Published June 13, 2018 at 16:58
Whitworth’s traditional rushcart celebration will take place on September 2.
The annual procession – one of only four still held in the UK – starts at Whitworth Museum, North Street, at 1pm.
It will feature traditional morris dance troupes including the famous Britannia Coconutters and the Whitworth Morris Men.
The procession led by the rushcart will travel along Market Street before arriving at The Riverside at approximately 1.20pm. There the entertainment runs from 1.15pm to 4.30pm and includes stalls, morris dancing, Vale and Healey Youth Band, rides and an arts and crafts fair.
St Bartholomew’s Church will provide hot food and The Riverside bar will serve the real ale Grogan’s Delight in memory of former Honorary Townsman of Whitworth Jimmy Grogan who died in 2011.
Whitworth’s rushcart history goes back hundreds of years to when rushes were taken to church and strewn on the earth or stone flagged floor as insulation for the coming winter.
In the 1970s and 1980s the rushcart was the highlight of the Whitworth Fair week. The celebration now takes place on a Sunday afternoon rather than the traditional Friday night.
Whitworth’s rushcart is unique as it is the only one in the UK to be covered in heather, collected from the moors above Darwen, rather than rushes or tatters of cloth.