A large crowd gathered on Saturday to admire the floral tableau that had been painstakingly created by organisers of Biddulph Moor Well Dressing celebration.
Last week, the boards were lined in clay before designs made of flower petals, leaves and seeds were added. They were transported carefully to the village green ahead of the annual event to celebrate the Trent Head, the nearby source of the river Trent.
Thirty petallers had been involved in preparing the boards. They contributed 300 hours towards their works of art, the theme this year being the King’s coronation.
Biddulph town crier John Robinson officiated at the opening ceremony and introduced Biddulph mayor Coun Ken Harper who addressed the crowd. He was followed by a blessing from the Rev Will Slater.
Biddulph Moor Maypole Dancers opened proceedings. Then Leek Morris Dancers gave a colourful folk dancing demonstration.
David Jukes, on his Ford 5000 tractor, led the dancers in a procession to the village hall where the dancing continued along with a varied programme of events including stalls, live music, children’s storytelling, a tombola, vintage tractors and cream teas.
Sylvia Bickley, a member of Biddulph Moor Community Association’s well dressing team, described the event as “a thoroughly enjoyable day out for all the family”.
On behalf of the organisers, she said: “I would like to express heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to the completion of the main tableau and its transportation to the village green.”
She added: “Every year, our team of increasingly talented and creative petallers put in long hours to ensure the tableau is completed within the tight deadline. It is a tiring and demanding week for those involved but is also a time of great camaraderie and much fun, and each year we are pleased to welcome new people to our team.”
Mrs Bickley said it was fitting that the flowers used this year were paid for from a donation given in memory of the late Mary Hill, who had recently died.
She thanked Christ Church, Biddulph Moor, which was used as a base for the well dressing organisation, as well as the supporting team of people who loaded and unloaded the “precious” boards from the transport kindly provided by Steve Pepper.
Thanks also went to Moor First School pupils and Biddulph Moor Rainbows, Brownies and Guides whose work on smaller boards echoed the coronation theme.
(Photos: Sylvia Bickley).