Spalding Flower Parade’s golden years

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Doug Braybrooks, in his book Spalding Flower Parade The Golden Years, says that on June 23, 1958, a meeting was held involving representatives of South Holland Horticultural Association, the NFU and the Tulip Time Committee.

It was decided to form a sub-committee that “could organise events to stimulate the interest of the national press and television coverage”.

Among the suggestions were a national flower arrangement competition or “a parade of decorated floats”.

In July 1958 the first meeting of the publicity sub-committee of South Holland Horticultural Association was held. Involved were Dick Heath, Horace Braybrooks, Eric Casson, Len van Geest, Cliff Vivian and Francis Hanson.

Doug writes: “It was agreed that some form of spectacle was necessary and it was decided that the spectacle should take the form of a procession of floats.”

On May 9, 1959, the first flower parade took to the streets of Spalding, consisting of floats, decorated cars, bands and the local Vespa club, and was declared “a great triumph for growers”.