Roses bloom in gorgeous Festival sunshine

All those crossed fingers worked!  Whaley Bridge can now forget the torrential downpour that washed out Rose Queen 2012.  This year’s Festival was completed in warm sunshine, with the temperature reaching the magic 21 Celsius.

The sunshine brought out the biggest crowds for years, and one of the best parades. It was smiles all round from Rose Queen Annabel Wilde and her retinue as they were greeted by cheers.

There was a special welcome for the Billerettes, who brought the parade to a temporary halt at the ‘Co-op Corner’ where the big crowd demanded more and more of their outrageous twirls.  The orange-skirted group gave an extra performance at the Bowling Club later, where hundreds of people enjoyed all the fun of the fair and more.

A brief but memorable highlight was the flypast by a Supermarine Spitfire from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, on its way to an air display near Blackpool.  It made two runs over Whaley Bridge, reminding people of that surging engine noise, so familiar from World War II movies.

John Barnes, chairman of the Rose Queen committee, called the day “brilliant.” He added:  “The organising team were fantastic.  The procession was well organised, and that’s what brings the crowds in.  The sunshine gave us the best festival for years.”

Sharing events was a group of Polish mums from Whaley’s twin town Tymbark.  They had a whirlwind weekend, including an introduction to curry at the Memories of India restaurant.  On Sunday morning they were up early for the 8am communion service at St James’, Taxal, before attending  the blessing of the welldressings at the canal basin on a second sunny day.  They described their weekend in one word:  Beautiful.

The party goes on… events this week include:

Mon 1 July 6.45pm – Queen Annabel and royalty visit Cromford Court residents
8pm – Chapel Morris Men and guest dancers entertain at the Bowliing Club
Wed 3 July 6pm onwards – annual pet show at the Bowling Club
Fri 5 July 6.30pm Treasure Hunt, starting from the Bowling Club.Entry per group or family, £3.  Last entry 8pm.
Sun 7 July 12-2pm, family Sports Day at Whaley Bridge football ground, in conjunction with Village Games, Derbyshire.Events include decathlon challenge, bunny hops, sack races, family orienteering challenge, tug of war.Contact Emma Beswick, on Tel. 07909 443 043 or

We have two picture galleries to show you, the first by our regular correspondent, James Middleton, and the second by Cllr Martin Thomas, Chair of whaley Bridge Town Council, who accompanied the Mayor of the High Peak, Cllr Tony Kemp on the carnival procession with Rose Queen Festival President, Tony Mackay, and Festival Chair, John Barnes:


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