Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Well-dressing in Frome, 2022

Posted on by royvickery |

There seems to be some confusion about when well-dressing started in Frome, Somerset, according to the 2022 well-dressing programme St Aldhelm’s Spring was first dressed in 1985, the year in which the town celebrated the 1300th anniversary of its foundation by St Aldhelm.  Similarly a notice near the Spring claims ‘since 1985 a welldressing has taken place here each year’.  However, on a display panel in St John the Baptist church it is stated ‘although possibly the idea of a Well Dressing grew out of the 1300 celebrations in 1985, the first Well Dressing did not appear until 1989’.

After ‘virtual’ well-dressings due to covid restrictions in 2020 and 2021 a ‘proper’ well-dressing was held on Saturday 28 May 2022, the Saturday nearest the feast of St Aldhem (25 May).  In the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year the theme of the 2022 dressing was ‘Faithful Service’.   Two panels were devoted to ‘the faithful who have been part of church life through the past and in the present, and to the service provided in the community by so many volunteers in different community groups and organisations’.  The two central panels were devoted to Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years of service.

Troughs placed in front of the panels contained flowers donated by children of St John’s Primary School – each child was asked to donate one flower.  According to the June 2022 edition of Inspire, the magazine of St John the Baptist, Frome, and St Katharine, East Woodlands: ‘St John’s School really pulled out all the stops with their wonderful troughs’, though ‘a team of St John’s flower people did a few tweaks and added a little cow parsley’ [Anthriscus sylvestris].

Photographs taken 4 June 2022.

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