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Denshaw Band Contest 2023

The next Whit Friday Band Contest at Denshaw will mark 30 years since the first contest to be hosted in Denshaw. As always it will be hosted outside of the Oddfellows Club, Huddersfield Road, Denshaw.

Friday 2nd June 2023 with a 4pm start.

Saddleworth and Oldham group of Whit Friday Band Contests receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The group of volunteers based in the Saddleworth and LeesVillages have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and is the equivalent of an MBE.

Each year, approximately 300 volunteers are involved in presenting the Whit Friday Band Contests at eleven venues in Denshaw, Delph, Dobcross, Diggle, Uppermill, Greenfield, Friezland, Lydgate, Grotton, Lees and Springhead and Scouthead and Austerlands; there are innumerable hours of commitment needed to provide this spectacular, unique event.

This year the group is one of 241 different category winners to receive the prestigious award.

The QAVS aims to recognise work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. Created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, award recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Representatives of the group will receive the award crystal and certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queen from the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Sir Warren Smith,later this summer.

Spokesman Bob Rodgers, the co-ordinator for the group said “Although contests have been in existence for 137 years this group has functioned since 1993 and we are honoured and obviously delighted to have been successfully nominated for this award, the work that is undertaken to provide the ‘greatest free show on earth’ is a twelve-month rolling programme. To the visitors who arrive on the evening, it appears to ‘just happen’. Throughout the area thousands of hours are put intoplanning and preparation. We are indebted to Oldham Council for the infrastructure and advice they provide that only those involved in the running are aware of and the financial support through the Saddleworth and Lees District Partnership, not to mention the numerous businesses who sponsor the individual contests.

Bob went on to say “The group were told they were being nominated  for the award in the Autumn of 2019. It is ironic that since then we have been unable to function for the last two years through restrictions imposed by Covid. However, we are all looking forward to continuing with this great show in 2022, when hopefully all our banding activity will be back to normal.”