MORE than 1,500 people soaked up the sunshine at the inaugural Sixpenny Handley Waistcoat Festival on Saturday.

Donning sparkly and colourful waistcoats, visitors flocked to the village to take part in the event, which was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Organiser Jenny Gordon said: “It was a fantastic day.

“The weather was amazing and everyone really embraced it.”

The festival commemorated the Sixpenny Handley ‘Great Fire’ of May 1892, after which clothes were donated to homeless villagers from neighbouring communities.

“When the village completely burnt down lots of the surrounding villages donated clothes,” Mrs Gordon explained.

“They used to say: ‘If he’s wearing two or three waistcoats you know he’s a Sixpenny Handley man.’ “That’s where the waistcoat theme came from.”

Following the success of the event organisers are hoping to hold another festival in two years’ time.

Mrs Gordon said: “It was such a successful day and such a lovely event we have decided to do it again in 2016.”