Friday, 29 June 2012
FINGERS CROSSED FOR ROSE DAY SHINE
The village has been on a bit of a knife-edge this week - or possibly should say weather watch - in the run up to Goostrey Rose Festival. My lucky rabbit's foot told me it would be fine and sunny this Saturday. But had a bit of a shock when I checked just moments ago - the forecast has turned to rain! But optimism shines. As I write the sun is beaming through the window, same as yesterday, when it was doom and gloom. I won't utter the words "We are doomed" for the festival as I might be sent down by the judge for giving away one of this year's best kept secrets in the time honoured parade of decorated floats.
Margaret Kettle, a veteran of the event as former Rose Queen in 1936, tells me there have been more wet days than fine ones. When she was made President in the mid-eighties she got a red umbrella which since then has acted either as parasol or brolly depending on the state of the day. Like many villagers she has turned out over the years as one of the costumed characters, among them Charlie Chaplin, Barbara Cartland - and of all celebrities and stars, Jordan! Margaret, now nearing 90, will be involved with Goostrey WI float but like all others what it will represent is a closely guarded secret. "I couldn't possibly tell you what it will be," she says.
Rose Queen Alice Keeling, who will ride in state for her crowning, is from a family with ancestral links to the festival first held in 1905. Her mother and grandmother were queens attendants and great, great aunt Alice Bayley was crowned in 1925. The first traditional act of the soon to be crowned queen is for five minutes of prayer at the cenotaph conducted by the vicar, the Rev Ian Godfrey. Ian's wife, Audrey, says she hopes Alice will be well supported in this act of remembrance outside St Luke's Church. It is often missed by festival crowds making for the main event on the school field. There is a full programme of family fun and events, including maypole dancing by Goostrey Primary School, the Ka Ramba Samba Band and Bruce Airhead's comedy cabaret, a regular at Glastonbury.
Let's hope he has left the rain behind him !