The ‘leper’ parade is coming

Joseph Bulmer

AN UNUSUAL ‘ugly’ pageant and medieval banquet will turn the clocks of Taddiport back to the 14th century on Saturday.

The town’s historical origins as a leper colony will be relived in order to raise funds for guests of honour LEPRA, the national leprosy aid organisation.

Nicolette Dawson, a spokeswoman for the charity, explained: “One person is diagnosed with leprosy every two minutes and millions are living with leprosy related disability caused by late diagnosis or poor treatment.”

The annual Leper Ball will take place at The Loft in Taddiport and all funds raised will go to LEPRA to help victims of the disease.

Residents will honour the town’s heritage by dressing as ‘lepers’ and parading the streets before tucking into a ‘beggars banquet’ of sausages and cider.

A minimum donation of �3 is required on the door, and visitors are invited to dress as peasants, complete with spots and sores, should they wish to.

The event is the invention of local artist Shan Miller, who hopes it will bring the town’s history alive in a fun way as well as raising funds to help those suffering from the disease.

The event will coincide with World Leprosy Day, on January 29.