Roses for Rose Queen Festival leaders

Whaley Bridge’s iconic Rose Queen Festival has a new leader.  Tim Mourne has taken over as chair from John Barnes, with a pledge to work towards making the event even better than last year’s success.

New Chair Tim Mourne, left, and John Barnes with Hilary Lomax

New Chair Tim Mourne, left, and John Barnes with Hilary Lomax

John has been connected with the Rose Queen Carnival for 38 years, 18 of them as chair in three different stints.  The 70 year old businessman said he will take ‘whatever role’ to help this year’s event. Over the years, more than £46,000 has been donated to local youth organisations.

There were roses for the two Rose Men at the annual general meeting.  Hilary Lomax, chair of the trustees, presented Tim and John with white rose buttonholes.

Tim, brought up in New Mills, has been with the Festival for only two years.  He said he was touched to become chair.  He thanked John for turning the Carnival round when he became chair for the final time two years ago.

Flashback to sunny 2013.  Rose Queen Annabel and her retinue

Flashback to sunny 2013. Rose Queen Annabel and her retinue

Tim added:  “Let’s make 2014 and then 2015, the 40th anniversary of the start of the processions, wonderful years.”  2015 is also the 150th anniversary of Whaley Bridge Band.  Moves will be made to celebrate both with a ‘spectacular’.

Tim Mourne, 49,  qualified with a mathematics degree from Manchester University.  After training with a Manchester accountants firm, he specialised in corporation tax.  He set up his own business in Whaley Bridge in 2005.

Tim was closely involved with bringing the Village Games to Whaley Bridge last summer.  It was a success, despite competing with Andy Murray’s Wimbledon triumph, and will be repeated next July.

2014 key dates:

Sun 9  March, selection of Whaley Bridge royalty.  Watch for local information about nominating young people

Fri 20 June, annual slideshow organised by committee

Sat 28 June, Carnival Day.  Procession new start time of 1pm

Sun 13 July, Village Games at sports centre.

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