Picture courtesy of Stalybridge Old Band
The Whit Friday Band Contest is one of the most important events on Tameside’s social calendar. Not just because it is a well attended and enjoyable family event, but because it plays an important part in our areas cultural heritage.
Locally the competing brass bands are synonymous with the whit walks but what many people may not realise is that the association is, for the most part, a local phenomenon. Although music was always a common feature of the Whitsun processions Tameside and Saddleworth are unique for incorporating band contests into the festivities.
The Whitsuntide celebrations stem from the Feast of the Pentecost - an important date for the Christian church - and gradually lost their importance in many areas at the beginning of the 19th century as industrialisation moved people from the countryside and into the growing mill towns.
It was precisely because of the stress of the new industrial life however that the people of the North West tried to keep the celebration alive in places such as Stalybridge. The walks themselves were intertwined with the work of Sunday schools, which thrived amongst the deeply religious working classes and in the absence of formal education.
As well as being an opportunity to get a break from the stresses of the mills the Ministers and Superintendents of the Sunday schools saw the walks as an appealing alternative to another Northern tradition of this era - the annual horse races on Kersal Moor - which came to be marked by a tendency towards drinking and gambling.
In 1870 the first Band Contest was held in Stalybridge to coincide with the Whit Walks and they have formed an important part of the areas cultural heritage ever since. The events - spread throughout Stalybridge and Saddleworth - have attracted thousands of people from across the world and even featured in the hit 1996 film ‘Brassed Off’, which starred the late Pete Postlethwaite.
Events like this are important, not just because they ensure things are going on in our towns, but because they allow us to consider what makes areas like ours what they are. In the Band Contest the people of Stalybridge definitely have something we can call our own, and I am delighted to give it my full support.
The Stalybridge Contest takes place on Friday 13th June from 4.30-10.30pm at Stalybridge Labour Club
Picture courtesy of Stalybridge Old Band The Whit Friday Band Contest is one of the most important events on Tameside’s social calendar. Not just because it is a...
There are 2,526 good reasons why each and everyone one of us in Tameside should get involved in Dementia Awareness Week, which runs from 18th-24th May.
I say this because that is the number of people estimated to be currently living with Dementia in Tameside.
One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia, and as a local MP, all too often I see first-hand the devastating impact the condition has - not only the person with dementia but their family, friends and carers too.
The fact that there are more and more people in Tameside who are living with dementia puts into perspective why there is a duty on us all and society as a whole to act.
Across the UK, on average less than half of those people have received a diagnosis. Diagnosis is the key that unlocks access to support services. There are many reasons why people may be afraid to ask their GP for a diagnosis.
They may feel scared, confused or even ashamed. But the sooner they know what they're dealing with, the sooner they can get on with their life and feel in control again.
That’s why Alzheimer’s Society – the charity behind Dementia Awareness Week – is using the week to encourage people to 'open up' and talk. They want anyone who is concerned to talk to their doctor, their family, but also to come and talk to Alzheimer's Society.
This year, Dementia Awareness Week coincides with the European and local elections. But as a condition impacting on so many – which research has shown people fear more than any other illness – it is vital that dementia is tackled from both sides of the House of Commons and by people from all walks of life and all ages in my constituency.
Yesterday I met with local illustrator and author, Tony Husband to discuss his new book, which was inspired by his father’s battle with dementia which he is using to raise awareness of the issue throughout Dementia Awareness Week.
Speaking about his book, Tony said, “The book came from me one night trying to understand what we as a family, and of course my dad, had gone through over the last few years with his dementia.”
“What started as a few rough scribbles about me talking to my dad became the book, ‘Take Care Son...’”
“It seems to have touched many people, and perhaps my dad’s sad journey will be able to help others understand it a bit more”
Tony’s story, and the stories of the thousands of others who have been affected by dementia, will no doubt touch us all. That is why this week I’m doing my bit for Dementia Awareness Week, and why I’m challenging readers to do the same.
There are 2,526 good reasons why each and everyone one of us in Tameside should get involved in Dementia Awareness Week, which runs from 18th-24th May. I say this...
On Tuesday, I attended an event hosted by the Ramblers to share ideas on what politicians can do to help encourage more people to take up walking.
As well as being one of the few family activities that won’t cost you a penny walking is a great way of encouraging greater mental and physical wellbeing, and appreciation of our beautiful natural environment.
The Ramblers - who have a very active local group here in Tameside - feel that for walking to succeed as a popular leisure activity - Government needs to be active in promoting active, healthier lives, and protecting the paths and walkways that people use to enjoy Britain’s green spaces.
So, in that spirit, I wanted to take the opportunity to promote the idea, and point people in the direction of the local Ramblers group. If you want to find out more about what the Ramblers do in Tameside, you can visit their website here.
On Tuesday, I attended an event hosted by the Ramblers to share ideas on what politicians can do to help encourage more people to take up walking. As well...
Love Your Local Market is a celebration of the UK’s market culture here in the UK which takes place between the 14th and 28th of May. Last year saw 700 markets taking part with over 4,000 events being organised.
I accepted an invitation to the Love Your Local Market reception in Parliament in this week where we discussed the importance of market traders in ensuring the success of our high streets and town centres.
The organisers use the fortnight as an opportunity to promote the value of local markets and encourage people to get along to their nearest stalls.
Hyde’s market stalls have been an important feature of the town for over 125 years, and I encourage people to get along and lend their support.
To find out more about Love Your Local Market you can visit their website at www.loveyourlocalmarket.org.uk.
Love Your Local Market is a celebration of the UK’s market culture here in the UK which takes place between the 14th and 28th of May. Last year saw 700 markets...
Hyde FC are set to host a game with a difference at their Ewen Field stadium on May 10th, when Manchester City veterans come together to face a team of Greater Manchester Police officers and other criminal justice staff.
The game has been organised by Victim Support - a charity that helps victims of crime - in support of their campaign against domestic abuse.
The teams will be competing for the Linzi Ashton Memorial Cup - in honour of Linzi Ashton, a young woman from Salford who tragically died of injuries caused by her ex-partner, after enduring months of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is sadly still a serious problem in Britain - with estimates suggesting as many as 2 million victims a year, with only 800,000 incidents being reported to the police.
Victims’ organisations have long argued that the issue was not receiving the attention it warrants from the criminal justice system, but since 2005 the police and courts have made significant progress in bringing the number of perpetrators to justice.
Despite this, tens of thousands of individuals will continue to suffer at the hands of abusive partners, and more must be done to raise awareness of these shameful crimes.
Evidence shows that there is an increase in cases of domestic abuse during the World Cup, which has prompted footballers and campaigners alike to team up and use football as a means of getting their message out.
The team of Manchester City veterans, the “Old Boys”, will be managed by Macclesifeld Town’s former manager, Derek Partridge, with the challengers relying on the skills of GMP senior officers, such as Assistant Chief Constable, Garry Shewan.
The trophy will be presented by Linzi’s family, who will be there to support the event in person.
Tickets are on sale at £5, and all proceeds will contribute to the charities work supporting victims of domestic abuse. If you are interested, please contact Angela Stewart of Victim Support on 0161 968 4986. Alternatively, tickets can be requested by contacting email@example.com or by getting in touch via Twitter at @VS_Manchester
Hyde FC are set to host a game with a difference at their Ewen Field stadium on May 10th, when Manchester City veterans come together to face a...
This week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has served as a stark reminder of the scale of the task the world faces on climate change. The report concludes that climate change is already happening, it is set to get much worse, and there will be profound consequences for the UK and the world if action to mitigate it is not stepped up now.
Now the Government must consider how this will impact on our approach to foreign policy. With the armed forces reduced in size, and our commitment to the conflict in Afghanistan winding down, this could be a period where foreign policy is no longer overshadowed by military engagements.
The Paris Conference in December 2015 will be an opportunity for the world’s leaders to reach agreement on a legally-binding agreement to ensure we take the action needed to prevent a catastrophic global temperature rise of above 2 degrees.
This is an area of policy where the UK’s vast resources, global influence, and diplomatic network could be put to good use.
As the first country in the world to pass binding legislation to tackle emissions the UK has a great deal of credit in the bank – credit that, unfortunately, is beginning to be eroded by the softening commitment from the Coalition Government.
What would success in Paris look like? An agreement that includes for the first time all of the major CO2 emitters and which contains a commitment to mitigation and legally binding rules. It will also need to address issues of finance, deforestation and climate adaptation.
Many people worry that such a treaty is too difficult to achieve given the unlikelihood of any US President persuading the Senate to ratify an international treaty. But over the last year, under President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, there has been a fundamental shift in US attitudes to climate change.
The attitude of the US and what it does will invariably impact on the approach that China takes, but we should recognise that climate change, and related issues around air quality and environmental degradation, are issues that China’s leaders take extremely seriously.
The politics of this will naturally be challenging. Some present this as a choice between addressing climate change and ensuring economic growth, but that need not be the case. This agenda also represents an enormous opportunity for the UK – we are already leaders in green manufacturing, and it is one of the few areas where the UK currently has a positive balance of trade with China. It also brings with it a host of related benefits in terms of energy security, better housing, and greater sustainability for business.
For a safe and prosperous future, and for a chance to engage a new generation in one of the biggest political issues we have ever faced, leading on climate change and the Paris Conference must form an essential part of any Government’s foreign policy agenda.
This week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has served as a stark reminder of the scale of the task the world faces on climate change....
This morning Jonathan joined local Councillors and activists at Stalybridge train station to launch a campaign against proposals that could remove 9 trains from the TransPennine Express fleet, which operates services through Stalybridge.
If you wish to sign the petition you can do so by clicking here.
This morning Jonathan joined local Councillors and activists at Stalybridge train station to launch a campaign against proposals that could remove 9 trains from the TransPennine Express fleet, which operates...
Jonathan has spoken out in response to reports that TransPennine Express’s fleet of trains could be reduced by 13% in order to bolster Chiltern Rail services in the South East.
The news came after a recent report in the industry press which claimed a deal had been done with leasing firm, Porterbrook - who provide trains to the TransPennine Express franchise - to move 9 of their 70 trains to Chiltern when the current lease expires in 2015.
The move would seriously affect commuters in Stalybridge, as the trains are the ones used on the Leeds - Manchester services, which stop at Stalybridge station.
Commenting on the news, Jonathan said the move would be “a total disaster for commuters here in Stalybridge”.
“TransPennine services running through Stalybridge are already some of the most overcrowded in the country, if their capacity is reduced even further it is going to push things to breaking point. Without a guarantee of replacement trains I really can’t see how they will be able to cope.”
“I have been arguing for some time that we need more rolling stock on these services, the last thing we need is even fewer trains than what we already have.”
“There needs to be a clear plan on how these vital services will be maintained, and I will be raising this with Secretary of State for Transport as a matter of urgency.”
UPDATE: Jonathan has now launched a petition against these proposals. If you wish to sign it you can find it by following this link.
Jonathan has spoken out in response to reports that TransPennine Express’s fleet of trains could be reduced by 13% in order to bolster Chiltern Rail services in the South East....
This year, people across the UK will commemorate the anniversary of the start of the First World War. It will be an important moment of national reflection, where we consider the losses this country suffered in one of the most horrific conflicts the world has ever known.
Organisations from across the country will be hosting a range of activities to mark the occasion, from exhibitions and performances, to poetry readings and poppy plantings. Each one will, in its own way, seek to do something positive out of the memory of the war.
Here in Hyde a local theatre production group have decided to mark the occasion with a new play inspired by local people who fought in the War.
Set in 1915, Bantams tells the story of a group of men - desperate to serve their country in its hour need - who are unable to enlist. Keen to play their part, and anxious about the accusations of cowardice, they are offered a way out by forming an irregular band of soldiers, characterised not by their inadequacies, but by the fact that they could have avoided the bloodshed, and chose not to.
The play runs from Tuesday September 30th to Saturday October 4th at Hyde Festival Theatre, with matinee performances on Wednesday October 1st and Saturday October 4th.
Hyde Festival Theatre Company, which is behind the production, are asking for local people’s support to ensure the play is a success. Production is already underway, but to support the project, the company are applying for a grant from the Arts Council, and are offering discounted tickets to demonstrate local enthusiasm in support of the bid.
Anyone who wishes to purchase an early ticket can do so for just £1 up until April 30th by visiting the Theatre’s website here.
This promises to be an exciting production and will no doubt make an excellent contribution to the local commemoration of this important event. I hope people will offer their support, and I wish the team behind it every success.
This year, people across the UK will commemorate the anniversary of the start of the First World War. It will be an important moment of national reflection, where we consider...
STALYBRIDGE AND HYDE MP, Jonathan Reynolds, has been using his role as a Shadow Minister in Labour’s Energy team to help advise residents in Mossley on how to get their energy bills under control.
At an event in Mossley last Thursday, Mr Reynolds bought together residents and a panel of speakers to discuss what steps could be taken to improve their home energy efficiency, and reduce their energy use.
The event, which was attended by almost 40 people from the Mossley area, included a talk from Tim Pollard, head of sustainability policy for one of the UK’s largest plumbing industry suppliers, Wolseley UK.
Mr Pollard’s presentation explained how heat leaves people’s homes and what measures, such as solid and cavity wall insulation can be installed to prevent it.
He also went on to explain how simple changes to heating controls and radiators can help to reduce people’s usage without leaving them in the cold.
Other speakers included Nigel Morgan from Tameside Citizen's Advice Bureaux, and Alison Lloyd-Welsh from Tameside MBC.
Mr Reynolds said:
“Energy is a big concern for many people across the constituency. The Government have failed to stand up to the big energy companies and their unfair price increases, so people are desperate for help to get their bills under control.”
“Millions of homes in Britain have notoriously poor energy efficiency, and what I wanted to do with this event was make people aware of the savings they might be able to achieve through making minor changes to their property, and the publically backed schemes that can help them to do it.”
“The event was a big success and I was pleased to see so many people take time out of their day to engage with such an important issue.”
Mr Reynolds said he will be planning two more similar events in different parts of the constituency, and will be informing residents in the relevant areas as and when the details are finalised.
STALYBRIDGE AND HYDE MP, Jonathan Reynolds, has been using his role as a Shadow Minister in Labour’s Energy team to help advise residents in Mossley on how to get their...