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SLIDESHOW: Tissingtons Well Dressings

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: May 30, 2014

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VISITORS from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand have joined villagers in Tissington for an annual festival to give thanks for their supply of water.

Tissington Well Dressings, seen by many as a colourful curtain-raiser for a centuries-old season of festivals in Derbyshire, attracted hundreds of people to the estate village yesterday(THURS), who gathered in St Mary's Church for a service before following the visiting priests around to join in the blessing of Tissington's six wells.

Children's Well, Coffin Well, Hall Well, Hands Well, Town Well and Yew Tree Well are all decorated by teams of volunteers who spent up to 200 hours placing petals and other natural materials on to clay boards, which are soaked in the village pond in the weeks prior to the event.

Jim and Marjorie Robertson, from Queensland in Australia, who are spending five weeks in the Peak District, saw the festival for the first time this year.

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Mr Robertson said: "We've loved seeing them.

"I think it's an absolutely wonderful concept and I think that a community loses its way if it doesn't recognise recognise the goodness that God gives and the produce and sunshine we are all so lucky to have."

Jean and John Hooper were also visiting the wells from the other side of the world, having travelled to Derbyshire from Auckland in New Zealand. Mrs Hooper said: "We think it's a wonderful celebration and as we were driving through we decided we needed to be here to see it for ourselves.

"The village is so pretty and everyone is so friendly, we've very much enjoyed our time here."

This year many of the wells followed a theme which is being repeated around the country as the nation prepares to commemorate the outbreak of World War One next month.

Sir Richard Fitzherbert, the owner of the village, said: "I'm really thrilled with the wells this year, there's a lot of talk about the wells and World War One commemorations and I'm very proud of the teams of people who have gone to so much effort to put on such a good show."

Les Alcock, whose garden plays host to Coffin Well each year and whose uncle served in the Great War, said the well dressings were the "highlight of his year."

He said: "I think they've made a really good job of the wells this year and the blessing of the wells is always a highlight of the year for us - that and Christmas.

"I think there's just as many here as in previous years as well, which is nice to see."

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