Liquorice - Information and Uses
Information and Uses
This years festival will be 16th July 2005 Castle Day, 17th July Festival Day
pontefract Town Centre Management and Faceless Theatre Company worked together to bring together the 2001 Liquorice Festival. Faceless Theatre ran workshops with children, young people and community groups to create costumes, flags and giants sized puppets for a fantastic street parade.
The Festival is a day of music, colour and fun. It celebrates both pontefract and its history with liquorice, attracting international street performers, stalls, rides and music. The festival is a great day out for all and is growing each year.
In order to secure the long term sustainability of the festival the organisers have got together with the local community, business representatives and local arts organisations to form a charity and steering group who will present the biggest festival yet in 2003.
The whole community involves itself in the day, especially in the street parade where all ages create spectacular costumes and throw sweets into the crowd.
The best thing about the festival is how it successfully brings the community together and raises community spirit while at the same time attracting both the local public and outside visitors to the town of pontefract.
This years festival will be 16th July 2005 Castle Day 17th July Festival Day
Liquorice originated in the Middle East where it is still grown and was introduced to pontefract by the Crusaders in the 15th century.
At this time, Liquorice was grown in pontefract's priory by the monks for use in alchemy and herbalism. The monks had tried to grow Liquorice in many towns but it was only pontefract where it flourished. It is commonly thought that the reason liquorice grows in pontefract is due to the large amount of clay in the soil.
The liquorice bush is related to the pea family. The plants are grown in deep grips, long trenches to accommodate the extensive root (often stretching to over five feet) where liquorice is derived. The root is one of the sweetest substances known to man - 50 times sweeter than sugar cane.
Four centuries later thirteen factories in pontefract were producing liquorice. The liquorice industry went on to be one the towns biggest employers. Where as mining, another key industry, employed large numbers of men, the liquorice industry employed large numbers of women.
Liquorice was grown all around pontefract until the 1960's and now there are only two factories left. However the town of pontefract still celebrates the industry and it's history and is proud of it's status as the Liquorice Town.