Aston On Trent - Well
w/e 23 July 2006
this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Throughout the summer in Derbyshire there is usually at least
one village or town and oft-times more where the art of Well
Dressing can be seen. This craft is almost unique to Derbyshire
although it has crossed the border into neighbouring counties.
So what is a well dressing and how are they created? The answers
can be found on this leaflet.
Visits to some of the villages in previous years including West
Hallam, Brackenfield and
Middleton-By-Youlgrave can be found elsewhere on this
site but for 2006 I decided to turn my attention to Aston On
Trent. Aston On Trent is a small village of some ten thousand
residents only four miles from Derby and about thirteen from
majority of those residents are housed in newer developments
that have formed as the village has expanded outwards but all
of the well dressings are situated in a small area around the
older heart of the original village. Hanging baskets on the old
buildings (above and right) as well as floral displays like the
one opposite the Post Office (left) make this an attractive setting
for the annual festival.
Two recurring themes in the village
for this year's well dressings were football and anniversaries
although the pupils of Weston On Trent C of E Primary School
took the phrase 'A time for everything and a season' from Ecclesiastes
as the theme for their very first well dressing and included
a reference to their new school which is due to open in the autumn.
The football panel was by St Martin's School and both of the
displays above were to be found on opposite sides of Rectory
Gardens near All Saints Church (right).
The Dame Catherine Harpur School had their display in The Green
and showed how their display had evolved from the original painted
concept to the reality of the finished product.
Nearby also in The Green, the W.I. commemorated in their display
the centenary of the first competitive balloon race ever held
in England which took place on 7th July 1906 in Chelmsford Essex
when five balloons competed for a cup valued at fifty guineas.
An event from a hundred years ago remembered but the building
behind the display had been standing well over two hundred years
when the race took place according to the date of 1690 on the
stonework immediately above (inset).
These two dressings by the Playgroup and the Mother and Toddler
Group were in front of a building that has stood in Aston On
Trent for far fewer than a hundred years but there was Mickey
Mouse with a football theme again and of course 2006 marks the
eightieth anniversary of the publication of A. A. Milne's 'Winnie
The Pooh' on October 14th, 1926. I don't know whether it was
by chance or design but it was exactly forty years ago (1966)
that Mickey's creator Walt Disney first brought Pooh to our cinema
It seems the original concept of a 'well' dressing has progressed
somewhat over the years and now anywhere appears to be fair game.
This bus stop right in the centre of the village fell prey to
Aston School where once again football and the World Cup provided
the inspiration for three panels.
But pride of place on The Green was taken by the Aston Welldressers,
themselves celebrating their tenth anniversary. Ruby weddings
and a birthday were incorporated into the design but the main
theme was England's victory in the 1966 World Cup Final with
that immortal phrase 'They think it's all over'. And so are Aston
On Trent's well dressings - for 2006 at any rate.