Ordsall residents celebrated 25 years of lantern festival Lighting the Legend with a photographic exhibition commemorating an event that has seen over 20,000 people fill the Salford streets with lanterns.
In 1994, Ordsall saw the birth of Lighting the Legend as a celebration on bonfire night. It was set up by Ordsall Community Arts and Ordsall Hall to provide local people with a themed celebration. Its name was inspired by the legend that Guy Fawkes stayed at Ordsall Hall during the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
Its quarter-century anniversary in November was inspired by the true story of Ordsall Peacock; a beautiful bronze sculpture that stood in the entrance of Ordsall High School from 1961-1988. Funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund allowed the restoration of the bird sculpted by artist Gertrude Hermes.
The festival has been lauded for its work with schools and children, with one resident stating: “It’s a real joy to watch the children creating together and enjoying themselves and the excitement of the lantern that they make and get to carry themselves through the parade.
“There is a lovely sense of family involvement and it is one event in Ordsall that literally brings everyone out together to enjoy.”
Gail Skelly, Project Manager of Ordsall Community Arts, who has been involved with Lighting the Legend for fifteen years says: “It’s crucial that people feel involved in something which creates such a strong sense of community spirit.”
Ms Skelly said: “It was hectic out on the grass in front of the Hall – we had so many children involved!”
The exhibition included photographs from the Legend’s most prominent years such as 2004’s ‘Heart and Soul,’ inspired by the close community spirit in Ordsall
The people of Ordsall take great pride in their heritage, with each year founded upon another pillar of its illustrious past.
One resident said of 2011’s 700 Years of Ordsall Hall: “I think this show was the best one! It is really important to the locals due to its history. It is, like bonfire night, a tradition now and an event each year that creates an enormous sense of community spirit within Ordsall.”
Ordsall Hall is well-renowned for its regular Ghost Nights and Haunted Evenings, with Guy Fawkes rumoured to have stayed at the Hall during the infamous plot.
For more information on events at Ordsall Hall, check out their official website.