Remembering THAT Chesterfield well dressing, one year on
Today marks a year since Chesterfield was thrust into the international spotlight - over a tribute to Princess Diana.
Made from materials including cow parsley, leaves and egg shells, the display was unveiled in the Market Place as part of the town’s well dressing celebrations.
Reporter Dan Hayes, who broke the story, said: “For one very special week last September the town was at the centre of the world’s attention and it was amazing.
“I did feel for the people who created it as their skill was ridiculed in the national press.
“But as far as I was concerned it put Chesterfield on the map.
“It was the undoubted highlight of my time at the DT,” fondly recalled Dan, who now works for the Sheffield Star.
Some said the well dressing looked more like prime minister Theresa May than the People’s Princess.
Others compared it to Rod Stewart, Clare Balding and Worzel Gummidge.
TV show This Morning came to the town to gauge reaction - and folk didn’t hold back.
“It's downright disgusting,” fumed one lady.
“It will look better from a distance - from Birmingham,” a fella shouted.
“It’s those eyes that bother me,” another shopper added.
On social media, where it’s so easy to be savage, many people criticised the ‘awful’ display, which was revealed during the 20th anniversary year of the death of Princess Diana
However, Chesterfield Borough Council hit back with a spokesperson saying at the time: “All art is meant to be a talking point and that certainly seems to be the case with this year’s design.
“The well dressing is designed to attract visitors to the area and if the publicity encourages more people to come and visit the market and local shops then that can only be good for Chesterfield.”
The spokesperson added that the well dressing was made by a group of 14 volunteers who between them spent around 120 hours producing it over five days.
In a column, DT editor Phil Bramley said: “People on Twitter and Facebook write the cruellest things that they would never dream of saying to the person they’re discussing. Tweeting jibes is easy. Volunteering your time to create, to actually DO something, is harder and infinitely more commendable.”
This year’s well dressing celebrations include a poignant tribute to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
It is rightly receiving much praise.