This year’s May Day Bank Holiday weekend was just like most others for Spalding-based hair stylist Inca Honnor (22).
A Saturday at work inside Crown Affair Hair & Beauty in Hall Street was followed by a Sunday “chill out” and bank holiday Monday itself combined shopping with a few “jobs”.
What a contrast to the Saturday before May Day in 2013 when Inca, of Whaplode St Catherine, was the face of Spalding and South Holland as last-ever Flower Queen.
Inca said: “I was so excited, like a little girl, because it was the one time of the year for Spalding to really shine.
“I remember waking up early on Saturday, May 4, 2013, to get my hair done and to put my dress on.
“Once I was all reeady, the car came to pick me up and take me to Springfields Festival Gardens for the flower parade itself.
“The journey round town seemed to go so quickly, but when we went down Halmergate where I always used to sit with my family, I remember thinking ‘I’ve done it’.
“Standing out in front of all those people and speaking to the likes of John Hayes (MP for South Holland at the Deepings at the time for the flower parade) was a nervous thing to do.
“But it was more than just the day itself, which is almost like a clear blur to me now.
“It was about building friendships that I still have now, so it’s quite sad that the chance is no longer there for other girls.”
When we went down Halmergate, where I always used to sit with my family, I remember thinking ‘I’ve done it’Inca Honnor, of Whaplode St Catherine, Spalding Flower Queen 2013-2014
Inca wore her Spalding Flower Queen tiara for two years, longer than any of her predecessors, which allowed her to attend special events in Moulton Chapel, Pinchbeck and Spalding before a new Tulip Queen tradition took its place.
She said: “Not many girls want to represent their town and some feel like they need to go further afield in order to be successful.
“But in the two years I was Spalding Flower Queen, I took every single opportunity I could to go to lots of different events where young girls would see me in my dress.
“I wanted to give them what the previous Flower Queens had given me because it’s important for young children to have something they can aspire to in Spalding.”
British rhythm and blues band Soul II Soul’s 1989 song “Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)” resonates with the now “retired” Spalding Flower Queen Inca Honnor.
The song itself, a UK number one six years before Inca was born, speaks of “back to the here and now, back to the present time, back from a fantasy”.
Inca said: “Off the back of the flower parade, I used it as a platform to contact local primary schools and teach dance to children.
“Then I decided to get my hairdressing qualifications and my next goal is to become a qualified hair stylist, potentially having my own salon in Spalding.
“I was living in a little bubble, a fairy tale, as Spalding Flower Queen.
“But then you have to draw a line and step into reality.”