The Huddersfield area is rich in quirky festivals celebrating events that sometimes happened decades if not hundreds of years ago.
For example, every two years the village of Slaithwaite celebrates its Moonraking Festival.
Its inspiration dates back to the beginning of the 19th century, when the newly built canals became handy smuggling routes.
The story goes that one night a band of smugglers were caught fishing their contraband out of the water by local militia. They avoided arrest by claiming they had been trying to catch the moon, which was reflected in the water. From then on, “moonraking” became a term for sneaking goods.
Not all our festivals have quite such exotic beginnings. Tomorrow is Lindley’s Apple Day and its origins go back to 21 October, 1990, when an event was held in Covent Garden, London, designed to celebrate the variety and richness of a particular area. Its symbol is the apple and the idea is for residents to be reminded of their local heritage.
The idea caught on and now hundreds of such events take place every year on October 21 when apples are linked to their place of origin. In addition residents are reminded that apples come from orchards and not supermarkets and every attempt is made to recognise local ones.
Lindley’s event will take place next to Lindley Tap Bar and Grill on Lidget Street from 10am-4pm. As usual volunteers will be pressing apples, giving out juice and doing ‘apple-themed’ activities including apple bobbing, an apple hunt and an apple pie competition.
Residents are encourage to bring their spare apples and a container which will be pressed into juice for them to take away.
And when they have had enough apple fun there’s a rare chance to visit Lindley’s famous Clock Tower which will be open from noon to 4pm.
Visitors will be able to climb the spiral staircase, with 69 steps leading to a viewing platform and balcony just below the clock mechanism. The tower has four clock faces, with the corner buttresses representing the eternal virtues of Faith, Love, Purity and Justice.
The Grade II* listed tower was commissioned by James Nield Sykes and designed in the Art Nouveau style by his nephew, the famous Manchester-based architect and artist, Edgar Wood. The tower was commissioned in 1901 and was built the following year.
The clock’s original mechanism was replaced by the mechanism from the former Huddersfield Market Hall clock in 1970, with new electric chimes being switched on.
The opening event will coincide with Lindley Library Open Day, organised by Lindley Library Community Group whose aim is to ensure the library remains open. It will be held at Lindley Library from 10am-2pm. Expect crafts and stalls.