Ready for Rose Queen Festival: Sat 30 June

The retiring junior queen Alice Bell

Whaley Bridge’s Rose Queen Festival, is getting closer. The parade and main day is on Saturday 30 June.  Organisers, buoyed with a committee of new and old members, and many new ideas, are looking forward to one of the best carnivals in years.

John Barnes, veteran chairman is back at the helm, delighted with the team around him. He is concentrating on getting the best out of this traditional event.

On Saturday 30 June, the new ‘royalty’ arrive on the Judith Mary at the canal basin (1pm) for the start of the procession and parade round the town (2pm), then the  crowning  ceremony at the Bowling Club later in the afternoon.

Rose queen elect, Annabel Grace Wilde with princess elect Carys Thater. Picture by Peter Cull.

The new Rose Queen is Annabel Grace Wilde, 12, She attends Chapel en le Frith High School, and is ‘looking forward with excitement’ to her special year.  Her interests are football, netball, tennis and dancing.  The attendant is five-year old Amelia Carden-Howe. 

Princess is Carys Thater, aged eight.  She was born in America, but has lived  in Whaley Bridge for four years.  She enjoys art and design, gymnastics, animals and nature.  Carys has a twin sister – both attend Taxal and Fernilee primary school.

The build-up to the carnival starts at 7.30pm on Friday 22 June, with a slide show in the Mechanics’ Institute, entitled ‘A Look Back at Old Whaley Bridge’. It is presented by Chris Simpson., and will have archive pictures of previous carnivals, as well as plenty of local history.  Admission is £4, including refreshments.

There will be new faces all round at the start of the procession on Saturday.  High Peak’s new deputy mayor Tony Kemp, and chair of Whaley town council Anne Winter, each on one of their first engagements, arrive by boat with the new carnival queen.  They all help lead the procession, with Whaley Bridge Band under new musical director Matt Shaw.  At about 2.15pm, the fell race starts from outside the rail station. The crowning ceremony, with many visiting ‘royals’ from other carnivals, makes a pleasant afternoon at the Bowling Club.

At a glance dates:

Sunday 1 July: Royalty visit Holy Trinity church, 10.30am.

Sunday 1 July:  Welldressing Blessing at the canal basin 2-30pm. This is followed by an outdoor concert by Whaley Bridge Band at the Bowling Club, 3.30pm,

Monday 2 July:  royalty visits Cromford Court 6,45pm. Display by Chapel Morris dancers at Dog and Partridge, Bridgemont, 8pm.

Wednesday 4 July: annual pet show, Bowling Club, 6.30pm. Book in with your pet and completed form from 6pm.

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