What a wonderful afternoon spent listening to the brass bands at Hardraw Scar in Wensleydale in the glorious Yorkshire Dales an event always held near the beginning of September. It’s quite a few years since we’ve been and none of the magic had disappeared from what I remember. We could have arrived earlier but circumstances made it that we only arrived after the lunch break. With four bands left to play and the massed band finale to finish we were happy to be there even if a little late.
This year was the 138th anniversary of the Hardraw Scar Brass Band Festival, although reading the history there hasn’t been a meeting every year over those 138 years it is still very much an achievement and looking at how many people and how many bands were playing it will be going for a good many years to come. The perfect setting for such an event with a bandstand, natural seating area and acoustics likened to those experienced in the Royal Albert Hall.
We took a picnic, a couple of chairs, plenty of blankets and cushions and found our place on the hill side which was bathed in sunshine and settled down for an afternoon of joy. After a while Geoff felt like exploring a little, went with the grandchildren and found that the path where we were sitting took you round to the top of the Force where they were all delighted to look down into the pool below. Still hearing the bands playing they were truly exhilarated by this short interlude, just a special moment Geoff saying ‘Well didn’t know you could do that and walk to the top of the Force!’.
All the prizes were given out and dare I say Leyburn Band won 1st prize in their section! Five o’clock arrived all too quickly really but we were happy to slowly wend our way back to car and to exclaim that we shouldn’t miss another year!
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