50th year for Leeds town’s Easter cross tradition

CHERISHED TRADITION: The Cross on Otley Chevin, pictured in 2013.
CHERISHED TRADITION: The Cross on Otley Chevin, pictured in 2013.
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the famed Otley Chevin Cross will be raised again as the town’s Easter tradition reaches its 50-year milestone.

The cross, which will be erected on top of the Otley Chevin, was originally built by local Methodist Lay Preacher and funeral director D. B. Good in 1968.

After many years of wear and tear, the cross was replaced in 1998 by a local craftsman, Brett Thompson. He used timber from the Manchester Arndale Centre to pay tribute to those who had lost their lives in the 1996 IRA bombing of the building.

The cross will also pay tribute to those who were killed in the 2017 terrorist attack at Manchester Arena last year.

John Burland, former secretary and volunteer for Churches Together Otley (CTO) said that the tradition was significant for the community, particularly those who may have lost loved ones. He said: “It’s become part of life in Otley and we have excellent support from the community when we put it up and take it down.

“There are significant things going on in the lives of others. For people who are in the hospital, the event gives them hope after having operations. It also helps those who have lost relatives with the grieving process, because a lot of people come and leave floral tributes up there.”

The event will take place on Saturday, March 17 at Otley Chevin. Hot cross buns will be served underneath the Buttercross in Otley Market Place, as well as booklets about the History of the Cross.

CTO is looking for 60 volunteers to help raise the cross and load sections of the structure into a wagon to be taken up the hill. Anyone who is interested should meet at Courthouse Street at 9am or at the top of Otley Chevin at 9.30am.