Saturday, 29 June 2013

Well dressing

Yesterday we went to see my parents and DH's Mum.  DH's Mum was keen for us to go and see the local well dressing which she has had a hand in, so off we went.  She lives in Derbyshire, in Old Whittington, Chesterfield, and there is a tradition of well dressings in the Peak District which stretches back for centuries.  Nobody knows why it first started, possibly a pagan tradition or possibly to do with giving thanks after the plague, but it's certainly alive and well in 2013.
Here is the well dressing opposite the church.  It's made of boards covered with clay, with natural materials, petals, leaves, bark, sticks, cones, seeds etc. pushed in to make the design.  The designs are usually of religious inspiration, and this one is 'All things bright and beautiful'.  You can see the purple headed mountains, and the river running by, along with plants and creatures.  I love the stylised plants growing up the sides!

Unfortunately the men who erected the boards put their great big thumbs into the design at the top corners, so repairs had to be made.  (DM-in-law is in the middle of the group.)

Here's the other corner being repaired, ready for the blessing ceremony later that evening.  At the same time there was a flower festival in the church, so we had a look at that too.  There were lots of wonderful arrangements, but this one particularly took my eye.

Gorgeous!  And it's all made from plastic bottles!  That's what I call recycling!

Here is a close up of the bottle tops and cut up bottles.  Very inventive!

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