Silsden fancy dress runner raises spirits and hits headlines

Silsden’s Mary Taylor is making regional and national headlines after bringing smiles to the faces of local residents over the last couple of weeks of the Coronavirus lockdown.

Mary, 38, is running several miles a day in and around Silsden – with a new fancy-dress costume on each day.

Outfits so far include Snow White, a devil, a butterfly, a bumble bee, a sailor, a unicorn and a pirate.

Mary told BBC Look North all the costumes are from her existing wardrobe, and she has plans to make some of her own when she runs out if the lockdown carries on.

“I’m sticking to government guidelines – this is my daily exercise,” she said. “I’m not touching any stiles, I’m definitely not touching anybody’s houses or anything like that. It is just literally going past and waving.

“I think it’s important for me to keep on doing what I’m doing because it keeps the morale in the village high, and I love the response of the children as well. They’re all just so excited, especially when they actually do spot me.”

On Thursday night, Mary put Silsden on the national map with an appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live as part of ‘The Extra Mile’ – a programme celebrating those who are raising spirits across the country. Click here to listen.

But it’s not just for fun – Mary is also raising money for Airedale Hospital through a JustGiving page, which has already raised £800 – that’s more than the original £500 target. Click here to make a donation.

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