Thousands of people flocked to Marsden Cuckoo Day on Saturday (April 22).

The festival heralds spring and builds on the myth that in the past when Marsden villagers spotted a cuckoo they tried to build a huge wall round its nest to make it stay so good weather would remain forever.

Sadly, the wall wasn’t big enough and the bird flew away which is why you see on Marsden Cuckoo Day the slogan “it were nobbut one course too low” suggesting just another layer of stones would have been high enough.

There was music and activities all day before the cuckoo procession through the village featuring Marsden Silver Prize Band and percussionists Banda Na Rua World Street Band.

This was followed by a fundraising duck race with the ducks tipped into the River Colne at Mellor Bridge and proceeds going towards the Cuckoo Day costs.

Live music organised by The Riverhead pub started at 5pm and then shifted to Marsden Mechanics in the evening from 7.15pm to 9.15pm with the 16-strong Marsden Swing band playing pop, funk, Latin and R&B. Entrance was by donation with the money going to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal.

  • Words and pictures by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting