Come and reveal your inner wind charmer on the Downs

French artist Laurence Payot
French artist Laurence Payot

There’s something rather intriguing about being in at the beginning of a brand new venture – especially one as whimsical as charming the wind and breathing life into the legends of tomorrow.

But that’s what French artist Laurence Payot hopes to achieve at the end of the month with Dunstable Wind Charming Day.

The Liverpool-based mother-of-one, who’s about to give birth to her second child, said: “The magic is that it brings people together to create something beautiful and out-of-the-ordinary.

“It’s about celebrating this special place and the people who make it, using the strong local wind as a metaphor for the invisible forces that connect us to each other and our environment.

“Each wind charmer will bring their own interpretations of what this new folklore means to them – through the creations of their costumes and personal stories – to become part of a collective visual performance, leading to the flying of a giant kite-like structure.

“For me, this event is about feeling alive, here and now, together.”

The initial wind charming event – called We Are Now – was held on Dunstable Downs last year and attracted a huge audience.

Laurence and her team of volunteers and enthusiasts are hoping to build on that this year, giving it a nudge towards becoming an annually celebrated local tradition, along the lines of well dressing and cheese rolling.

An initiation day was held recently to explain the wind charming concept and its black, white and silver colour components . . . ‘because wind is invisible.’

Mimi Wilson, 43, came all the way from Croxley Green for the occasion. The artist and mum-of-three said: “My work in the past few years has been about connecting with people in the community and this is another way they can join in.”

Claire London, 40, of Stuart Street, who’s joining Ashton Middle School as matron next month, said: “I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s very different, quite organic and not too constricted. It opens up your mind.”

Health care worker Deborah Young, 44, lives at the bottom of Dunstable Downs and loves everything about the area.

On the day, participants will be invited to dress in their own costumes, revealing how they regard the wind.

They’ll be encouraged to write wishes on long floaty strips of white paper which will be attached to the main structure, comprising kite-shaped triangles. It will then be lifted high into the sky above Dunstable Downs.

This, my friends, is how modern folklore is created.