For the first time in 30 years of the Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival stormy weather looked set to put a dampener on the event.

But despite having to improvise with a few of Saturday night’s events it was hailed a success – thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers and performers.

Organiser Gill Bond said: “It was the worst possible conditions so we had to keep coming up with alternatives because we couldn’t do everything quite as planned.

“But it the end it looked great thanks to some very hard working and professional people who come along and are really dedicated to it.

“Hundreds of people still put on their coats and came and this year’s event will go down a Moonraking legend.”

Every two years villagers gather to celebrate the now famous Moonraking Festival.

The inspiration for the event goes back to the beginning of the 19th century where the newly built canals became handy smuggling routes.

Lights are used to tell the tale of the band of smugglers who hid consignments of rum in the canal.

When caught fishing a barrel out of the water they claimed to be ‘moonraking’, trying to pull the reflection of the moon from the water.

The festival was started by Satellite Arts with Slaithwaite Community Association and has developed into a huge celebration of creativity, crafts and storytelling.

In the build-up to the unique finale on Saturday families spent the week making lanterns and taking part in other arts activities.

They then wrapped up warm to gather beside the canal to watch the moon lantern being floated on a raft, fished out and then carried in a procession around the village.

Gill said: “The conditions were really hard. We had intended to project onto the lanterns made in school but we were not able to do that.

“It was sad but we had to be realistic and in the end we projected onto the mill and it looked great.

“We had about 160 lanterns and we still did the procession around the village but it was shorter at 20 minutes.

“It was amazing that we were able to do what we did and at 6.15pm it stopped raining and we were able to use the fireworks.

“We still had the magic of the moonraking and raked the moon out of the canal and hoisted it up.

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“In the end it was down to the dedication of the team involved, working with the community to achieve it all.

“We did it and it will add into the lexicon of stories about the moonraking over the years.”