Crowds enjoy blessing of the well in Buxton as smaller scale event takes place

Hundreds of people turned out to watch the blessing of St Ann’s Well in Buxton after a special board was created to keep the longstanding tradition alive.

By Lucy Ball
Monday, 6th September 2021, 5:34 pm

With the town’s annual carnival and well dressing festival unable to go ahead in July due to social restrictions, the committee were keen to do a smaller scale event in order to keep the much loved tradition going.

And on Sunday, a specially designed well was blessed in a service led by the Reverend Liz England, Rev Andy Parker and Rev Catrin Hubbard.

Christine Gould, chair of the committee, said: “It was such a wonderful day and so many people joined us in the sunshine for the blessing service which was lovely.”

Sign up to our daily Buxton Advertiser Today newsletter

The finished well dressing board on display by St Ann's Church. Picture John Jansen

The St Ann’s Well pays homage to the Peak District which celebrated its 70th anniversary this year, as well as Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens, which turned 150. It also featured The Crescent, which reopened as a hotel last year after a huge restoration project.

Read More

Read More
Appeal for witnesses after robbery at New Mills shop

It was decided only one well would be dressed this year so the petallers could spread out in St John’s Church and have more room.

Christine said: “It was really important for us to do this, well dressing is such an important part of Buxton’s history and heritage.

Petallers hard at work in St John's Church. Picture John Jansen

"We have all missed not doing it last year so it was lovely to get back to doing what we love.”

It took 18 petallers three days to take an empty clay board and transform it into a piece of art.

Sunday’s event began with a procession which started on Spring Gardens and was lead by Fairfield Band and the 2021 Carnival Queen and her retinue.

The Mayor and Mayoress of the High Peak, Councillor Paul Hardy and Mrs Mary Hardy were the special guests.

The Rev Liz England blessing the St Ann's Well. Picture John Jansen

Christine said: “I was standing there in the sunshine seeing all the people who had turned up while looking at The Crescent and it felt wonderful.

"Wonderful to be back and wonderful to still have the support of the community.”

Christine used to design most of the boards herself but has delegated this to other people in recent years and she says there is a great succession plan in place to ensure the town’s traditions can continue for future years.

Almost 200 people turned up for the blessing of the well service on Sunday September 5. Picture John Jansen

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. – Louise Cooper, editor.

Building the well dressing board next to St Ann's Well. Picture John Jansen