A while ago, a group of us bemoaned a fall off in ‘community fuddles’; the Yorkshire way where everyone bringing something to the party. So many new houses, so many new people – Guiseley was changing, and it needed a ‘fuddle shot in the arm’.
That was the seed from which the Lantern Parade grew. Whilst other towns put on a spectacle FOR people to watch, we wanted a spectacle WITH people; everyone bringing something to the party.
So, yesterday we had the impromptu children’s choir, cheering ‘We Three Kings’ and belting out Jingle Bells with gusto. When I asked the residents of Kelcliffe Lane, if it would be possible to move their cars between 4 -4.30pm everyone did so quite happily.
Our usual drummer leader lost his drums in the Drummond Mill fire and had to cancel late in the day, so Jacob Phillips and Ben Lawrence stepped in to organize the Sound of the Mill Band – of local people. At the other end of the generations Guiseley Brass Band bring that wonderful Yorkshire element to the singing.
The Guiseley Landmark Lanterns were designed and made by Lucy Phillips and family, whilst Richard from the Station Pub and Scott from the Factory Workers Club stepped up to help provide the refreshments.
Parents and Grandparents spent a Saturday getting messy to make the lanterns; whilst the Ministers bring their ‘gravitas’ and sing ‘naughty’ words to Carols 🙂 (They also lend the churches for us to prepare and if it was wet.)
Delicious pies are provided by Claremont Cakes, and the woodchip from a nearby farm. Darren Sanderson captures the event through his professional photography (whilst giving lessons on route) and local electricians make sure we have festive light – in the face of difficulty.
Ex Crompton Staff give of their time to Marshall, and our Local MP shares the carrying of the Lead Lanterns. We have a doctor with a First Aid Kit, a Teacher with a fire blanket, and a local Councillor (plus and IT professional) provided the PA system.
And most of all we have everyone who comes, brings a lantern, friends and family, gathers together to walk through the modern streets from our medieval fields, and sing – bringing cheer to all along the way (including some older people who are not able to join due to illness, but watch from their window.)
You may have noticed the sun setting in the park as we gathered to begin the Parade. It’s done that for us nearly every time 😉. As an Historian I think of the people in 2016 BC; our Bronze Age ancestors, who would have stood in the same place, watching the same sun setting between the same hills – and what it meant to them. Their festivals at the Winter Solstice were to encourage light, warmth and hope back to the earth – and they were masters of harnessing community energy to that cause: they had to, to survive. The early Christians then captured the essence of this in Christmas, weaving the faiths and beliefs together to spread peace and learning in and often violent world.
So, Happy Christmas, to the local Community from Friends of Parkinson’s Park, you’ve all got talent to bring to the fuddle in spades – our role as FOPP is to provide the space and orchestrate the players; which is why in 2016 we became a Community Interest Company: we are so happy you had a good time, job done. Everyone give a ‘high five’.
(Form more pictures see our Facebook Page Parkinson’s Park)