Whaley Bridge rallies round to save Rose Queen

The Whaley Bridge Rose Queen Carnival
The Whaley Bridge Rose Queen Carnival

People in Whaley Bridge have rallied round to help save their iconic but under threat summer event, the Rose Queen Festival.

Organisers, who feared that this year’s 40th anniversary event might be the carnival’s last, were delighted with the turnout at a public meeting called to discuss ways of saving the town’s annual showcase.

More than 40 people crowded into the reception area of Whaley Bridge Bowling Club, with the proprietors providing a glass of wine to help ‘lubricate the discussion’.

Eleven of those who attended agreed to join the committee or be a helper in a specific role at the carnival.

A relieved chairman of the carnival committee, Tim Mourne, said: “I’m very encouraged and now feel confident the Rose Queen will go ahead next year - thank you Whaley Bridge!

“The meeting was excellent - there were far more people than we ever expected and some very constructive ideas came out.

“One speaker even thought the carnival could modernise into areas like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding!”

The crisis meeting was called when organisers realised a number of long-serving committee members wished to retire.

After the successful 40th anniversary in June, it was a moment of truth - if younger people didn’t come forward, there wouldn’t be a show in 2016.

One retiring committee member said: “This is a valuable opportunity for new people with new ideas.

“They are not bound to do everything in the same way.”

The new volunteers will meet in the Bowling Club at 7.30pm on Thursday November 19 and the annual general meeting will take place at the same venue on Monday January 18.