Sunday 25 May 2008

The End of May #2

Ever since I can remember we've trooped down to the pretty village of Endon at the end of May for the Well Dressing.
I've been in the Brownie, Guide and May Queen parades, been burnt to a crisp and soaked to the skin and every year I've so enjoyed being part of the ancient service to bless the miraculous spring water that's never dried up and celebrating being part of a country community.
Well dressings are a beautiful tradition, local to pretty much Derbyshire and a few of the most northen Staffordshire villages around us.
Every year in May and June, volunteers, school children and talented artists, put hours of work into producing amazing depictions of biblical and historical events with flower petals, seeds, foliage, grasses - pretty much anything natural to hand really and colour fills the countryside for weeks on end.
Most villages have just the one well - Endon has two - but others have as many as seven and they bring coach loads of visitors out to see them. Oh, I could've spent hours gazing at this wonderful creation but the tomobola, hook-a-duck and maypole dancing called in the end.

Yesterday was glorious - blowy but glorious. Much ice-cream scoffing, helter-skeltering and fun was had by us all, followed by a slap-up tea and mooch around my parents fabulous garden. What a day! I love a well-dressing.

P.S Thanks to Catherine & Heidi Ann for tagging me - if its ok I'll do that on my next post - thank you! Better get thinking.


prettyshabby said...

Gosh, they really go to town by you!..we have lots of wells in Malvern and they have all been tarted up slightly with ribbons for Well dressing but nothing on the scale of lovely and nostalgic your photos look,I could almost be transported back to the 1950s! Just wonderful x

pinkgreen said...

That looks like such a lovely day out, and a great tradition. We went to the Buxton one once, and that was gorgeous, but I haven't been since I was a child. Englishness at its very best!
Cathy X

mollycupcakes said...

Oww bunting how gorgeous hun, what a fabulous day. It all looks wonderful. It's lovely when a village comes together. There should be more of these speical events around the country because we can forget all the bad things in life.
Thanks for showing all the beautiful displays, it makes this very wet rainy day a little brighter for me x
Catherine x

JuicyFig said...

how fabulous! I have only seen these events on TV - up here in the north we only have whippet racing and black pudding eating competitions! hehehe


Faye 'Country Chic' said...

Hi Steph, wow what a lovely day out. I just love traditional fetes and commemorative days such as this... they really do make you feel as though you are in a bygone era, just perfect.

The Fairy Glade said...

Hi Steph I love the tradition of these events. Our local fete has maypole dancing, brass colliery band, coconut shy and bowling for a pig. It has been this way it seems forever. Now some might say that things need to change, but I think continuity is more important considering this hectic life that we all lead nowadays. Catch you again in a weeks time. Bye for now Devina X

Miss sew n sew said...

It is a lovely tradition us Derbyshire folk have I must say I enjoyed visiting the well dressings at Hartington villiage last year so much work goes into them. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary you looked stunning in your pics. Hope you have a good half term!

Sal said...

Wow how fascinating! The craft work is amazing! I'm glad that these traditions still remain in our country.Looks like a great day out!Sal ;-)

A Thrifty Mrs said...

Sounds and looks like a lovely tradition.

Carol said...

It is so nice to see these events still take place. The poor Morris Dancers were rained off in Suffolk.
I love the bunting, I bought a nice one on EBay...but one is never enough! is it?
I stayed on an organic Farm in Derbyshire at the end of last summer...wonderful !
Carol x

Unknown said...

Oh I love Well dressing! forgotten all about it until now.
Great post, thanks for reminding me.
Rosie x

dragonfly said...

That looks like a wonderful day, only to be had in England! I'd forgotten about well-dressings too, there's a vague school memory being stirred up at the back of my brain of doing something similar...

Ragged Roses said...

Happy anniversary to you and Woody, what beautiful wedding photos. Well dressing sounds like a lot of fun I love reading about traditions like these. Glad you had a good weekend

Anonymous said...

I've heard of well dressing but had no idea it was so elaborate! what an amazing effort - i love rituals that are local to places - we just had an 'apple blossom festival' just lovely!

Pipany said...

Lovelyt catch up on your blogs. When I was a little girl I had a jigsaw of the parade - had forgotten all about it till today!
Happy anniversary by the way and you looked lovely in your wedding dress xx

Niki Fretwell said...

Thanks for the bolt of nostalgia! I remember visiting well dressings at Tissington (think that's what the village was called) when I was a little girl - but had forgotten about the holiday.....
Looks like you had a fun day out (with sunshine! Lucky you!) The helter-skelter looked great fun!

Belated Happy Anniversary to you both,

jessica daisy said...

Looks like you had such a lovely day, the floral displays are amazing, the bunting and that helter skelter looks great, such wonderful Englishness!
Belated Congratulations for your wedding anniversary, I love the picture of you a woody walking hand in hand.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of a well dressing before but it looks lovely. The displays are so pretty. Ever since you mentioned The Magic Apple Tree by Susan Hill I've searched all over for it but couldn't get it anywhere even the library said their copy was missing and they weren't getting another. Imagine how pleased I was today when I found a copy in really good condition for 49p in my local Marie Curie store...
Lisa x

Cowboys and Custard Mercantile said...

I just love these quintessential English traditions..
I have been intrigued by 'Well dressing' and now I know what it is all about. I think we should introduce this to Bath... maybe we could have hot springs dressing here as an alternative!
How lovely to see the Maypole in action..
If only I could turn the clock back..


Aqeela said...

This looks like i lovely day out, i love days like this if i agree with the principles behind it.

Loved your photos of your cat in a previous post, shes lovely. Sounds like shes getting old? The old ones are the best, and very precious to us, i dont know what id do without my 'Opal'.