Pebble party takes over weekend fun in Longridge

Oliver Croston.
Oliver Croston.
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Spirits were high and pebbles were a-plenty as children, parents and everyone in-between turned out for Longridge’s first ever Pebble Hunt.

More than 200 people headed on down to Longridge’s Civic Hall on Sunday morning (February 18) for a pebble painting competition, followed by a group trip down to the town’s John Smith Playing Fields for the pebble hunt itself.

Oliver Croston (top left) and AJ Walters (right) enjoying the Sunday hunt.

Oliver Croston (top left) and AJ Walters (right) enjoying the Sunday hunt.

Organised by creator of the craze Helen Heaton and Kirsty Timson Monks, Helen said: “We did a pebble trail but only printed 50 leaflets out not realising how popular the event would be!”

Helen added: “It was absolutely brilliant. Several hundred pebbles had been hidden on the playing field.

“It’s completely free, it gets people out in the fresh air and gets families to do things together...if it’s a bad (weather) day they can paint them.”

The pebble hunt comes after the town was gripped by pebble pandemonium in the last fortnight after creator of the craze Helen brought the quirky past-time to Longridge after coming across something similar while visiting Morecambe.

On the hunt.

On the hunt.

One pebble hunter, Oliver Croston, pictured, was delighted with his find, a finely detailed illustration of Mrs Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast. Another small rock star, AJ Walters, also pictured, got his hands on a well-detailed chipmunk-inspired rock piece.

Helen said: “It’s just really good for the kids, for the adults, for everyone to do together to get people out and about in the community.”

Prizes were dished out for the best painted pebbles for children aged two and under, three to six, seven to 10, 11 to 15, and 16+.

“We had winners but everyone’s creations were really great,” said Helen.

One of the first pebbles to be discovered, with Clare Jackson, Millie and Jacob Marsh.

One of the first pebbles to be discovered, with Clare Jackson, Millie and Jacob Marsh.

“We had lots of donations from local business for the prizes, including refreshments and crafts for the children and wine for the adult prizes.”

The popularity has spread online with the Facebook group supporting Longridge pebble art now made up of more than 800 members.

“That’s 800 adults and most if not all of them have kids,” said Helen. “There could be a couple of thousand people doing this.”

A pebble painting coffee morning in aid of Cancer Research has been organised at the Over 60s Club in Towneley Road on Saturday from 10am.

4 year-old Bobby Bristo rooting around

4 year-old Bobby Bristo rooting around

As for the future, Helen said an Easter event might take place. There are also potential plans to take the artwork to Beacon Fell in the summer when the weather is fairer.

Aliegha Harrison writes down a clue

Aliegha Harrison writes down a clue