Painting the town red

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It was like stepping back in time in Melton Mowbray last Sunday as the town centre hosted its first Paint the Town Red event.

Families turned out for the celebration of Melton and country life - which took place right in the heart of the town.

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Hundreds of visitors flocked to the town centre to admire displays of countryside crafts such as willow weaving and wool spinning.

The event was a nod to the 1837 myth that the Marquis of Waterford ran riot in the town, painting the town’s toll-bar and several buildings red.

Event organiser Ruth Wakeling said she had received universally positive feedback - and was ‘thrilled’ with how many shops participated in dresing their windows red.

She said: “We’ve had no negative comments - all the feedback we’ve had has been fantastic.

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“It was wonderful to see a celebration of rural life take place right here in the town , and wonderful to have livestock in the centre again.

“Unfortunately it was just too hot for the dog show, but there was plenty for youngsters to do such as milk a pretend cow and meet the Belvior and Quorn hounds!

“There was even a reported 87 per cent increase in footfall in the town centre on Sunday, so it is wonderful to have supported local businesses.”

And shops in the centre went to town on dressing their windows red - for which Ruth highly commended them.

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She added: “It was a bizarre but wonderful sight to see all the shops with red-dressed windows. They pulled out all the stops, put in a lot of effort and were a real success.”

And, having proved it works, Ruth hopes to see the event back again next year.

She said: “I’d like to thank all the sponsors who allowed the event to happen.

“A big thank you also to all the stall holders and members of the public who turned out in the sweltering heat to make Painting the Town Red happen.”

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