Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival 2015

This was the sound hub. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We finally made it to the Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival. It’s only taken me 9 years to get there, the poet only 2. It’s a festival started in the 1980s, bringing to life a very old tale of smugglers and how they tried to evade capture. You can read all about it by following the link.

We had a very busy weekend starting with finishing work early on Friday to go and collect the poet’s new car. There were almost fisticuffs on the forecourt when we realised they’d forgotten something, but the car’s booked in on Thursday to have that remedied.

Diane looking slightly started outside the media tent. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

After collecting the car, we came home via the supermarket. The fruit and veg boxes were delivered at about 12 noon, so we were able to buy food to complement what came in those.

On Saturday we had a bit of a lazy start, but then headed over to Slaithwaite (pronounced Slauwit) via Dewsbury. It’s the poet’s birthday this coming Thursday and, amongst other things,  I’d promised him a new walking coat. We came away from the outdoor shop with new walking trousers for me too, a collapsible water bowl for the dog, and a slab of Kendal mint cake – white.

Ian looking pinched by the cold – and it really was very cold. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

When we arrived at Slaithwaite we were very lucky to park in our usual spot – this is the third time we’ve been to the town, but only the first time to the festival. We were able to eat our picnic before going down to see what was going on.

By the time the procession started, the town was rammed. We found a very nice spot right next to the canal, and the media tent, and a waste bin … And we had a very good view of both the start of the procession and the end. We were also well-placed for the actual moonraking. It was very, very cold, though. Next time we’ll be wearing our thermal underwear!

The women of the village and the gnomes raking the moon out of the canal. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Rufus wasn’t entirely happy. There were so many people and only a few took any notice of him! He also felt the cold too. He’s not a dog to wear a dog coat, but he’s small enough for us to pick up and hug to us, although he does get quite heavy.

We stayed to watch the raking of the moon, one of the bands and the start of the procession of lanterns. But then we headed home via Golcar and Huddersfield, just to miss the traffic in and around Slaithwaite.

The procession of “landmark” lanterns for the 2015 festival. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Saturday night was a late evening (by the time we got home) in front of the telly, and Sunday it was off to see my parents in Birmingham. We had another lazy evening in front of the telly.

Today, after work, we’re off to say happy first birthday to the poet’s grand-daughter, and that will give us chance to see his parents too, and his daughter.

Meanwhile, I’m quite busy shifting a big edit that finally arrived last week, filling in paperwork for the wedding, and uploading and editing photographs from the weekend. I also have the next module of the writing course to read, and the next assignment to write. And there are 2 short stories awaiting proofreading so they can go off on their merry way.

Enjoy the colourful pictures. There are more to see if you’re on our Facebook.

One of the bands, all pretty and bright. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)