The Bruton Spiral of Light 2014 in Pictures

5th February 2014 | Photographs by Ben Taylor & Matt Rawlingson Plant

On the Saturday 1st February 2014, Bruton welcomed back its iconic Spiral of Light festival. Now in its 18th year, the event helped to raise funds for the Unicef Syria Appeal. Localeyez photographer, Ben Taylor, and Mill on the Brue Director, Matt Rawlingson Plant shot the evening in a series of photographs, capturing the true essence of the festival, as Bruton braved the winter cold to celebrate the return of the light.

The ancient Bruton Dovecot, and the hill on which it stands, were lit up by a beautiful spiral of flares to mark Candlemas Day. This Candlemas festival marks the midpoint of winter, halfway between the shortest day and the spring equinox, and celebrates the arrival of spring. The festival originates from pre-Christian times when it was known as the feast of lights. It was the day of the year when all candles to be used in church during the forthcoming year were taken in to be blessed. Not only did candles provide light, but some believed they offered protection against illness, plague and famine.

Beginning with the Candlemas Service at St. Mary's Church Bruton, a procession from the church to Jubilee Park Bruton, and concluding with a stunning fireworks display, visitors were treated to a feast for senses. This included live drumming courtesy of Drum it up and Drum West (Tanya Sherriff, Bob Spode, Katie Harris, John Ruddock, Noel Radford and Giles Penny), live music, fire twirling by Nina Harper and Ana Cerrato, and the fireworks display orchestrated by Euphoria Pyrotechnics (Reuben Chappell and Steve Hawkins).

If that wasn't enough, there was delicious food on offer from Pizzarova (Alex Corbett and his team),
Mill on the Brue (Matt and Tricia Rawlingson Plant, Dan and Stuart), and Taste Catering. Many thanks also to Nick Marson, Claudia Christensen, and Clare Chapman for running the drinks stall. All profits from the food sales were generously donated to Unicef Syria Appeal.

The Bruton Spiral of Light
Photographed by Ben Taylor

Organising the Bruton Spiral of Light
The Bruton Spiral of Light wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of all its sponsors, and the organising team who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring the event into manifestation. Big thank yous are due to: Fiona Youngman for organising insurance, licences and everything else. Flora Rawlingson Plantfor her vision, commitment, community liaising and organisation.

Everyone at the Bruton Festival of Arts team for allowing The Spiral of Light to be a Bruton Festival of Arts Event. Caroline Tickner for designing the poster and doing publicity.

Rachel Carr-Hill for approaching local businesses for sponsorship and Vincent Evans for collecting sponsorship at The Green Monkey Gallery

Vicki Plant for creating the Community Office window display. The Brue Valley Rotary Club for stewarding, and Tim Russell for keeping the peace.

Jackie Brooks Artist and Theatre Designer in Bruton
Photographed by Matt Rawlingson Plant

Setting up the event and planting the flares
The Bruton Spiral of Light organising team would also like to thank all those people who helped set things up on the day. These include Dave Williams, Giles Penny, James Robinson, Noel Radford, Jason King, Zack Balls and Phil Simpson who braved the high winds, rain, and rainbows, to put up and take down the flares.

Thank you to Father Justin and Sarah Bailey for taking Candlemas service at St. Mary's Church Bruton, Harry Mills for organising the choir and music for the Candlemas service, and Natalie King and her singers from Bruton Primary school. Mike Boden of Temporary Power (Events) for the outside lighting. Robin Balme of Potent Productions Ltd for providing the inside lighting at the Jubilee Park Pavillion.

Thank you to Phil Harry for organising the performers, and to Rosie Perrett, Daniel Higginson and Calum Oliphant from Sexey's School for their musical entertainment.

Heavy artillary - rocket launchers ready to light up the sky
Controllers, rocket launchers and other heavy artillery - Euphoria Pyrotechnics set up the fireworks (Photographed by Ben Taylor)
Illuminated trees, precession to Jubilee Park and delicious food
Photographed by Matt Rawlingson Plant
The drummers get ready to call in the light
The drummers get ready to call in the light (Photographed by Ben Taylor)
Fire Goddesses celebrate the returning light of spring (Photographed by Matt Rawlingson Plant)
Oooh, Ahhhh ... Wow, Wee! Amazing fireworks light up the Bruton Dovecot
Oooh, Ahhhh ... Wow, Wee! Amazing fireworks light up the Bruton Dovecot (Photographed by Ben Taylor)
The fire twirlers dance in the light
The fire twirlers dance in the light
Boudicca on the Bruton Dovecot
Another take on the Bruton Spiral of Light (Photographed by Ben Taylor)