11 December 1998

A picture parade of Spalding floral past

SPALDING young farmers, a fruit importing company and a local butcher are among the stars of a recently-released video* tracing the story of the Spalding Flower Parades.

The young farmers and businessmen have long been supporters of this Lincs pageant which was inspired by the spectacular parades staged by Dutch bulb growers. They put to pleasurable use the brilliantly-coloured tulip heads that have to be bobbed in order to produce strong bulbs.

Vehicles of all kinds are converted with much imagination and a great deal of hard work into floats covered and coloured with tulip heads, each individually applied. They are paraded through the streets to the delight of local people and the thousands of visitors from all over the country who come along to watch. The films many of them took over the years have ended up in Lincolnshire Film Archive and now contribute to this fascinating video.

As the years rolled by fashions changed, the parade grew larger, the presentation more professional and costs rose. At the same time tulip growing has become a less significant part of local agriculture and the parade has stretched local resources almost to breaking point. But happily the show goes on. This years event, the 40th, was the biggest for some years and plans are in hand for the 1999 Spalding Flower Parade. AR

*40 Floral Years, compiled by Alan Stennett, available from Mr Stennet, Woodhall Junction, Woodhall Spa, Lincs LN10 6QX (£15.95 plus £1.50 p&p).