Northlew local Tim Williams has big plans to make his new brass band event one of the region’s annual highlights with music, cider, pasties and T-shirts.

Inspired by the Whit Friday brass band marches, which are traditionally held in the north west of England, Mr Williams has organised his own light-hearted version of the event, which will see bands from Okehampton, Hatherleigh, Exeter and Falmouth play in Northlew, South Zeal, Sampford Courtenay, Sheepwash and Hatherleigh this Saturday (July 30).

Mr Williams, a trombonist for the Hatherleign and Northlew brass bands himself, said: ‘It was the Whit Friday marches - I have never been to one but then I thought why not have one here? We have a pub crawl down here for bands and I like going to the pub so it just grew out of that.

‘I had the idea the year before lockdown but it was quite late in the year so I didn’t have time to get it up and running. It has not been easy because in the summer bands are pretty busy. I am over the moon to get five bands.’

Mr Williams will be joining in the fun himself as one of the musicians in the day’s specially-founded brass band, the Bandamonium Barbarians, which was created for anyone, musician or not, who wanted to have a go playing a brass instrument.

The day is not just about having fun but also to raise money for the cancer charity Something to Look Forward to, which provides gifts to cancer sufferers as a way of relieving anxiety over medical treatment, financial worries and family tension.

‘We raising money for Something to Look Forward to, which I happen to be a trustee of. Basically, for anyone who suffers with cancer there’s a lot of medical support but there’s a poverty gap - cancer is emotionally very hard so we give out gifts just to get them something to smile about,’ said Mr Williams.

The hope is to raise around £1,000 but any money raised on the day will be split between the charity and the band’s fees, many of which are charities themselves.

Bands will also be able to compete for two prizes - people’s choice as voted on by landlords, and best band, which Mr Williams said would be awarded to any band that plays the Star Wars theme tune.

‘I’m not sure anyone believes me about the Star Wars theme tune though,’ he added.

Mr Williams has started planning for next year which he hopes will be even bigger and better. He is already aiming for 20-30 bands which will have 15-20 minute slots at each location.

The day will run from 12pm to 8pm and will end at Hatherleigh Square, from where the day will be run, when all the bands will join together for the final performance.

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