Triple Summer Celebration at Ashford-in-the-Water

Well Dressing Ashford-in-the-Water

The 2019 Well Dressing at Sheepwash Bridge, Ashford-in-the-Water

A triple celebration at Ashford-in-the-Water in June will lift the spirits, not only of the villagers, but also its many visitors: the well dressings (six!) and the flower festival are back after the two-year hiatus of the pandemic, along with a celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Ashford’s well dressings always start on the weekend of Trinity Sunday – the Patronal Festival day of Holy Trinity Church. This year, Trinity Sunday falls on June 12 which, fortuitously, is the same month as the Jubilee celebrations. Our “triple celebration” starts over the four-day Jubilee June bank holiday at Holy Trinity Church, with a display on Saturday June 4 of historic local photographs. At its 9.45am Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving the following day, the church will distribute a beautiful 48-page full-colour commemora-tive gift –“Our Faithful Queen: 70 Years of Faith & Service” –to each member of the congregation. That afternoon, a Jubilee Picnic in the Hall Orchard with village games, hosted by the committee of the Ashford War Memorial Institute, will be followed by an evening of live music at the always-welcoming Bull’s Head pub.Visitors will be able to observe the petalling of the well dressings in various village garages and barns from Saturday June 4 to Friday June 10 and – for those who don’t mind getting messy – they can join in puddling (filling the display board with clay) at the Sheepwash Bridge on Friday evening, June 3. The flower festival in church and the well dressings displayed around the village will run in parallel from Saturday June 11 to Sunday June 19. On Saturday June 11 at 3.00pm, the mediaeval Sheepwash Bridge will be the backdrop for a demonstration of the centuries-old tradition of sheepwashing. At 9.45am on Sunday June 12 the church will celebrate Trinity Sunday, and at 3.00pm will hold a well blessing service including (weather-permitting) a short sermon at the ancient Preaching Cross in the churchyard. This will be followed at 3.30pm by a procession around the village to bless the wells, led by the Cressbrook Brass Band. The flower festival at Holy Trinity church will have as its theme “The Victorians”. In 2020 it had been planned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the re-opening of the church in 1870 after extensive re-building, instigated by the Revd John Reddaway Luxmoore, who was the Vicar of Holy Trinity church for 52 years. We have retained the Victorian theme to reflect the loves, lives and achievements of the Victorians, and there will be a talk at the church on Tuesday June 14 at 7.00pm, entitled “Victorian Ashford and its people”. On Saturday June 18 at 6.00pm in church there will be a concert with choir and soloists, and on Sunday afternoon June 19 there will be a Village Party with Matlock Brass Band at the War Memorial Institute, followed at 5.30pm by a Service of Thanksgiving at the church to recognise the time, skills and efforts invested by the well dressers, flower arrangers, and an untold number of volunteer helpers from the War Memorial Institute, the church, and the wider community. For further information, see: Holy Trinity Church, Ashford website: https://ashford parish Ashford War Memorial Institute website: or contact Ian Pykett (07985 042392) or Caroline Hanson (07885 357056).