A QUIRKY Easter tradition honouring Winsford proud salty heritage will be returning this Good Friday.

The ritual known as ‘Good Friday Balls’ harks back to simpler times when local children would be given brightly painted steel balls by their salt-mining fathers for Easter.

Legend has it they were given in lieu of chocolate Easter eggs, as money was a bit more scarce back then.

Steels balls were vital in the salt-making process, where they were placed inside the huge brine evaporation pans to help prevent unwanted sediments forming.

The Good Friday gifting ritual, which is unique to Winsford, evolved from steel ball to all different kinds, like footballs and bouncy balls, though it sadly dwindled over time.

During work on the Winsford Neighbourhood Plan back in 2014, residents said the town should do more to celebrate its rich salt heritage, so the tradition was revived by the town council.

This Good Friday, March 29, Winsford town mayor, Ernie Welch, will be giving out balls to youngsters from 10am in Winsford Cross Shopping Centre.

Cllr Welch said: “I’m so proud to live in Winsford and it's great we've revived this lovely tradition.

“Here's hoping it continues long into the future."

This year’s event is sponsored by Compass Minerals UK, who mine salt in Winsford to this day.

Managing director, Gary Sinclair, said: “It’s great to continue this tradition within Winsford and support the community in celebrating its rich salt heritage.”