THOUSANDS of people lined the streets to celebrate a historic religious festival.
The annual Buckley Jubilee celebrated its 159th year as the town’s churches took to the streets for a parade which first began in 1857.
Author Thomas Cropper wrote in 1923 that the Buckley Jubilee was the town’s “great day of the summer, and is as fixed as Christmas is in winter”.
And so it proved once more as a procession underneath the banners of the churches wound its way through the town in another colourful parade, which traditionally takes place on the second Tuesday of each July.
Children enjoyed time off school to attend the jubilee, alongside many residents and former residents of the town, many of whom return each year to join in with the event.
Jo Hallam, who attended the event with her children, said: “It’s wonderful to see everybody out here. I’m just glad that the weather has managed to hold off.”
Brian O’Keefe said: “Buckley just wouldn’t be the same without its parade and the jubilee. It’s a highlight of the year.”
The parade began at 3.15pm following a 3pm service led by the Rev Neil Kelly on Higher Common.
Pentrobin Methodist Church led this year’s procession and was followed in turn by the Drury Lane Methodist, Emmanuel Church, St Matthew’s Church, Our Lady of the Rosemary, St John’s United Reformed Church, Buckley Cross Methodist, Bistre Methodist and Bryn Methodist churches.
A street collection taking place on the day raised money for Hope House Children’s Hospices.
David Anglesea, who has been the organising secretary for 46 years, said there was a “buzz about the town” because of the event.
He said: “It was a very successful jubilee, a truly great day. The weather was fine, the crowds lined the streets, the churches were on the common and the Rev Neil Kelly took the service, while the Royal Buckley Town Band led the procession.
“While it is a Christian festival, it’s also a family day. The atmosphere was great.
“We were delighted with how it went and we’re now looking forward to next year which will be the 160th year.”
This Sunday will also see the annual Jubilee hymn singing festival take place at St Matthew’s Church from 8pm, to be led also by Mr Kelly.