whit friday

2013 Whit Walks (Photo: Stuart Coleman©2014)

by Lynda Elmore and Brian Cliffe, Diggle Whit Friday Committee

The Whit Friday Walk will take place this Friday 13 th June, starting from Kilngreen Church at 9.15 am.

Hopefully it will be a little warmer this year- the weather was not kind to us at all in 2013 as the banner men will testify! Strong winds and rain made it a great challenge for the bandsmen and the brave folk of Diggle who made our procession yet again the largest in Saddleworth.

Unfortunately, we will only have one band this year due to Marsden Band being unable to play for us for the second year running. This is due to other commitments and inability to take time off work for the whole day. We have had a long association with Marsden Band and sincerely wish them well as the now famous Yorkshire Tea Band.

However, Diggle Band will be leading our procession with their rousing tones and we are always happy to see them leading us away to Uppermill and back looking so smartly turned out.

As usual, a coach will be provided to and from Uppermill for the less mobile. Hop on next to the Chip shop on Ward Lane. Crisps and a drink will be provided for all schoolchildren from the village. They will be handed out at the rear of the playing field in Uppermill during the service.

The house to house collection has exceeded expectations this year and the committee are always so pleased to see that this event gives such a fantastic result. It is well worth the effort that our dedicated team of collectors put in when we count the donations and find that we have achieved our £1000 target. So thank you residents of Diggle for being so generous in these austere times and here’s to another successful Whit Friday for this great little village !

Order of Procession

Small Church banner

Kilngreen Banner

Uniformed Organisations and Village Children

Diggle Band

Village Residents

Later in the day, starting at 4.15, we will once again be treated to the annual Whit Friday Band Contest, often described as “one of the greatest free shows on earth.” Now in it’s sixth year, the Diggle contest has quickly established itself as one of the must do contests for many bands. Each year we have attracted over fifty bands to play at our unique venue on Diggle Tunnel Tip on Sam Road. No other venue has such a magnificent view of the Saddleworth landscape, an aspect which is much admired by bands from far and wide.

This is a unique opportunity to see and hear Brass Bands of all standards, from local youth bands to some of the top UK bands and increasingly bands from  further afield in Europe. So come along and cheer for your favourites!

Everyone is encouraged to bring your picnic and enjoy the music and the atmosphere. It would be appreciated if the noise could be kept to a dull roar during the bands’ performance so the adjudicator can hear every note.

There will be catering on the site, with Grandpa Greene’s serving ice cream, sandwiches, paninis and hot and cold drinks. This year we are pleased to welcome Al’s BBQ Shack all the way from Manchester who offer delicious top quality  hot BBQ food which we hope will be a big hit. Last but not least of course our own Band Club will have sandwiches and pies in addition to their magnificent range of drinks.

Slightly away from the contest site, don’t forget both the Hanging Gate and Diggle Hotel will be open as usual if you need a brief rest from the festivities.

So as the sun sinks over Lark Hill come and bask in the rousing tones of Brass music at it’s finest. A fitting conclusion to a truly unique and magnificent  Saddleworth tradition, celebrated in style as only Diggle can.



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