ETWALL WELL DRESSINGS REVIEW II
Well Dressing was first introduced to the village by Etwall Primary School's Parent Teachers Association in 1970, as part of the its centenary celebrations. The Women's Institute also joined in and dressed the Town Well on the village green and the PTA decorated a site near to the old school well.
In 2004, eight wells were dressed at varying locations around the village. This provided those visitors who followed the well dressing trail, with the opportunity to explore some of the more interesting parts of Etwall.
St Helen's Church and the Sir John Port Almshouses set on slightly rising ground are particularly appealing. The delightful 17th century almshouses, comprise of eight modern two storey units and two flats. The fine wrought-iron gates by Robert Bakewell, that hang outside the almshouses, restored in the 1980s, add an extra touch of quality.
Both St Helen's Church and the Methodist Church provided beautiful flower displays for the weekend. St Helen's Church is believed to have originated from Saxon times, the first Methodist chapel was built by Arthur Minton, the son of the founder of the famous Stoke-on-Trent pottery firm of that name.
The Frank Wickham Hall, named after the parish councillor who the village as a Parish Councillor for 37 years, who died of cancer shortly after construction commenced in 1989. The hall was used during the 2004 festival, to exhibit traditional arts and crafts.
Alongside the main road through the village, the Spread Eagle stands on the site of one of three ale-houses that were know to exist in 1577. The Hawk and Buckle, once known as the Cotton Arms takes its name from the buckled hawk on the Cotton family crest.
A very prominent feature in the village is the John Port Comprehensive School, built on the site of the former Etwall Hall, which accommodates nearly 2,000 pupils. It is in the school lake that the boards are soaked, prior to the work of preparing the well dressings for public exhibition.
Remap, one of the organisations to benefit from funds collected at the 2003 well dressings, had a display over the weekend in the John Port School Canteen. It is one of the most cost effective charities in the country, giving £20 of aid for every £1 donated to them. Remap volunteers design and manufacture, or adapt, equipment for people with disabilities providing it is not commercially available.
Note: All the pictures on this page have been shot with an inexpensive camera and copied several times.
SPECIAL 2004 FEATURE
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The 2004 well dressings took place on the 15th, 16th and 17th May, when eight wells were dressed. There was no central theme.
St Helen's Church: a spectacular display prepared by the Mickleover Flower Club, provided a number of arrangements based on a religious theme.
Methodist Church: provided a beautiful tableau of floral and artistic features depicting a message or theme from the bible.
ARTS AND CRAFTS EXHIBITION
Held in the Frank Wickham Hall, for the duration of the festival, the exhibition maintained the traditional arts and crafts theme.
As well as featuring paintings by the local Art Club, a variety of craft stalls were present. The stalls varied, but candles, jewellery and floral pictures are all regular features of this market, together with antique photos and other specialist traders.
John Port School: light refreshments were served in the canteen at John Port School, in A Block situated near the coach park and village green.
Methodist Church Hall: light refreshments were available during the festival in the hall.
2004 FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
A 5 a side football tournament took place during the festival, when four pitches were available. The matches were played on a knockout basis.
OFFICIAL TRADERS 2004
It is important to note that many local shops and traders, such as the Harrison's ice cream vans, actively contribute to or support well dressing , providing a significant income to the festival.