Spalding Flower Parade: Town ‘closed off too early’

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BARRIERS to control crowds at this year’s flower parade were put up too early, according to some business owners in Spalding.

Although the floats were praised, members of Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce said improvements could be made to some of the parade’s organisation.

Businessmen and women were given the chance to give their feedback on Saturday’s parade at a meeting on Tuesday.

Sue Stubley, from Occasions jewellers in Bridge Street, said: “The town was shut off too early. There was no need to shut us so early. It interferes with people coming to spend with us.”

Julie Grant, from Butters in New Road, said the barriers deterred people from trying to cross the road to look around the shops.

Although she praised the floats, Ms Grant said they passed through the town too quickly – especially for visitors who had stood waiting for several hours to get a good viewing spot.

She also claimed visitor numbers “were not there” this year, despite reported estimates of 35-40,000 people from the town’s police.

Steve Mason, from Mason’s Models in New Road, said he had been among those playing with Spalding Brass at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.

“We played to no one from 3-4.30pm,” he said. “It was soul destroying. We played our hearts out.”

He added: “It was not like years ago when we had stalls in there. You need them to get people in.”

Darryl Simpson, from Hills Department Store, said it had been the “best one” for them for people coming in but agreed the town had been closed off too early.

“There’s opportunity from early morning for some kind of activity,” he said.

Christine Hanson, from Bookmark in The Crescent, said: “I have had comments from people about the lack of local groups, such as the Scouts and Polka Dot. It brings people into town.”

PC Paul Smith said it had been the quietest parade the police have had for a long time, with the cells not reaching full capacity.