Ancient tradition a ‘fabulous’ event

Belper Well Dressings
Belper Well Dressings

Creativity filled the town at the weekend as an ancient tradition returned to Belper which saw the River Gardens awash with natural colour.

The annual Belper Well Dressings was held on Saturday, July 12, and Sunday, July 13, and was part of a packed weekend of events for town, running at the same time as the farmers’ market and Belper Food Festival.

Wells, made from natural items including flower petals and leaves, were unveiled to the public on Saturday before a blessing service was held at the River Gardens bandstand at 2.30pm on Sunday.

The blessing of the wells service was accompanied by music from Derwent Brass, who played from 2pm until 4pm.

There were a variety of well designs on show over the weekend, including ones depicting the start of the First World War, 50 years of the Red Arrows, Toad of Toad Hall, Felix the Cat and a stained glass window display.

Local resident Kathy Fairweather said that there was a big attendance at the event, and everybody enjoyed themselves.

She added: “It was a really good event. There were some fabulous well dressings and everybody liked it.

“There were a lot of people milling around. There was a big attendance and it was a really successful event.

“It was good fun for people making the wells and it was nice to have a good turnout of people.”

Leader of Belper Town Council, Councillor John Nelson, said that the well dressing was very well patronised.

He added: “The wells were all there and it was a very well patronised event, the Derwent Brass played and we had a wonderful afternoon.”

An age-old tradition, the well dressings date from the middle ages, and are particularly pertinent in Derbyshire.

Groups from around Belper got involved, and showcasing their creativity at the event were Scouts and Girl Guides, Belper School, Herbert Strutt Primary School, Long Row Primary School and St John’s Primary School.

Also taking part were the Drop In Youth Centre, U30, Brownies, Central Methodist Church, Friends of the River Garden, Belper Gardening Club and a joint effort by Rosemary Bridges and Cynthia Lenham.