Will our flower festival wilt without new blood?

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Organisers of a church flower festival fear it may fade away unless some younger arrangers step forward.

Today marks the opening of the 51st Sutton Bridge Flower Festival at St Matthew’s Church and festival chairman Colin Tavner says it promises to be outstanding as always.

But he’s questioning how long it will continue as the band of arrangers is not in its first flush of youth with people in the team aged into their 90s – and volunteers having to step in from surrounding villages.

Mr Tavner said: “Over the years the festival has become more cosmopolitan with arrangers from Sutton Bridge, Long Sutton, Wisbech and other local villages all contributing their considerable flower arranging talent to make stunning displays in St Matthew’s Church.

“Organising this group of dedicated flower arrangers for the past 20 years has been the task of Mrs Pat Blundell.

“However, today, flower arranging seems not to appeal to post-war generations and the number of people taking it up declines.”

This year’s festival has the theme Now and Then and reflects how things, events and organisations have changed over the years from the Royal British Legion to motorbikes and to conquering Everest.

The festival is open from 10am-6pm today, tomorrow and Saturday; from noon-6pm on Sunday and from 10am-4pm on Monday.

Refreshments and light lunches are available throughout.

There will be a raffle, tombola, cake and plant stalls and there will be organ music each day.