August 1 2014 Latest news:
Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY
Photos by: STEVE WILLIAMS
Sunday, July 6, 2014
The floats were based, loosely, on television moments but in truth it was about colour, vivacity and fun.
And there were few on the floats or among the thousands flocking the streets of Wisbech who didn’t raise a smile at the sheer joy of the Rose Fair parade.
Dr Who vied with Thomas the Tank, Live Aid with the Royal Wedding, as the floats passed through streets in many places four or five deep with enthralled onlookers.
The rain which had threatened to dampen the day did nothing of the kind as dark clouds lifted and the sun broke through shortly before the first parade and stayed shining on the town for the second carnival parade three hours later.
In amidst the spectacular fun filled floats were ages crossing three, four or even more generations and not least among them the members of the Red Hat Society.
They proclaim themselves as “growing old disgracefully” and their warmth and humour have enlivened many a party in recent years.
One spectator said her daughter “kept calling this one the happy float” and there was not one among the participants who would disagree.
“The float was one of my favourites – it was really colourful with a nice upbeat boisterous feel about it. Well done ladies,” said the spectator.
This was the fourth year the ‘hatters’ had taken part, being joined this year by the Sunny Hunnys, the Ruby Reds, Sluice Women and even 50 Shades of Red and Purple – groups of like minded ladies who like to laugh!
“I would like to thank my wonderful Gadabout Girls for all of the help getting the float ready and for the constant support that they give me at all times,” said one of the Red Hat organisers.
Overall float winner was Krazy-Dayz Day Nursery who’s Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory float was testament to their energy – and their parents and nursery workers hard work.
But there was acclaim too for the other floats – especially the entry from Meadowgate School which entranced the crowds as they steamed through town with their Thomas the Tank engine float.
Tesco staff weighed in with a superb ‘Royal Wedding’ whilst Thomas Clarkson Academy students won friends aplenty with their Dalek float.
Begun in 1963, Rose Fair has become the highlight of the year in Wisbech with the town’s churches and tourist attractions hosting events throughout the week.
For charities it is also a way to boost membership and income – one charity, for instance, Fenland Alzheimer’s Society based in Wisbech reported it raised a whopping £1,134 during Rose Fair.
Their spokesman said: “We want to say a massive thank you to all the local businesses that supported our stall and gave prizes. In particular Priden Engineering who donated a brand new 28 inch TV and Top to Toe, Frankie & Bennys, The Light Cinema, Mendis and Hudson Leisure Centre who donated our star prizes.
“So nice to restore a bit of pride and see Wisbech so well supported and everyone working together to make it such a success.”