Diggle Band Contest Case Study Case Study
Held annually on Whit Friday, the Diggle Band Contest is one of eleven brass band competitions hosted across villages in Saddleworth and Lees in a tradition that dates back to 1884.
Organised exclusively by volunteers, the Diggle event attracts scores of bands not just from the UK but Europe and, once, even Australia.
“It’s a free, non-ticketed event so it’s very difficult to be precise about how many people come,” says Brian Cliffe, Secretary of the Diggle Band Contest Committee.
“We’ve had as many as 63 bands, from as far afield as Switzerland, Denmark and, once, Australia. There are 25 people in each band, plus their supporters and a fairly high proportion of the 2,500 people in the village come down to watch.”
This presents a logistical challenge. “We have around 20 volunteers spread right across the village and the only sensible way of maintaining communication is through two-way radios,” reports Brian.
“We have limited capacity for coaches. One of the main reasons we need radios is that, if we’re full, we can hold coaches and bring them in when we have space and time.”
“There’s also security and safety. If we ever have an incident we need to be able to quickly communicate between ourselves.”
The Diggle Band Contest Committee has relied upon Avoira for two-way radio hire since 2010.
“I found Avoira, or Pennine Telecom as they were then, via Google and spoke to Nina Camplin, the Radio Hire and Internal Radio Sales Manager. She’s supported us ever since,” says Brian.
Typically, Nina arranges the hire of Motorola DP4400 portable two-way radios.
These offer best in class audio quality and feature Intelligent Audio, a technology which automatically adjusts the radio volume according to the surrounding noise level.
Also equipped with a loud, front-facing speaker, they offer exceptional call clarity and a range of up to 2.5 miles.
With up to 32 channels, the Motorola units more than satisfy Diggle Band Contest’s needs.”
We tend to use three channels,” says Brian. “We have a general channel which we would switch to if we had a major incident or problem and we all needed to talk.
“A second is used for the actual organisation of the contest, so communication between the registration point and the contest site. The third is specifically for traffic management.”
The two-way radios Avoira provide offer an effective and affordable solution, overcoming local geography to deliver clear and reliable communications.
Brian also notes they’re easy to use with volunteers receiving simple instruction in their operation and radio protocols the night before the contest. “The equipment always works well, charges well and is very good.”
He and his team also benefit from the support Avoira provide.
“Avoira have been fantastic since they began supporting us in 2010. I can’t praise them enough. They’re very, very flexible and we’ve never had a problem,” he enthuses.