Hundreds fill the streets for best of brass

There were plenty of polished performances as brass bands marched through the streets at the sixth annual Hebden Bridge Heritage Weekend.

Ten bands competed in the Alan Bottomley Memorial March Contest on Sunday afternoon, each marching along Bridge Gate before forming up in St George’s Square to perform a march and hymn tune.

Clifton and Lightcliffe Band perform at the Hebden Bridge brass band marching contest in St George's Square

Clifton and Lightcliffe Band perform at the Hebden Bridge brass band marching contest in St George's Square

Hundreds of spectators filled the square to support the bands and listen to the music.

Steve Gardner, of organisers Hebden Bridge Brass Band, said: “It was an excellent day.

“It has been very well supported by the local community. People have really got involved with it, more so than ever before.

“It’s bringing people into the town after last summer’s floods.

“It’s bringing some life back into the town again.”

First prize at the contest went to Marsden Band. The runners-up were Drighlington.

The Alan Bottomley Memorial Shield for the best combined score in the march and hymn tune categories was presented to Marsden.

Mayor of Hebden Royd Coun Karl Boggis, who awarded the prizes, said it was great to see so many people in the town and hoped it had been a boost for local traders.

He praised the members of Hebden Bridge Brass Band for all their efforts in organising the event.

“They are fantastic ambassadors for the town and I hope they continue to provide the service they do for us and keep promoting Hebden Bridge,” he said.

The heritage weekend also saw Hebden Bridge Brass Band - the recently crowned Yorkshire area champions - give a gala concert at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Mytholmroyd, on Saturday night.

It was a busy evening for musical director Alan Hobbins, who conducted the band and was also the guest soloist, playing several tunes on his cornet.

It proved to be a great success, with the band receiving a standing ovation at the end.

“In all my years in bands, that was the best concert I’ve ever had,” Steve said.

“It was such a good feeling. Everybody had such a buzz. We’re hoping it’s onwards and upwards to the national finals.”

The concert also saw band librarian Del Tiller presented with the Alan Bottomley Trophy for bandperson of the year in recognition of his tireless fundraising.

Steve thanked Hebden Royd Town Council for its support and also all the businesses and groups that sponsored the heritage weekend.