THE POPULAR Malvern Well Dressing Festival returns this week with a ‘literature’ theme.
It begins on Friday, April 29, and runs until May 8.
The annual event celebrates the history of the Malvern Hills District, from its iconic spring water and Victorian Water Cure to the area’s ancient Pagan traditions. It is brought to the town by the Malvern Spa Association with local businesses and community groups taking part.
Around 200 adults and more than 500 schoolchildren will all be involved in dressing the wells across Malvern.
The festival starts with the dressing of the wells on Friday.
This Saturday sees a well blessing at 8.30am at St James’s Church with Rev Becky Elliott and 4pm at the Malvhina Fountain, Belle Vue Terrace, with Rev Rod Corke.
On Sunday, May 1, at 10am there will be ‘Beautiful Music’ by Ray Mytton at St Anne’s Well, a ‘Ceremony’ with Rainbow Guardians at 2pm and a ‘Ceremony’ with Malvern Border Druids at 3pm, both at Hayslad Spout.
At 4.45am on Monday, May 2, there will be a Dripping Well Dawn Ceremony with Jonathan Penley, as well as a Family Fun Day in Priory Park.
Organised by Malvern Hills District Council in partnership with Malvern Spa Association, the family fun day will be held from 10am to 5pm and will host a mixture of children’s activities and entertainment.
Children will be able to play on the newly revamped play area, as well as take part in the Freedom Leisure Xplorer Trail and water-inspired rides.
There will be circus skills, clay pottery workshops, Victorian Water Cure re-enactment and the Well Dressing prizegiving ceremony.
The festival will end on Sunday, 8 May, with a well dressing closing ceremony at North Malvern Clock Tower at 4pm.
Visitors can view the wonderful creations by setting off across the hills on foot, by bicycle or on a self-drive tour.
Maps can be downloaded from the Malvern Well Dressing Facebook page or from Malvern Tourist Information Centre.
Coun Daniel Walton, Malvern Hills District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Economic Development, said: “It is exciting we get to welcome Malvern’s traditional Well Dressing Festival once again.
“This year’s theme will give people the chance to not only celebrate the district’s history but also its literature connections too.
“It is always great to see the local community coming together to dress the wells and springs around Malvern.”
Rick Banbury, Well Dressing Organiser said Malvern already had a grand literature heritage with connections from the middle ages with William Langland to the more contemporary Barbara Cartland, CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.
“Come May Day we shall hope to be delighted with many rich tableaux of literary inspiration.”
Visit www.visitthemalverns.org/welldressing for more information.