After over a week of 'the dreaded lurgy' where I could not bring myself to look at a computer screen, think...or even breathe, I felt well enough to venture out into the bright and warm outside world again, albeit briefly, to see the last Spalding Flower Parade. This is an annual event that takes place in Spalding, Lincolnshire, where floats are decorated with thousands upon thousands of tulips. However it was well publicised in the media that due to the lack of spring we have had, all the tulips are three weeks behind. This led to panic for the organisers as they had to come up with different mediums to decorate this last event. Apparently they received 200 bags of tulips in the end instead of their usual 1000! So, water bottle to hand in case of coughing fit, 'Val' poised and ready to take some photos, Mumsy, Mr and Miss Teenager ready, the parade started. Are you ready and sitting on a suitable deck chair?...here we go...It all started off with the Flower Queen's float. Crepe paper had been used in place of the tulips, apart from the pink ones on the edging.
And here she is...
Following behind was Miss Jersey's float.
Earlier in the year there was an appeal for the previous Flower Queens to come forward for the last parade, and some of them were on this float. The lady sitting on the right of the photo was the 1960 Queen.
Now, I loved these cyclists. These reminded me of the old black and white Miss Marple films (the ones with Margaret Rutherford in!).
And this man was resplendent on the old Penny Farthing.
This one was so cute with the little girl at the front. They certainly went about in style in the old days!
This man made us laugh as he was so far behind the others and all over the road! I wonder what was in that basket?...maybe a tipple or two?
And now the circus had come to town! There were lots of clowns...I am petrified of them so not too many shots of these!
And a fantastic float...again in crepe paper so you will need to use your imagination as in the past this would have been covered in tulips.
Dumbo was following behind.
Then of course the marching bands, it wouldn't be a parade without them.
How did that clown get there...and he is obviously having a tipple too!
This float was thought provoking for us as the stork will be bringing a little niece or nephew into the family in the next couple of weeks.
A great float.
Then came along the Chinese dragon.
Dancing and weaving through the streets of Spalding with the loud drum playing.
The float was a crowd pleaser.
A few more tulips had been used for this one.
Again a few more tulips for this float of hearts.
With the arrow running through it.
Then another marching band from Ireland.
And I do love to see a bear skin!
Stilt walkers had play fights with the children.
This float depicted a champagne bottle and cork firing.
And could this be...no...is it Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter??...No! but it made Miss Teenager suddenly spring back to life!
Now I do love a costume, and these certainly were spectacular. All the people here were in acting mode and strutted around.
These were amazing and were absorbing the crowds delight!
I just loved all the masks used.
Their float, we think, was depicting a Venetian masked ball.
This float was a rainbow with the pot of gold.
Then another band, not the marching type this time but banjo's...
Then of course, we had to have daffodils.
The last marching band.
And finally the last float which I think was letting us know that the time had come to finish.
I have been to a few of the Parades over the 11 years I have lived here and I can understand why this is the last and they have to re-think it. It is not a spectacular, vibrant parade like others in the country and has seemed some years to be quite dated. It was interesting to see that the biggest cheers and smiles came from the Chinese float, the Venetian Ball and the Circus entries. These were the ones that were more vibrant and interesting. There were quite a few floats that didn't make it to my camera card as there was no thought at all to their entries (one having some 'princesses' on a very plain float eating ice cream with no interaction at all with the crowds). I do hope that they do something in the future for the sake of the town.
And so, yes, I made it to the end of this blog post so things must be getting back to normal. I need to catch up with things in Blogland and see what you have all been up to!
Have a wonderful weekend and week and hopefully normal business will be resumed next week.