Ormskirk Gingerbread Festival 2016

tiFive Gingerbread Men


What a fabulous day! Went for 1 hour and stayed for 4

Town Crier

This is one of the many responses from visitors to Ormskirk Community Partnership’s Gingerbread Festival on Saturday 30th July in Ormskirk town centre.

People came from all over the area intrigued to see what a Gingerbread Festival was and what Ormskirk had to offer.  Both the Mayor of West Lancs. Cllr Liz Savage and the Town Crier gave the waiting audience clues as to why Ormskirk was famous for Gingerbread and then the Festival was declared open.

“Entertainment was first class”

Well plenty of entertainment was on offer for a start.  The ukulele band played by the Clock Tower, the Community Choir sang in the Event Square and lots of fun was had watching the Lancashire Revels performing their Ormskirk based play.  The magician puzzled the children with his magic tricks and the Tataika band turned up unexpectedly and so we had to hurriedly find them a performance space.

Clowns, jugglers, face-painters, vintage games and the Ormskirk Gingerbread Lady’s stall with more games, all free of charge were there and, as one family said, “That’s our Saturday sorted for the kids.”

“The Gingerbread model looks fab.”

Gingerbread Man

Located on the plinth, was a full-size Gingerbread model to remind everyone that Ormskirk is famous for Gingerbread.  Families waited patiently to photograph their children alongside the model or could pop into Max Speilman’s shop for a snap next to a Gingerbread cut out.  Similar full-size models will be located around the town, with one already in place to greet passengers at Ormskirk Railway Station and another will take pride of place on Wetherspoon’s balcony in the near future.

Around the town, there were heritage exhibitions, a Makers Market and Gingerbread themed food and drink were on sale. There was a chance to win a ceramic Gingerbread model by entering Ormskirk Community Partnership’s Spot the Shop competition, where the children had to search for shops showing a numbered Gingerbread picture.

“Amazing sense of community”

It was good to see so many families turn up to support our Festival Day.  One person wrote in to say what a great day it was and that he loved the happy atmosphere in the streets.  It just goes to show that Ormskirk can still attract the crowds.  Having celebrated the market in the Love Your Market Day in May, the Festival was the latest in a series of events to encourage people to visit and shop in our town.  Ormskirk Community Partnership would like to thank those who came to support our event, shops and businesses who provided Gingerbread goods and activities and sponsors including West Lancs Borough Council and Edge Hill University who provided the funding for our entertainers.

It was all summed up by a comment on Facebook –

“Absolutely loved it.  Well done Ormskirk.”

Irene Slack on behalf of OCP’s Gingerbread Team


 Ormskirk Community Partnership was given £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to bring schools and the community together through the Ormskirk Gingerbread Project.

 We have worked in and for the community for several years and are proud of our track record.  We've organised projects for children in our local primary schools, sponsored community events, and produced Ormskirk's Town Guide.

 Lottery funding provides a unique chance for schools, voluntary groups and the community (including shops and businesses) to work together on a venture to develop a sense of local history.  The project will explore the heritage of Ormskirk, highlighting buildings and sites with historical interest, and look at places connected with gingerbread.

 With its mix of educational and commercial involvement, the project aims to forge close links between all our local schools and voluntary groups and our local shops and businesses.  Working together to create an “Ormskirk Gingerbread Brand” will help stimulate the local economy whilst developing a pride in the local area.

 If you are interested in our project and would like to help or get involved, please get in touch with Ormskirk Community Partnership.

Since 2014, the Ormskirk Gingerbread Project has made considerable progress.  Much of our work involved the local Primary schools, which culminated in the first full-size Gingerbread model being installed. 



  • A schools’ competition to design a Gingerbread model led to a prizegiving in Ormskirk Library with presentations made to the winning entrant from each local Primary School.
  • From these seven winners, an overall winner was chosen and the name announced at a special evening in the Mayor’s Parlour.  Adrianna Usher from Town Green School won a full-size model to her design for her school.  All entrants won a ceramic Gingerbread figure printed with each child’s unique design.
  • In January 2015, the full-size model was unveiled by the Mayor at a ceremony at Town Green School.  OCP Gingerbread group made a PowerPoint presentation at a special assembly.
  • In conjunction with Kevan Wiggins, ceramic models were made in various colours, individually boxed, which could be sold locally.

Heritage Website:

  • Regular meetings were held with primary school teachers and the format of the website agreed.
  • OCP provided funding for teachers to be released to attend website training.


  • Using our Lottery funding, we purchased a gazebo and display boards and so were able to organise a Gingerbread display at the Park Praise event in Coronation Park in 2014.  This attracted a lot of interest which was enhanced by the giving out of free Gingerbread.
  • A display showing the work of OCP was shown at the 2015 CVS AGM at Edge Hill University.
    Don Evans
  • We provided a stall at the Ormskirk Dance Festival in Coronation Park on Saturday 4 July 2015.  Featuring our Ormskirk Gingerbread Project, the stall displayed our soon-to-be on sale ceramic Gingerbread models.  Based on the traditional gingerbread man design, these models can be ordered in several colours and Team Gingerbread is confident that they will become instant collectibles.
  • Our stall also showed the work of local primary school children in our Gingerbread competitions and aerial maps of Ormskirk in the 70s.  Visitors were able to sample biscuits baked to the original Ormskirk recipe by The Dutch Bakery (now available from Scott's the Butchers in Church Street) and take home a free copy of the new edition of OCP's Town Guide.
  • A full-size copy of the first Gingerbread model was unveiled and was visited by the Mayor of West Lancashire, Councillor Nikki Hennessy, her Consort, and Don Evans the Town Crier.

More Gingerbread Models:

  •  Using the Lottery funding, we were able to commission 2 more full-size Gingerbread models.
  •  The new Spar shop purchased a model and celebrated the opening of the shop with a Gingerbread event which was featured in the Advertiser.  The competition to design their Gingerbread Man was won by Hannah Warburton.
    Hannah at Spar

Wetherspoons new pub in Ormskirk, The Court Leet, is partly decorated with a Gingerbread Man and they are planning to buy one our models for it.

  • Merseyrail have installed a model Ormskirk Railway Station.

  • O2, Aspire, Santander and Edge Hill University have also expressed interest in purchasing models.

Promotional DVD and Video

  • Edge Hill Students have made a Gingerbread promotional video.

Workshops For Local Primary Schools

Using Lottery funding, Ormskirk Community Partnership Gingerbread Team was able to say thank you to the schools who were finalists in the Design a Gingerbread Model Competition, by funding a workshop for each school.

Angie Thompson, a local illustrator, was able to go into each school for a full day to work with Infant and Junior pupils.  Some workshops highlighted architectural and historical features of Ormskirk, others the history of Ormskirk’s Gingerbread Ladies.  All were linked with the History/Geography and Literacy Curriculum.  The children then produced their own art work and Angie has featured the finished work on her website.

Angie reports that the workshops were very successful and great fun.  Next, we hope to be able to put the children’s work on display in the Library or even have a pop-up gallery in an empty shop.

To see the children’s work just click on to Angie’s site –


Irene Slack

On behalf of the Gingerbread Team