Aston On Trent - Well Dressings
w/e 23 July 2006
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Aston On Trent

Throughout the summer in Derbyshire there is usually at least one village or town and oft-times more where the art of Well Dressing can be seen. This craft is almost unique to Derbyshire although it has crossed the border into neighbouring counties. So what is a well dressing and how are they created? The answers can be found on this leaflet. Visits to some of the villages in previous years including West Hallam, Brackenfield and Middleton-By-Youlgrave can be found elsewhere on this site but for 2006 I decided to turn my attention to Aston On Trent. Aston On Trent is a small village of some ten thousand residents only four miles from Derby and about thirteen from Ilkeston.

Post OfficeThe majority of those residents are housed in newer developments that have formed as the village has expanded outwards but all of the well dressings are situated in a small area around the older heart of the original village. Hanging baskets on the old buildings (above and right) as well as floral displays like the one opposite the Post Office (left) make this an attractive setting for the annual festival.

Rectory Gardens

Two recurring themes in the village for this year's well dressings were football and anniversaries although the pupils of Weston On Trent C of E Primary School took the phrase 'A time for everything and a season' from Ecclesiastes as the theme for their very first well dressing and included a reference to their new school which is due to open in the autumn. The football panel was by St Martin's School and both of the displays above were to be found on opposite sides of Rectory Gardens near All Saints Church (right).
Concept To Reality

The Dame Catherine Harpur School had their display in The Green and showed how their display had evolved from the original painted concept to the reality of the finished product.
Balloon Race

Nearby also in The Green, the W.I. commemorated in their display the centenary of the first competitive balloon race ever held in England which took place on 7th July 1906 in Chelmsford Essex when five balloons competed for a cup valued at fifty guineas. An event from a hundred years ago remembered but the building behind the display had been standing well over two hundred years when the race took place according to the date of 1690 on the stonework immediately above (inset).
Mickey and Pooh

These two dressings by the Playgroup and the Mother and Toddler Group were in front of a building that has stood in Aston On Trent for far fewer than a hundred years but there was Mickey Mouse with a football theme again and of course 2006 marks the eightieth anniversary of the publication of A. A. Milne's 'Winnie The Pooh' on October 14th, 1926. I don't know whether it was by chance or design but it was exactly forty years ago (1966) that Mickey's creator Walt Disney first brought Pooh to our cinema screens.
Bus Stop

It seems the original concept of a 'well' dressing has progressed somewhat over the years and now anywhere appears to be fair game. This bus stop right in the centre of the village fell prey to Aston School where once again football and the World Cup provided the inspiration for three panels.
It's All Over

But pride of place on The Green was taken by the Aston Welldressers, themselves celebrating their tenth anniversary. Ruby weddings and a birthday were incorporated into the design but the main theme was England's victory in the 1966 World Cup Final with that immortal phrase 'They think it's all over'. And so are Aston On Trent's well dressings - for 2006 at any rate.

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