Whaley Bridge Rose Queen Festival on Saturday (28 June) will have an hour’s extra fun – and that’s guaranteed. There will also be a Hurricane at 2.30pm ! The parade, the town’s biggest event of the year, starts from Canal Street at 1pm, one hour earlier than in previous years. As Tim Mourne, the new chair of the festival says: “Our packed day goes on as usual till late afternoon, so that earlier start gives everybody an hour’s extra fun. All we want now is a repeat of the fabulous weather from last year!”
After two years, retiring Rose Queen Annabel Wilde, 14, will be saying farewell to the festival, but with a place of honour in the float, near the head of the parade. With her will be Princess Amelia Carden-Howe and her sister Harriet, a Petal and attendants Sophie and Oliver Edwards and Jessica Carter, with her sister Millie.
The parade, with four bands, passes along Market Street to Horwich End, returning by Old Road. The bands and dance groups, with the floats carrying visiting royalty, then make their way to the Bowling Club, arriving about 2pm for the start of an afternoon of entertainment. Bigger floats and a steam engine will return to the canal basin.
A highlight at about 2.30pm is a flypast by an RAF Hurricane, one of the iconic Battle of Britain fighters which helped to win the war. Last year a Spitfire made the flypast over Whaley Bridge. Tim Mourne said: ” In a year marking the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and the rededication of Whaley Bridge’s own war memorial, it is fitting and a privilege that we have secured another flypast.”
As the Hurricane roars away from Whaley Bridge, the afternoon entertainment continues, with displays by the Billerettes, Chesterfield Musketeers and Northenden Pipe band. There are fairground rides, stalls, a refreshment tent and a chance to see the visiting royalty groups. A unique attraction for youngsters is an artificial cave, supplied by the Peak District-based British Caving Association. It’s a safe replication that gives children an idea of what caving is like.
Earlier on Saturday, the Whaley Waltz fell race , organised by Goyt Valley Striders, starts near the town centre at 1.15 pm, finishing as runners splash across the river Goyt near Memorial Park. All day on Saturday, in the Uniting Church, Whaley Bridge Arts Group holds its 18th annual exhibition.
Other dates linked to the Rose Queen festival:
Sunday 29 June
10.30am, Whaley Bridge royalty attend service at Holy Trinity Church
2.30pm, Welldressing blessing at the Canal Basin
3.30pm, Bowling Club, open air concert by Whaley Bridge Band,
Monday, 30 June
7pm, Whaley Bridge royalty visit Cromford Court sheltered accommodation
8pm, Bowling Club, Chapel Morris Men entertain.
Wednesday 2 July
6.30pm, annual pet show at Bowling Club, booking in from 6pm
Sunday 6 July
12 noon -2pm, Whaley Bridge football ground and 3G pitch, Village Games and Family Sports Day, Information from Emma Beswick, 07909 443 043 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please bring astroturf shoes or flat soled trainers/shoes for the 3G.