Watch as volunteers bring Buxton’s beautiful well dressings to life

The main panel of St Ann's Well takes shape, Danielle Watson and Jane Brown.
The main panel of St Ann's Well takes shape, Danielle Watson and Jane Brown.

It’s almost time for this year’s Buxton well dressings to be unveiled.

Since Wednesday, hard-working volunteers have been busy ‘petalling’ to make the display boards that will go around the town’s wells for the Buxton Well Dressing Festival, which starts on Sunday with the blessing ceremony and crowning of the royalty.

Working on the year eight panel of the Children's Well, Emma Ellingham, Grace Critchlow, Edie Knighton, Elyse Marling and Rowan Wakefield.

Working on the year eight panel of the Children's Well, Emma Ellingham, Grace Critchlow, Edie Knighton, Elyse Marling and Rowan Wakefield.

Well designers Pauline Clark, Jane Brown and Claire Millard have been working on the designs for the St Anne’s Well and the Market Place Well for months.

The St Anne’s Well is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Buxton Festival and 40 years of the Buxton Fringe, while the Market Place Well will be honouring 50 years since the American moon landings.

READ MORE: Buxton Well Dressing Festival 2019 - what’s on when and where

Pauline said: “We have had people turn up from London just to help to take part in the well dressing which is fantastic, and shows that well dressing is more popular than ever and people want to be a part of it.”

Celia Huxford and Jeanette Hamilton work on a panel celebrating the Festival's anniversary.

Celia Huxford and Jeanette Hamilton work on a panel celebrating the Festival's anniversary.

This year the boards are honouring anniversaries of events - but a stalwart of Buxton Well Dressing Festival is also being honoured.

Anne Gould, 80, was a staunch supporter of the festival and took over the presidency this year, but before she could oversee her first festival she sadly died. The well on the Market Place has been dedicated to her.

READ MORE: Much-loved and well-known Buxton shopkeeper dies

Claire said: “It has been very emotional doing a well dressing without having Anne here so this was the right thing to do.”

Many hands make light work

Many hands make light work

Christine Gould, Anne’s daughter, has been well dressing in Buxton since 1986 and has designed the Pump Room Well, taking inspiration from the Assembly Rooms ceilings in The Crescent.

She said: “Over time some things have changed, but some things haven’t and that’s why it is so loved.

“The well dressing festival and the carnival is a time for the community to come together and is more a day for local people.”

Pupils from years seven, eight and nine at Buxton Community School have been working on the Children’s Well - which will go on display in Spring Gardens.

Detail from the Market Place Well

Detail from the Market Place Well

The displays will celebrate 25 years of Disney’s The Lion King, 50 years of the moon landings and mythical beasts.

Head of Art Michael Moore said: “There is nothing more Derbyshire than well dressing and it’s great for the students to be part of the community, part of history and to keep this tradition going.”