Monday, 11 December 2017

Lanterns in a Cheshire twilight

Twilight Walk,

Rudheath and Witton,

2nd December 2017

There was willow, and glue and children wrapped in wet tissue (accidentally!). Stained glass glowing blue in tall windows inspired echoing shapes in spired lanterns. There were arches for imagination and carvings, and presents and snowmen. There were reindeer and there was more glue and permanent pens and the delicate flicker of a tiny light

We were making lanterns. Looking for the shapes and structures of Rudheath in winter, for the excitements of Witton, for the sense of “what makes the middle of winter special for you”. Starting with an open day in St helen’s Church in Witton, we went on to work with nearly 300 people in local schools (family sessions brought parents, grandparents and carers in to join the making) and at the garden project at Grozone.

Our lantern walk day began with rain and a waterlogged field. We lost a musician to illness (just for the day, nothing permanent!). We nearly lost our route to a locked gate. But the rain stopped, the wind settled and a glorious full moon burned the clouds silver and the shadows of church, cemetery and river-side willow trees took us and at least 100 visitors out into the night

We recited poems, wandered, told stories, wandered a bit more, made up new stories (the ghostly Lantern Parade of Rudheath, the stout iron fences that hold the bramble creatures off the paths) and we had a beautiful evening of lanterns and laughter in the twilight. And at the end, Grozone received us with a burning brazier and welcome hot chocolate

Thank you! Thank you to the schools who hosted us and to St Helens Church who offered space to work in and a meeting point to gather at. Thank you to Grozone for taking us into their moonlit garden. Thank you to our artists and volunteers who smiled their way through willow-bend and tissue slap. Most of all, thank you to our makers and walkers, to the people of Rudheath and Witton who came and made their lanterns and to those who braved an uncertain evening with such enthusiasm.

This was the last major public event out the Creeping Toad Do It Together project for Rudheath and Witton Together. There might be other activities next year (we are still in discussions) but probably not in the same format as this year. Another Lantern Walk? O, yes please! We would nred to find some new funding for this but I would certainly be prepared to help organise a proejct and help the hunt for that funding, so any Rudheath or Witton people or community group who might like to be involved, let me know!  Contact Gordon on
ready for a Twilight wander

Thanks to our friends in the lantern walk:
Rudheath Primary Academy
St Helen’s Church, Witton
Victoria Rd Primary School
Witton Church Walk CE Primary School
and of course
Rudheath and Witton Together
who made it all happen!

All these photographs are c Simon Birdsey for Rudheath and Witton Together. People in individual shots are included in our photo permissions file but if you are one of those individuals and would like the images removed, please contact me directly:

the company assembled

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