West Hallam - Well Dressings & Much More
w/e 19 July 2015
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

This year's Well Dressing Festival at West Hallam ran for almost a week until the flower petals that decorated the tableaux began to deteriorate but it opened on Saturday afternoon, 11th July with a full programme of events.

West Hallam Well Dressing Festival

Opened by Councillor Carol Hart, the wells were blessed by Rev. Gill Turner-Callis before the afternoon's events got into full swing and quoting from the programme, those events included "Traditionally Decorated Wells - Arts Market - Scarecrow Trail - Dance Acts - Live Music - Morris Dancing - Magic .... and much more". So let's have a look at those events in reverse order starting with "Magic".


The "Magic" was provided by Geoffrey Jumper, seen here in the bottom right hand corner of this image, performing to an enraptured young audience in School Square. Many adults were watching too and the crowded Square adds weight to the argument that the West Hallam Well Dressing Festival is becoming more and more popular year on year.
Morris Dancing

The "Morris Dancing" was performed by the Ripley Morris Men who could also be seen later in School Square but are seen here opposite The Dales car park entrance.
Pigeon Pie

"Live Music" was presented at several places in the village centre by various groups. Pigeon Pie, a folk group, performed two sets during the afternoon in front of the Village Hall opposite the Punchbowl pub.
Greenwood Ensemble

On the drive leading up to St Wilfrid's Church more live music could be heard by The Greenwood Ensemble led by Ruth Bedford with contributions from a collection going to the NSPCC.
Imari Chorus

The Imari Chorus sang at the opening and blessing of the wells and also performed twice in St Wilfrid's during the course of the afternoon. Here they were singing and getting everyone "In The Mood" for a great afternoon's entertainment.
Jetsets Linedance

Several "Dance Acts" took part in the festival and back outside the Punchbowl the Jetsets Linedance group drew a big audience.
Flintstones Routine

Another big audience assembled at the end of School Square to watch a group of young girls from the Dance Doctors group perform a "Flintstones" routine.

Dance Doctors

Slightly older girls from the same group showed the versatility of the Dance Doctors with ballet dancing, whilst a young admirer (far right) upstaged all of the dancers by joining in and copying all of their moves, whatever the style.
Scarecrow Trail

The "Scarecrow Trail" is becoming as much a part of the festival as the well dressings themselves and although all of these examples were in the village centre, the trail leads far and wide to all corners of West Hallam.

Dig For Victory

Villagers were invited to create scarecrows with prizes awarded in three categories, namely Film Characters, a Traditional Scarecrow and an Open Category so presumably this entrant standing outside the Village Hall commemorating the centenary of the Women's Institute was in the Open Category.
Arts Market

Behind the Village Hall an "Arts Market" was staged with a whole host of different arts and crafts on display. These included glassware, handmade cards, sweets, water colour paintings, pencil portraits, quilting, jewellery knitted items and mosaics among others.
St Wilfrid's Ladies Well Dressing

On opening day with all the other events taking place, the well dressings could easily be overlooked but they are the main reason for the festival and a lot of hard work by volunteers from different groups and organisations goes into producing them. The ladies of St Wilfrid's Church are just one group who got together in a room at the rear of the Punchbowl for most of the week prior to the festival to transfer a small drawing to a full size line drawing. This was placed over a clay filled tray and all the lines pin-pricked to transfer the design to the clay which were then delineated with a thin strand of wool. Finally the picture was coloured in with flower petals and other natural materials.

Well Dressing

The result of the ladies' hard work to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 was prominently displayed at the end of the drive to the church throughout the following week. This was just one of the "Traditionally Decorated Wells" which just leaves the ".... and much more" from the programme. That included abseiling teddies from the church tower, charity stalls, a prize draw, face painting and .... well, much more!.

See the West Hallam Well Dressings website for more information.

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