Last weekend was quite something wasn’t it? The Royal Wedding on Friday ended up being so addictive that most of us were glued to our TVs whether or not we had planned to do so. I would have been glued for longer but husband, in a concerted effort to distract me from my telly watching, decided to fall out of the loft. He was fixing a light I think, hadn’t put the ladders up properly, they slipped away and he tumbled out of the hole, scraping and bruising his arms in the process. Bloody man, can’t give me five minutes peace.
The huge national event of Friday was followed by a sizeable local event on Saturday. The Spalding Flower Parade has become one of our traditions since we moved to the area in 1988. Going over 50 years now, the parade used to be massive, with thousands of visitors descending on the town to see all the floats which were traditionally decorated in tulip heads, when the bulb business was at its peak in this part of the Lincolnshire. Now there are not so many local tulip fields so the heads are brought in from Norfolk but, even though the scale of the event has reduced over the years, it is still quite a spectacle.
In 2006, having watched for many years, the Burgess family began to get involved in the event. In that year, my amateur dramatic group, SADOS, had a music trailer in the parade to publicise our forthcoming musical, Oklahoma. Dougie and I helped to decorate the float, pinning tulip heads onto polystyrene boards. It was a laborious and intricate job: back-breaking work sitting on upturned crates in a cavernous dusty shed. Once decorated, I sang with the cast on the float as it travelled for three hours around the town, Dougie was a steward and leaflet-hander-outer and we managed to get Rory onto the float to wave, even though he wasn’t part of the cast. Both lads were heartily sick of “The Farmer and the Cowman Should be Friends” by the finish. In 2007 our show was The Witches of Eastwick. The photo here shows me and another of the three witches doing our stuff to entertain the crowds. This was the year that Rory joined a local kids’ drama group so he was having a ball on his own float instead of listening to me shrieking.
This year there wasn’t much local involvement as regards drama groups, schools etc which I think is a pity and hopefully will be reinstated. The floats, on the theme British Icons, were impressive as always and Dougie certainly enjoyed the Samba dancers in their revealing outfits, as did some old gentlemen in the crowd near us who perked up dramatically and almost required medical attention.
Rory went to the Parade with his own friends this year. I saw him pass us at one stage and I caught his expression which seemed to say, wave at me now mother at your peril. I waved.
For your delight I have managed to put together my shots from the day in a slideshow. Never done this before so, if it works, this could be a regular thing. Let me know which is your favourite float.