Easingwold Contest was one of the most popular events in the YHBBA calendar both for participants and audiences. Centred on the Market Place of this attractive North Yorkshire town it formed the culmination of a day of fun and fundraising organised by The Easingwold Lions' Club.
The inaugural contest was held on Saturday 11th September 1982 as a Standing March contest for Grade 1 and 2 bands with the grade 1 bands required to play ”a march circuit of the Market Place” before performing the contest march. Grade 2 bands were excused marching with the added performance of a hymn tune to their contest march – in the event only one band figured in Grade 2. The contest concluded with massed bands playing for community hymn singing, which was a regular feature of all the Easingwold contests.
1983 was to see the start of a June date, traditionally the last Saturday in the month, and remarkably few have suffered through inclement weather.
The contest band entry fee in 1982 was 50p., doubled the following year and with a marked increase to £5.00 for 1984. It eventually reached £25.00.
The prizes progressively increased from a modest start to reach £1,000.00 in 2006, which marked the 25th contest. The contest enjoyed very good support from many local sources, not least from the Town Council whose assistance was continuous from the start, and in appreciation the overall winner’s trophy bears the name of Easingwold Town Council and was initially awarded to the Fishburn Band in 2000.
Initially one adjudicator was appointed as only the performances on the stand were judged, but after two years the contest took its current format and all bands were required to march around the Market Place playing a road march before they played a contest march on the stand. As it was now necessary to judge bands on their deportment as well as their playing a second adjudicator was appointed. For a list of placings and adjudicators click here.
The End of the Road
Sadly, the contest due to have taken place on 30th June 2011 had to be cancelled; at the last delegates meeting of the Yorkshire & Humberside Brass Band Association before the contest, representatives of the Easingwold Lions informed them that the Easingwold March Contest would cease after 30 years.
The YHBBA had organised the contest on behalf of the Easingwold Lions who funded the contest since its inception, but with ever falling entries from bands (down to 7 competing bands booked for 2011) the event was no longer financially viable.
YHBBA Chairman Peter Gilby commented: "The economics of attending the event for bands and the plethora of similar marching contests that have started up within the past few years has meant the event is no longer viable."
EASINGWOLD MARCH AND DEPORTMENT CONTEST