Scroggling the holly ceremony a festive spectacle in Haworth

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dressed as sweeps for the Scroggling the Holly ceremony in Haworth are Theodore Connides-Smith, five, and Thomas Nutter, six Dressed as sweeps for the Scroggling the Holly ceremony in Haworth are Theodore Connides-Smith, five, and Thomas Nutter, six

Christmas got into full swing at the weekend with a series of seasonal events across the Bradford district.

None was more entertaining than the traditional Victorian Scroggling the Holly ceremony in Haworth.

Hundreds of visitors, including Japanese tourists, enjoyed colourful entertainment from the Oakworth Morrismen, who then led a procession up the village’s cobbled main street for the crowning of the holly queen, 11-year-old Carrieanne Stott.

Father Christmas also made one of his first appearances of the season, walking through the church gates as they were opened in a traditional ceremony to allow Christmas through.

The narrow street was thronged on either side for its entire length as couples, young and old, and families, including toddlers and babies in pushchairs, looked for the best view. Dogs on leads, and even in arms, had turned up with their owners for the grand occasion.

The village beadle, Mike Hutchinson, dressed in his best finery and in good voice, despite feeling poorly, whipped up the enthusiasm of the crowd, which joined in with whoops, cheers and applause as the procession made its way slowly up the steep hill.

Youngsters carrying brooms and dressed as chimney sweeps joined the procession, along with an entourage of ladies in fetching plum-coloured Victorian dresses.

Bringing up the rear was the holly queen, attended by her green-clad holly princesses, all being ferried in style on a four-wheel marathon cart drawn by a blinkered and excellently behaved coloured pony called Goochie.

At the summit, the entourage gathered in a horseshoe in front of the church gates for the loudly-acclaimed crowning ceremony. The queen was welcomed with a traditional Victorian speech, read from an old yellow scroll, before Father Christmas made his grand entrance.

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