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Pendle hosts record-breaking gathering of witches
ALMOST 500 witches took part in a spellbinding world record attempt to mark the 400th anniversary of the Pendle Witch trials.
An official Guinness World Record attempt for the largest gathering of people dressed as witches proved a success, with officials counting 482. A minimum of 250 were needed to enter the record books.
The attempt marked the start of the annual Pendle Witch Walk, which saw 1,300 people join a two-hour circular hike to the Pendle Hill summit. And to make the day extra special, a 100ft ‘1612’ appeared on the side of the hill commemorating the anniversary.
‘Witches’ had to have a black pointy hat, black cloak and broomstick, but many went the extra mile with painted faces and fake noses. Even pets wore wings and witch costumes.
Organiser Julian Jordan said: “It was an amazing spectacle and quite surreal. There was a real ‘wow’ factor about the day, especially with the giant 1612 installation. It was great to see so many people making an effort.”
The day raised around £30,000 for Pendleside Hospice through walkers’ sponsorship, registration and stalls.
The striking 1612 numbers were the work of Barrowford artist Philippe Handford. He and a team of four volunteers, including his 12-year-old son Eduard, climbed the hill at first light and spent over five hours putting the 1,250m of white material – used to frost-proof plants – into place.
Philippe said: “So many people have told me how impressed they are with it. It’s nice to get such a positive response, even from the sceptics.”
The numbers will stay in place until Wednesday.
Walkers received a commemorative medal. A concert of live music and acts was also enjoyed by many.
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