Volunteers hard at work preparing Buxton's well dressings

Volunteers have been hard at work preparing the wells for Buxton’s popular annual festival.

By Louise Cooper
Friday, 1st July 2022, 12:19 pm
New wet clay being pressed in to the boards and then smoothed off
New wet clay being pressed in to the boards and then smoothed off

After two years of covid disruption the well dressing festival and carnival will return in full this year – with the fun set to get underway this weekend.

The blessing of the wells service and crowning of the queen will both take place on Sunday, kick starting a week of events which will see the hugely popular carnival parade return on Saturday July 9.

But in order to bless the wells, a dedicated team of helpers have been hard at work to get them prepared. Each year displays featuring colourful images are created and located on the market place, at St Ann’s Well, the Pump Room well, and the children’s well in Spring Gardens.

The finished, packed and smoothed clay boards are damped again and sealed so they stay damp

Michael Hilton, one of the volunteers, has shared these photos of the well boards being prepared for dressing.

He said: “The team will always welcome new helpers – they are a friendly team and you event get tea and biscuits!”

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People are invited to see the well dressers and petallers in action at St John’s Church from 9am to 5pm today (Friday).

New clay being pressed in to the boards.

The blessing of the wells service will take place on Sunday starting at the market place well at 2pm. The crowning of the queen will take place later the same day, at St John’s Church in Buxton at 3.15pm.

The carnival funfair will also return to the market place this year, opening on Wednesday July 6 and running until Sunday July 10. The carnival procession itself will take place on Saturday July 9 with the parade beginning at 2pm. Entertainment will then continue in the Pavilion Gardens afterwards.

The new clay, fresh from a claymine in the Potteries
There's a chance to see the petallers in action at St John's Church, Buxton, until 5pm today