Hundreds of people turn out for Morley Gin Festival

Gin lovers, Nicola Thompson, Jenny Nixon, and Trudie Silson, having fun at the event.
Gin lovers, Nicola Thompson, Jenny Nixon, and Trudie Silson, having fun at the event.

More than 500 people turned out for the Unique Gin Festival as it took over Morley Town Hall this weekend.

Each of the visitors were treated to a classic gin and tonic on arrival, received a souvenir gin class and had the chance to meet the distillers of their favourite brands.

Gin lovers, Emily Salt, Tom Dalton, and Katie Kilner, having fun at the event.

Gin lovers, Emily Salt, Tom Dalton, and Katie Kilner, having fun at the event.

There was also live music and a ‘barmy bingo’ during which guests could win a gin hamper and a life-sized cut-out of Robbie Williams.

Olivia Horne, the 18-year-old owner of the Unique Gin Festivals business, said: “It went great and ran really smoothly. People flooded in and there were even queues outside the door.

“We really get involved with our guests. In fact, I got four people up on stage to do a macarena on Saturday and it was my highlight of the day.

"I would say we are the first to have that level of interaction with our guests and people seem to really like it."

Miss Horne decided to create her own business after dropping out of art college and then working full time at her parents' pub in Driglington.

Morley Gin Festival held at Morley Town Hall.

Morley Gin Festival held at Morley Town Hall.

Being from a family of event runners, she got the idea for her own business after hosting a gin stall at one of their beer festival events.

Now she balances her growing company alongside working full-time at the pub - but despite Saturday's success, she insists it wasn't an easy start.

Miss Horne said: "I'm one of the youngest people in the gin event industry as I am only 18-years-old.

"It was hard to get support at first when I went to meetings because when people saw how young I was they would send me to the wrong person or mess me about. I had to send my dad to some meetings in the end which was really demoralising.

Festival glasses and guide for the event at the Morley Gin Festival held at Morley Town Hall.

Festival glasses and guide for the event at the Morley Gin Festival held at Morley Town Hall.

"But when I hosted the first even at Morley Town Hall last year and I stood on the stage in front of all those people, I thought 'I can do this'

"I work really hard to make this work and now I want to expand and become bigger than ever.”