Tissington Well Dressings return with Ukrainian theme

By Jennifer Harby
BBC News

The Ukrainian wellImage source, Picture supplied
Image caption,
Ukrainian colours were incorporated into some of the designs

An annual well dressing festival with roots believed to date back as far as the 14th Century has returned to a Derbyshire village - this time, with a Ukrainian theme.

Tissington, which has a population of about 110 people, normally welcomes about 35,000 visitors to the event.

It is believed the tradition of decorating wells began after locals survived the Black Death, which they credited to the water supply's purity.

The event is due to run until 1 June.

The wells are dressed by applying clay on wooden boards and using materials like coffee beans to make an outline.

They are then decorated with natural materials including flower petals, leaves, sheep's wool, parsley, grit and tree bark.

Mervyn King, who was behind the dressing for one of the wells, said he had incorporated the Ukrainian colours of yellow and blue into his design for the headdress of Tutankhamun.

He said: "As a village we would like to give our support to the people in Ukraine who are suffering as part of the conflict."

Sir Richard FitzHerbet, chief executive of Tissington Hall, said: "We are really thrilled that well dressings can take place this year after all the restrictions of the past two years.

"Everyone in the village has missed [them], not just for the fun that we all have getting them ready but also the great feeling of community it entails.

"We look forward to seeing as many visitors as possible over the week."

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