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Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Last Spalding Flower Parade

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...
 ...and violins.
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.

Take care.


  1. Pleased to hear you are feeling well again. Although it may be the last it still provides lots of great sights and photo ops. You must have been pleased to be there.

  2. Oh what a shame about the tulips - there must have been a fair bit of panic behind the scenes! The floats look wonderful though but I think my favourite thing would be the cyclists - bygone age and all that! Great to hear that you're on the mend - hope you're having a bit of sunshine to help things along (it's grey here :( ) x Jane

  3. When I was teaching our school had a gala every year with floats etc and it took all year to organise but we didn't have to worry about tulips!

    So you are a Coulrophobic - apparently many people are. I wonder what a clown did in one of your past lives :)

    1. Thanks for letting me know what this is called. I've always been wary of clowns but I think watching Poltergeist and IT really knocked the nail on the head. Red haired clowns (like McDonalds) make me panicky. xx

  4. Doesn't everyone love a parade? It's a shame the tulips were scarce this year for this parade's finale but some of the floats were fun. We used to have a Canada Day parade in our rural community for many years and the floats were pure country style and not elaborate but fun. The kiddies sure enjoyed it though as they knew a fun day of festivities would take place at the school with fireworks to end the evening. I miss those days. We are in our 9th day of sunshine and warm weather here in New Brunswick. Spring is really bursting forth. I hope your weather improves Chel. Have a great week. Pamela

  5. The tulips, and most of the spring bulbs, have been quite late this year. I can't say I blame them for taking their time!

    This is a spectacular set of photos. And I loved the cyclists! Parades are always fun to watch, particularly if you like snapping pictures!

    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  6. Hi Chel,
    I'm so glad that you are feeling better and thanks for showing us the Spalding flower parade. I hope you have a good week.
    Julie, USA

  7. I thought it was a fun parade - but then I didn't see the floats that were so plain. It is a big job to put on a parade - and always fun to watch - in person or on a blog.

  8. What a fun parade! Isn't it sad when events and traditions come to an end. Hopefully they will be able to tweak things a bit and bring it back. The floats you showed us were very pretty. I especially loved the cyclists! Those bikes are just so interesting. Thanks for taking us to the parade with you. Glad to hear you are on the mend! Wishing you a healthy and warm week...:)

    Blessings, Vicky
    Life On Willie Mae Lane

  9. This must have brightened your day, but too bad this may be the parade's last appearance. You captured some great moments.

  10. That appears to be a lot of work going into this parade and many people giving their time to it. I hope it can come back reborn but it looks perfectly charming to me as I see it here. All of the past queens who appeared still look lovely and I agree that Miss Rutherford would have fit right in. I just watched two of her Miss Marples last week and got a kick out of her doing the twist on the dance floor. I must say she looked pretty good in her dance frock and in her riding habit.

    Glad you're feeling better. I love the look into England that you give this Tennessee girl!

  11. Parades aren't as popular as they once were. The Victoria Day parade here has always been a huge draw but I read in the paper that this year there is trouble getting all the bands to participate. The Santa Claus parade continues to be a hit, though. I thought the parade you showed looked like a lot of fun!

  12. Lovely photos of your 'last parade', Chel and glad you were feeling a bit better to get out and enjoy it all! You made me laugh when you mentioned you were afraid of clowns- my sister is, too, and we have teased her mercilessly about it over the years, poor thing! We have a similar parade here, called 'The Daffodil Parade' that came through in April with the flower petals. My children used to march in it when they were Girl and Boy Scouts. My son lost his shoe at the beginning one year and marched the whole way without it! (Don't ask me how he lost it, I haven't a clue!) I loved the stork and the heart floats. How exciting to have a new baby in the family, soon. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed your humor and all the colorful photos! Hope you feel better! xx

  13. Amazing floats and costumes, looks like a great event!

  14. How wonderful. Such a lot of work must go into all those floats and costumes. We used to have a carnival procession in Basingstoke years ago and it was great fun, with all the big companies trying to out-do each other with their floats but it it got too costly and fizzled out :(

  15. The pictures were really nice to look at, but maybe it's a good thing you made a selection for us, from what I read!

  16. Dear Chel,i'm happy you are feeling well again!What a beautiful parade!!Exellent photos and shots!Thank you for sharing!
    Have a lovely week!

  17. I'm sorry you caught the dreaded lurgy too, Chel. It seems to have spread its way around! I'm glad you're beginning to feel better.

    Thanks for sharing the parade with us. Fascinating stuff! :o)

  18. Chel, so glad you are feeling better. I love the parade photos. The floats and costumes are beautiful. Great series of photos. Have a happy week!

  19. Love the photos of the Parade. My parents used to go quite regularly but kept me at home! Glad that you're feeling better.

  20. I never made it to the parade when we lived in Lincolnshire and now it's no more. Kinda sad but I too can understand why. Great pics though ... such a pity the last parade was so short on tulips!

  21. Lovely photos of the parade - I especially like the heart one and that arrow <3
    I'm glad you're feeling better too xoxo

  22. What a colourful parade! And what a variety of floats! I love marching bands too - must be all of that time I spent playing flute in high school! You know what- the crepe paper was a good "fill-in" for the missing tulips. Just as vibrant and pretty.

  23. Well what a parade!!! It looked wonderful! Karen x

  24. Chel, What a fantastic parade! I enjoyed all your wonderful photos. The costumes and floats were beautiful! Thanks for sharing the last Spalding Flower Parade. Have a Happy Mpther's Day!


  25. What a great parade. I spotted the two Norwegians with their flags wearing their traditional costumes (leading the Irish marching band???). Warmed my heart!

    Love the 1960 Queen and that heart float. Lovely!

  26. I love a parade and you captured it beautifully - I don't like clowns either, especially that one in the circus with the pointed hat and harlequin suit - scarey stuff. Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better.


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