Saddleworth News

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Reporting Team

Ruby Anstee – Editor
Stuart Littleford – Reporter
Allan Roach – Reporter
George Wilson – Reporter and IT
Judith Grinter – Reporter

Past Articles

The ‘greatest free show on earth’ continues to attract worldwide attention

Whit Friday at Denshaw

Reporter: Stuart Littleford

This year’s Whit Friday band contests are set to attract thousands of people to the borough – including musicians from as far afield as Switzerland and Australia.

Oldham Council is again providing help and financial support to ensure the Saddleworth and Lees contests hit all the right notes and everyone enjoys a spectacular day of free entertainment and fun.

Dubbed ‘the greatest free show on earth’, this traditional event dates back to […]

Whit Friday: Thousands turn out for Whit walks and band contest despite poor weather

Kilngreen Sunday School – Diggle

Reporter: Stuart Littleford

Thousands of people lined the streets of Saddleworth on Friday for the annual Whit Friday walks despite a wet and cold start to the day.

Church congregations together with their brass bands marched into Uppermill from various local villages cheered on by large crowds of onlookers who had turned out in force despite the poor weather. Children and adults walked together into the village centre carrying banners for their churches and […]

Saddleworth’s Whit walks take place in glorious weather

Uppermill Methodist Church

Saddleworth’s traditional Whit Friday walks have taken place this morning in glorious weather with large numbers of people turning out to watch the church processions and brass bands.

Saddleworth Church/ Kiln Green with Diggle Band

Local church congregations and bands made their way into Uppermill village to gather later in Uppermill Park for sermons and hymns.

Holy Trinity Dobcross with Dobcross Band

Tonight will see a number of brass bands from all over the […]

Whit Friday band contests to hit the right notes

Whit Friday Walks – Walking along Dobcross New Road

Thousands of people from across the borough and beyond are set to enjoy a spectacular day of free entertainment at the famous Whit Friday band contests.

Oldham Council has been providing help and financial support to ensure the 2014 Saddleworth and Lees contests hit the right notes once again.

This traditional event dates back to an earliest-recorded contest in 1884 and is dubbed locally ‘the greatest free show on earth’.


Band contests pull in the crowds despite the poor weather

Bands marching through Uppermill Square – Photo Stuart Littleford

The Saddleworth Whit Friday band contests saw large crowds turnout yesterday despite the miserable weather conditions.

Kilngreen procession walking through Uppermill – Photo Stuart Littleford

A procession of bands and church congregations marched into Uppermill before lunchtime, finishing in the village park for hymns and sermons.

The evening band contests saw a record number of bands taking part at Diggle and Denshaw this year.

A full list of all […]

Actions of some police officers on Whit Friday criticised

Saddleworth News has been contacted by readers to say they were unhappy with the way some police officers dealt with concerns over violence in Uppermill on Whit Friday.

One girl told us she had reported a man throwing bottles into a crowd of people to two officers, they told her they were busy, laughed at her and carried on chatting. She said she felt patronised by the officers and did not understand why they would not take any action against […]

Debbie Abrahams responds to ‘band contest’ concerns

The Dobcross Silver Band on Woods Lane 2011.

Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, has issued a response addressing concerns about the future of Saddleworth’s Whit Friday Band Contests.

Debbie Abrahams said: “Following approaches from constituents I will do everything I can to support the organisers of Saddleworth’s Whit Friday Band Concerts as these events are such an important part of the area’s heritage and it’s local volunteers who are putting their hearts and souls into trying […]

Whit Friday In Dobcross Then And Now

All this week on Saddleworth News, I’ll be posting some of the best films of our area which have been uploaded to the video-sharing website YouTube.

And we start off with arguably the best-known of Saddleworth’s many summer traditions, Whit Friday. Specifically, Whit Friday as it was 25 years ago.

The video above shows the Whit Friday morning scene from that year in Dobcross Square, as the Dobcross Silver Band entered from the direction of the Band Club to […]