THE streets of Holmfirth will be full of the sound of brass bands next weekend, when Holme Valley Brass Band Contest arrives after a three-year break.
The 83rd contest has been extended to a two-day festival, beginning on April 25 with a concert at Holmfirth Civic Hall from 7.30pm.
The concert will feature Hepworth (Cookson Homes) Band, conducted by David Hirst.
The band competed in the top section of the Yorkshire Championships last month and won a place in the final of the National Brass Band Championships, to be staged at the Royal Albert Hall in October.
The aim of the show is to raise funds for the continued running of the Holme Valley Brass Band Contest.
The contest will begin with a draw for the playing order at 11.15am on Sunday.
A total of 13 bands will play their own choice of piece to battle it out at the civic hall for trophies and cash awards.
Bands in section B will open the contest at noon. They include Greenfield, Huddersfield and Ripponden, Linthwaite, Scissett Youth, Skelmanthorpe B, Stalybridge Old and Uppermill Brass.
From 4pm, section A bands will do battle. They are Hade Edge, Holme Silver (Disposables UK Group), Marsden Silver (Ossett Brewery), Skelmanthorpe and Wakefield Metropolitan.
They will be judged by Barry Thompson, a former member of Grimethorpe Colliery Band.
After the contest ends at 7pm, the bands will march along Huddersfield Road and Victoria Street, being judged for their deportment by Stuart Fawcett, a former member of the Coldstream Guards and now musical director of Meltham and Meltham Mills Band.
The contest was first held at Victoria Park in Holmfirth in 1921 and was won by Hebden Bridge Band.
It moved to the civic hall in 1963.
The three-year break for the contest was born out of a decline in popularity in recent years.
But an emergency meeting was held and new members stepped in to keep the event alive.
Only Carlton Mellor, Barry Lee and president, Clr Ken Sims, remained from the previous committee.
Former bandsman David Eastwood, who was secretary from 1972 to 1992, has returned to the role.
It seems interest in the contest is now picking up.
Mr Eastwood said: “There has been no difficulty recruiting new members.”
New sponsorship has also rolled in, including £400 from the Hinchliffe Mill Brass Band Charity, a body set up from the assets of the now-defunct band.
Tickets for the April 25 concert cost £6 and are available from Wm Sykes & Sons Estate Agents in Holmfirth, The White Horse at Jackson Bridge or by calling 01484 667213.