Minster meets Waterloo in festival of flowers ...

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Halifax Minster will be the magnificent setting for a feast of floral displays as it joins forces with Halifax Flower Club to stage a Flower Festival in commemoration of the Battle of Waterloo.

The colourful – and beautifully scented – event will take place from Friday, June 19 to Sunday, June 21 and celebrate the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment and the bicentenary of the most famous battle of the Napoleonic wars.

This comes as part of a commemoration weekend in Halifax with the Dukes – now the Yorkshire 1st Regiment – receiving the Freedom of the Borough on Saturday, June 20, and the re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo on Manor Heath Park that same evening. A new exhibition about the battle will also be unveiled at Bankfield Museum.

The Minster promises to be a floral extravaganza with flower arrangements, trees and even a life-size willow sculpture of a horse, filling every corner.

There will be 10 separate sections in all, inspired by themes including Remembrance, Enlistment, Homestead, India and Afghanistan.

Janet Ratcliffe, a member of Halifax Flower Club said: “The font will be decorated and so will the main altar, which will have the theme of ‘peace’, and there will be trees down the centre aisle, so all in all it should have a lot of impact. We are choosing flowers for their colour and scent to represent the various themes. Hopefully it will be visually stunning and people will instantly see the impact as they come into the Minster.”

The willow horse has been designed and created by local sculptor, Sue Hiscoe. Sponsors include Calderdale Council, Harvey’s of Halifax, Dean Clough, The Duke’s Association and Calderdale Community Foundation. The Festival will be opened on Thursday 18th June at 7.30pm by Dr Ingrid Roscoe, Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

Canon Hilary Barber, Vicar of Halifax Minster said: “I’m delighted the Minster is able to host this special festival to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Halifax Minster is the spiritual home of the former Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, now part of the Yorkshire 1st battalion.

“The Duke’s recruited most of the men who went to fight from Halifax and West Yorkshire. It feels right as the Colours hang in the Minster we should still remember those who gave their lives all those years ago.”