Chelmorton Summer Festival at the centre of July

Tractor convoy in Main Street Chelmorton for Festival 2018 Tractor convoy in Main Street Chelmorton for Festival 2018

More than a hundred years of christening gowns, a convoy of two dozen tractors and a motorbike show with stalls & scarecrows in Main Street and a magical dog show in the cool air of the heatwave, eleven hundred feet above sea level in the heart of the Peak District in the village of Chelmorton, south of Buxton.

All topped off with a special visit by the ice cream van down a line of bunting marking the special week of festival beyond the hand-made flower bed and wishing well of Illy Willy Water.

The festival week ended with Songs of Praise and the hymn, ‘The day thou gavest Lord is ended.’

A week-long festival that followed the Elvis entry into Buxton Carnival by David Bagshaw's red tractor laden with golden straw bales provided by John Gould.

Friday evening rain washed the grass green in the fields around Main Street ready for a perfect Saturday. The weekend air just cooled with the cloud as helicopter tours circled the Saturday sky.

Visitors, tourist and locals escaping the heatwave enjoyed the scarecrow fun, Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, but be sure he is full of straw?

An epic bath-tub special with bubbles by the bath-load, spiders and scarecrows even lying down with their beer.

The Wheldon family cut the centre meadow as a car park and Saturday was set as the highlight of the village festival week. Two and four wheel fun in Main Street with motorcycle and tractor showcase events. The four wheel tractors went one further with a balloon-load of rainbow excitement as colours of the World loaded up the cab windows in a 'guess the number of balloons' event at the heart of Main Street.

Stands and stalls lined the linear village road all the way to the church of St John the Baptist and the Church Inn Pub. Flower stands, 'guess the weight of the sheep', charity stands, DVDs for sale, all for local charities - the village Childrens'  Trust, the War Memorial Institute and the Church.

Village Institute refreshments run by a stalwart team of villagers were supported on Saturday by an Ice Cream van full of flavours - from rich pink colours to delicious soft vanilla. Macmillan tea stop surrounded by local photo exhibition and a chance to wish in the well of Illy Willy water and then try your luck on the chocolate tombola.

Extending the week of festival  saw dry stone wall courses and a beetle drive, a walking tour. The table tennis tournament was postponed, but energy was in the air from the previous evening's highlight of Burbage Band concert in St Johns church.

Highlights in the church were about generations with a christening gown exhibition that covered every decade, from nineteen hundred to the present day. Twenty six local gowns drew a line of history of christening at St Johns over a hundred years in length that was portrayed down both isles of the church pews. In the Lady Chapel a royal Christening hundred years and then a 'match the local to baby' competition that drew on a great breadth of memories old and new.

More Saturday fun highlights included an RSPCA fun dog show set in the new venue of Redhurst on the Ditch. Music playing by Simply Lay Back, waggiest tail, six best legs, most handsome dog, best paw shaker were just some of the classes that wowed the crowd.

As a perfect Saturday afternoon came to an end the air roared with power, two dozen tractors on the run via Monyash returned to Main Street, from David Brown CropMasters to Massey Fergusons, like the dog show, it was little ones and big ones, shiny ones and woolly ones. Want one of your own?  a Case Tractor sat for sale on the junction of Church Lane.

All back to Main Street for Saturday night village disco, the mobile fish and chip van in full swing. Dancing until midnight. Sunday, cool air but dry, a lie-in, then Sunday afternoon teas at Ditch House for croquet on the lawn with the vista of Chelmorton Low at fifteen hundred feet above sea level, adorned with the stone markers of 'England', the perfect location for best Victoria sponge cake and steamy cups of English tea.

A quick walk back to Main Street for church of St John below the golden locust, Sunday evening songs of praise. Area Dean of the Peak, Rev Colin Pearson blessed the new altar cloth, pews full for a mixture of poems, reading and songs chosen specially for the festival with a vision of new life and hope. Opening with, ‘Now the green blade riseth’ closing with a Harry Swindell poem and hymn, ‘The day thou gavest Lord is ended’.

Chelmorton summer festival fun in Main Street July 2018 eleven hundred feet above sea level in the heart of the Peak District.

Next key date is Chelmorton Fell Race, Sunday, September 23rd

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Christening gowns in the church of St John Chelmorton

 

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Tap Dancing Scarecrow.

 

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One hundred years of christening gowns displayed in St Johns Church Chelmorton

 

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Joint first place scarecrow

 

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Joint first place scarecrow

 

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Joint first place scarecrow

 

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The Chelmorton Bookworm

 

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Motorbike showcase included Longnor races championship bike

 

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Ice cream and fish and chips for Saturday evening party disco at the institute

 

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Palfreyman team put on a 'guess the weight of the sheep' competition with top prizes

 

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Last tractor of the Chelly convoy making good speed in Main Street