We were delighted when Friends of Parkinsons Park asked us to come along and lend a hand at their Lantern Parade! We were asked to lead a lantern making workshop, so people could come along and create their own lantern for the parade. To create 4 MASSIVE Guiseley landmark Lanterns and to run a Sound of the Mills workshop to form a junk yard band to accompany the parade!  



On the 26th November, we held a PWYC lantern making workshop at Guiseley Baptist Church open to anyone, and 25 lanterns were made!  We made pyramids and stars all decorated beautifully with coloured tissue paper and buckets and buckets of glitter!  They are going to look fantastic as they parade through the streets of Guiseley!

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Also in preparation, in the week running up to the Lantern Parade, we ran 5 Percussion of the Mills workshops with over 70 participants! Have a listen to the sheer volume of the band when they play... we recorded over 110 decibels!  In our workshop, we talk about the products and materials produced in mills and the mills of Guiseley. Mills were a massive part of life until the mid 20th century, there were once 12 mills in Guiseley alone and just as many in Yeadon. Today there is only 1 mill left in Guiseley, the world famous Moons. Friends of Parkinsons Park look after and use Parkinsons Park which is located behind the site of the old Parkinsons Mill. Frank Parkinson, the man behind the mill, gave the land to the people of Guiseley for their recreational needs. And whilst the mill has since been demolished, the park is still thriving!  In our workshop, we talk about the volume of the machinery and the repetitive nature of the sounds, very much like some of the samba rhtyms we use. 



To add a bit of magic and wonder to the parade, our Art Coordinator, Lucy Phillips, designed and built with a hand from  a team of happy helpers, 4 HUGE lanterns inspired by Guiseley Landmarks. With miles of teabag paper, several gallons of PVA glue, a huge bundle of willow and over 1000 fairy lights, these lanterns are going to be the talk of the town! do you recognise where they are from?  Take a look at the pictures below with a little bit of history and why they are so significant to Guiseley heritage.   

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Parkinsons Clock

Parkinsons Clock once sat on top of Parkinsons mill (which Parkinsons park was a part of) but now stands in a car park opposite the site of the mill as a tribute to Guiseleys industrial past. The mill used to make electrical goods until it closed in 2004 before being demolished in 2006. Theres tonnes of information about this Guiseley Great here on the Friends of Parkinsons Park website. Our clock tower is a tribute to a famous Guiseley man.

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Guiseley Wells Spout Stone

Guiseley Wells is home to an ancient spring, which without, Guiseley may never have even existed! The fresh water that continuously flows from the ground would have been what first attracted the ancient Anglo Saxons all those years ago and what persuaded them to set up camp! The wells were refurbished in 2004 to what we know today, but they have been in use since the 7th century!

Guiseley Theatre Button

This curious little quirk of Guiseley often goes unnoticed buy the hundreds of people who pass it every day! The button above the door of Guiseley Theatre has been there since the building was built 150 years ago, but nobody is sure why it is there! Some say it is to signify Guiseley's strong ties to the linen trade, others say it was to show off the craftsmanship of the masons of the time the building was built, some merely think it isn't a button at all but once held a gas lamp. Whatever the reason, we like it, and we don't feel it gets enough attention! So next time you pass the lovely old town hall, take a look at this bizarre button and let us know why you think it is there!

The De Warde Family Crest

This shield is well known by many and will mean different things to different people. It is the crest of Guiseley AFC, of Guiseley Cricket Club and Rugby Club. It is the school logo of St Oswalds Primary school and was once the Logo of Guiseley School. It is carved into the walls of St Oswalds Church (behind which a human skull was found!). It is fairly well recognised as the Guiseley Shield, but this shield belonged to a very important family who lived in Guiseley and who were the original patrons of the parish of Guiseley. They lived in what we now call the old rectory. The many generations of this family will have paid for much of Guiseleys most valuable assets that we still use today such as St Oswald Church and St Oswalds School, and helped put Guiseley on the map, turning it into the thriving town it is today!