The ancient art and tradition of well dressing will be celebrated once again in Croxton at the Well Dressing Festival on Saturday, July 6. The craft has long been practised in Derbyshire and the Peak District of Staffordshire, but only made its appearance in the north-west area of Staffordshire in 2012 and has since become a popular biennial event in Croxton. Although initiated and led by Broughton WI, this is very much a community project, with participation and support from many individuals, local groups and organisations.
The main well dressing will be erected at Boughey’s Well, Main Road, Croxton and there will be five other well dressings all within walking distance. The theme this time is ‘The Pirehill Hundred’ which was the name of the administrative area for north-west Staffordshire until 1900, and the design will depict, among other things, the Potteries, canals, breweries and Isaac Walton.
Also being celebrated this year on the other well dressings will be the centenary of the National Farmers Union in Staffordshire, the centenary of the Women’s Institute in Staffordshire, the 50th anniversary of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, and the 50th anniversary of man first walking on the moon. In other years children from local primary schools have been invited to create one of the well dressings, but this year it is the turn of Eccleshall Girl Guides who will be choosing their own theme.
The official opening by Mrs Jean Beasley, and traditional Blessing of the Well by Reverend Sara Humphries, will take place at 11.45 am.
There will be lots of activities to keep families interested and involved on the day. From 10.30am to 1.30pm visitors can follow the Wells Trail, and in the Millennium Wood opposite Boughey’s Well enjoy the various stalls, displays by local groups, crafts, folk music, and a chance to do some ‘petalling’. A barbecue will be provided by Eccleshall Scouts.
From 2pm to 4pm there will be a music and poetry concert in Croxton Church with Broughton Community Choir and talented friends. There will also be a photography exhibition and refreshments available in the church.
For anyone not able to attend the festival itself, the well dressings should remain in place for a week.
Photos and details of previous well dressings can be found on the website www.croxtonwelldressing.weebly.com and if anyone would like to help or get involved in any way, please contact Mrs Ros Langford on 01630 620545.