Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival

A festival of stories, lanterns, dancing, music and magic, to celebrate the outwitting of overly zealous customs men by local entrepreneurs.

Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival is the odd festival in the odd year! Inspired by 17th century legend of the Slaithwaite Moonrakers, it has a themed programme during February half term of lantern-making workshops and story-telling events building up to a grand finale including a procession of sculptural lanterns that animate the village and the raking of the moon from the canal with giant illuminations and fireworks. The festival involves many local people and promotes a positive and creative sense of place, fostering pride in the village and showcases storytelling from the intimate ‘Story Lounge’ to grand Moonraking re-enactment.
In partnership with Kirklees Libraries we successfully bid to the Clore Duffield Foundation for a grant to run ‘On the Road to Manchester’.  The main road that runs through the Colne Valley embraces two diverse populations:  the Huddersfield Town end and the Pennine Hills end. This project became a pathway for young people to get involved in the festival by exploring and experiencing storytelling through workshops and performances. It encouraged dialogue and new links between the primary and high schools; libraries; community organisations and the festival.
The schools programme of story-telling workshops was delivered by Gill Bond and Andy Burton from Satellite Arts and Susanna Meese from Telling Tales running up to the 2013 Festival. They explored the telling of stories working with words and images, incorporating shadow puppetry; poetry; lyrics and narrative to involve children of all abilities. The work was showcased alongside professional storytelling events as part of the festival programme.


[The ‘Road to Manchester’ project] brought storytellers from Satellite Arts and Telling Tales into 7 Colne Valley  schools exploring telling techniques enhanced with music, shadow puppets and props inspiring children to create and tell stories and teachers to use storytelling to aid learning development.


Outstanding Community Project 2013