Whaley Bridge Band celebrate 150th year at well dressing

Whaley Bridge Band perform at the well dressing celebrations.
Whaley Bridge Band perform at the well dressing celebrations.

Whaley Bridge Band celebrated its 150th anniversary at the town’s well dressing ceremony last weekend.

In celebration of the landmark, the festival featured the brass band in a glorious tribute of gold, silver and blue.

Whaley Bridge Well Dressing

Whaley Bridge Well Dressing

Designed by local artist Rosemary Wignall, this year’s event showcased brass and percussion instruments framing the band’s famous “Bridge” logo.

Chair of Whaley Bridge Well Dressers, Carol James, said: “We are delighted to join Whaley Bridge Band in celebrating their landmark 150 years.

“The small but dedicated team of “dressers” have given their all over the last week to produce this magnificent display, and I would like to convey sincere thanks to everyone involved.”

To mark the special year, Whaley Bridge Training Band played a full concert in the Canal Basin as well as accompanying the hymns during the blessing ceremony.

The crowd were entertained with a selection of brass band favourites, including solos by two young players.

Javon Carrington, aged 12, played a moving hymn tune “Share My Yoke” on the cornet, and in complete contrast Christian Boon, 15, performed the novelty number “Nellie the Elephant” on the tuba.

Musical Director Sheila Walton, who joined the band in 1960, said: “What a great day for Whaley Bridge Band.

“It was a real honour to play at the blessing of this fabulous tribute.

“I am so proud of the whole training band, especially Javon, Christian and all the other youngsters leading the next generation of bandsmen in Whaley Bridge.”

In addition to the musical treats on offer, Reverends Margaret Jones and Keith Sandow said prayers and gave blessings for both the well dressing and the town.

Also, town councillor Martin Thomas shared some interesting facts from the band’s history, Whaley School Choir added their own tribute with a rendition of “Come Follow The Band” and Second Cornet player Anne Oldfield recited a specially-written poem.