The sun shone, as petals showered on Guiseley’s Well Dressing event on Saturday 30th April when a 10ft textile hanging produced in shades of deepest blue went on show. The hanging and event was produced by over 65 local people and organized by the ‘Yarns Wells Spun‘ project for Leeds 2023 by Abi James of Daisy Croft Crafts and husband Kevin.
The Well Dressing event was serenaded by a range of local musicians and choirs, and blessed by Helen James who drew on May Day folk traditions. There was poetry written by local school children about what the Wells means to them today – and a brief outline by Jennifer Kirkby on the Wells’ history and what it meant to people in the past. (A copy of the Wells history and poems is outlined is here in pdf form.)
Codswallop ably provided a textile crafting tent and games, whilst Incredible Edible encouraged people to help look after and use local produce including the Wells herb planters. Raffle prizes were donated by local businesses including Moons.
This was the first time the Wells area has been temporarily pedestrianised, uniting the Wells with the Pocket Park, for a community event, and thanks go to the street marshals and drivers who helped with the necessary diversion along Oxford Road. This is something the Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum has been aiming for since 2015: with the help of local Councillors, we’ve encouraged improvements to both the Wells Pocket Park and the drainage issues.
It is hoped that the Wells area will be used for other temporary small community events under the new Leeds Streets for People Scheme; this allows for community event road closures for a short time. Local residents and businesses have to be consulted on plans in good time, at least six weeks before an event, and good signage is important. Full details of the scheme with what you have to do are here.
An Annual Well Dressing event is also something that has been talked about for a while by the various Friends of Guiseley Wells who help look after the area, and it is hoped to carry on in 2023.
The ‘Yarns Well Spun‘ Wells Textile Dressing celebrating the creativity of our community will stay on show for a month.