The Linthwaite Leadboilers Festival is about bringing residents of Linthwaite and the Colne Valley together, to celebrate “all things Linthwaite”.
I’ve lived here for about 19 years. Linthwaite always seemed to struggle with having a sense of identity. Without having a clear centre, it might be seen as a drive-through village, without people having a real reason to stop. But it’s a great place to live and there’s lots to celebrate. Pride in Linthwaite is all about making Linthwaite and the surrounding area a better place to live and work – somewhere we can be proud of.
A local festival had been tried previously, but it was scuppered by terrible weather and it never happened again.
This time there was a Facebook appeal: “Lets improve Linthwaite and do it together”. We wanted to embrace the history of the Leadboiler folklore story and its place in the Colne valley. This has created a unique identity for the festival and makes people feel proud of the village and where they live.
We had an organisational guru to get things going, so we were able to deliver the festival to a high standard. It was hard work, involving marshalling, first aid, setting up, packing up, litter picks and lots more.
It was good to see everyone having a good time. There was a real sense of community and it felt like Linthwaite was getting a sense of identity.
As well as the festival, Pride in Linthwaite organise lots of activities to give people pride in the area, including the Keeping Linthwaite Tidy group and Linthwaite in Bloom. Since lockdown there’s been a massive increase in people wanting to volunteer locally. We’ve given out more than twenty litter pickers, graffiti has been painted – the community suggested and organised that.
You need a good team to make things happen – people whose skills fit together well. There’s a driving force of a committee and people have clear roles. We break down the tasks for volunteers, so it’s not daunting. This means it’s easier for people to see the results of their efforts. We also make sure that we say thank you to the volunteers.
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Thank you to Liz for sharing this story after participating in one of our “How can more people come together to make local places better?” online workshops for Kirklees citizens.