Always keen to support local charities, organisations and events Chris was pleased to be able to help out the organisers and volunteers of Ambleside Rushbearing by designing and making a new Rushbearing crown.
It is thought that the existing crown - made from wood and metal dates back to the eighteenth century. Chris chose to fabricate the new crown in stainless steel to ensure it too lasts for centuries and becomes a key feature of this annual historical tradition which dates back to the 1700's when old rushes that covered the church floors were thrown out and replaced with new ones.
These days it is a very colourful procession, with children and adults carrying Rushbearings decorated with rushes and bright flowers. The procession takes the historic route through the village, stopping in Market Place to sing the Rushbearing humn and to the lift the bearings up high for a magnificent photo opportunity.
Arriving at church, the bearings are carried in to be displayed over the weekend and a short service follows. After the service, as the children leave the church they are given a piece of gingerbreak, collect a packed snack and continue on to take part in the Rushbearing Sports held on the Kelsick Field, the highlight being the fell race up to Todd Cragg and back.
The bearings are made from field rushes found in damp places. Large wooden bearings in the shape of crosses, harps, circles and of course the crown are carried in the procession and these are decorated with moss, rushes and flowers by the people who carry them.
Genearations of local families have taken part in this tradition and many people who walked in the Rushbearing as a child and live elsewhere return with their children/grandchildren to take part in this truly spectacular, very unique Ambleside Tradition.
Chris with the original rushbearing crown and the new one made in 2018