This is always my favourite time of the year when everything is bursting into life; the trees are that vibrant fresh green and daffodils and spring flowers are colouring the landscape.
Here in the Fens spring means Flower Festivals. The churches in and round my town put on week long festivals when they are adorned with beautiful displays – usually themed. But more of that later.
When I was growing up this area was famous for its Flower Parade when decorated floats would wind through the town. Crowds would flock to our quiet little town in their thousands and would be four or five deep on the paths watching these glorious floats pass by.
This one – which is from a postcard – is from about 1981 and you can just spot me behind the Womble. At the time I worked for Midland Bank (now HSBC) and for the bank to get the Wombles to appear was a big thing then. The floats that went through the town were all of a comparable size in those days but as the years went on the floats became much smaller and less and less firms participated.
Sadly the parade ceased about ten years ago as the costs became just too great. To give you an idea, back in the early 80’s a float of this size would have cost about £10,000.
What we do have now are the Flower Festivals in the local churches which again is a tradition that will die out within a couple of generations. We visited a few churches last weekend and the average age of the helpers was late 60s, early 70s. There are no young people involved which is really sad. The displays in the churches are beautiful and so imaginative. Look at the flamingos made out of flowers – stunning.
This weekend we will be visiting even more – I’ll post more pictures in another post.