaiting us together with some specially prepared food made by the wonderful hotel staff who always look after us so well when we visit them.
A most memorable Whit Friday outing made extra special by that `mini concert` at Delph.
Thankyou to everyone who made it happen.
Maggie

Please visit our Facebook page for lots of photographs from the Whits!