Weekend of brass and silver culminates in marching contest

Elland Silver Youth Band perform at last year's contest
Elland Silver Youth Band perform at last year's contest

The Calder Valley will resound with the sound of brass - and silver - this weekend.

Organisers Hebden Bridge Brass band expect up to a thousand fans of brass band music to descend on Hebden Bridge for their annual Marching Band Contest on Sunday, June 15 (1pm).

And the big day is preceded the previous evening, Saturday, June 14, when the band and special guests will perform a concert at Calder High School, Mytholmroyd (7.30pm).

This year’s concert special guests are De Spijkerpakkenband, from Holland, a brass band which has a world title under its belt.

Tickets for the Saturday evening concert, from which all proceeds go to charity, are £10 and are available from Hebden Bridge Visitor Centre, from Ryburne and Co at West End, from Hebden Cook and Coffee Co in Albert Street, and on the door on the night.

The Marching Band Contest on Sunday is free to watch, centred around St George’s Square in the heart of the town. It is supported by Hebden Royd Town Council and local businesses,

From around 1pm until about 4pm, a dozen bands will compete for this year’s title in what has become a popular fixture in the brass band world’s calendar.

Band committee member Steve Gardener said it was an event people far and wide looked forward to.

“So far we have had hundreds and hundreds attending each year, so we are expecting 1,000 this year.

“The contest is established in the brass band calendar and is a great afternoon out.

“We’re heading into our second decade and we’re continuing the popularity and success of the event,” he said.

Each band will march down Bridge Gate to St George’s Square, playing a march and a hymn tune, which is then judged and prizes awarded accordingly.

Steve said: “We are promoting Hebden Bridge with the event which also celebrates the heritage of Hebden Bridge Band.

“Hebden Bridge born Harry Mortimer is considered a legend in the brass band world and began his career with Hebden Bridge, and his son has been to some of the festivals.”