Join us to discover the history and traditions of one of the UK's last remaining rushbearing festivals - based just over the hill in Sowerby Bridge - with the very entertaining Garry Stringfellow, author of Rushes and Ale.
The custom of 'rushbearing' dates back many centuries to a time when church floors consisted of little more than stones or bare earth, and rushes were used as a covering. Each year, in late summer, a cart was pulled through the town and used to remove the old rushes and bring in new rushes for the colder months. Of course (people being people and needing little excuse for some revelry), the annual event became something of a festival, with music, dancing and much drinking of ale.
Although the practice of rushbearing and the building of rushcarts began to decline in the 19th century, some townships revived the practice in the early years of the 20th century, including Sowerby Bridge.