This year’s Rushbearing Festival attracted hundreds of spectators and
saw the biggest procession in its history.
The Rushcart - piled high with rushes - was hauled by 60 men wearing
clogs through Sowerby Bridge and the surrounding vilages.
They were accompanied by colourful morris dancers, musicians and the
Among those taking part was one of the Calderdale festival’s founders
Now vice-president of the Rushbearing Association, he started the
event with president Fred Knights in 1977.
He said every area has been asked
to organise an event to mark the Queen’s silver jubilee. He had been
researching the Rushcart and suggested a Rushbearing festival.
Back then the event only lasted an afternoon but has now grown to an
He said: “I’m delighted it’s still going, especially that It has been
carried on by other people.
“It’s great that it’s something that people expect to happen every
Among the crowds was Jon Hirst, 51, from Sowerby Bridge, who said:
“I’ve been several times and think it’s a great event.
“It brings people together because it’s a community event and I like to
support community events.”
Hester and David Peters, 66 and 69, have been coming to watch the
procession every year since moving to in Sowerby Bridge four years ago.
They say it is entertaining and encourages the community to join
The festival sees the cart and its pullers stop at churches to present
rushes and pubs for refreshments.
Rushbearing is a tradition that dates back centuries to the time when
rushes were used to cover church floors.
Once a year the church cleared out the rotten rushes and new ones were
taken to the churches in carts.
The modern Rushbearlng Festival sees the Rushcart travel through
Sowerby Bridge, Warley, mangle, Sowerby and Ripponden.