Culdrose joins Flora Day in Helston
The ancient streets of Helston in Cornwall were bursting with anticipation and excitement as dancers from across the local community took part in the traditional Flora Day pageant.
Joining the parade as guests of the Mayor of Helston and Town Council this year was a group of serving Royal Naval personnel and their partners from Royal Naval Station Culdrose, including the new Commanding officer Captain Mark Garratt and his wife.
“It was an honour for all of us at Culdrose who were invited to dance on Flora Day.” Said Captain Garratt,” The crowds around the streets of Helston were tremendous and it really made us feel very much part of the community.”
Flora Day is a centuries-old tradition that has seen generations of Helstonians dance through the busy market town, banishing winter and welcoming the spring and is one of the greatly anticipated traditional events in the Cornish Calendar. Local people will tell you it represents more than simply wearing fine clothes and doing the “Furry Dance” through the streets. It’s a community coming together, promoting hope for the future and the lifting of spirits. To some Helstonians it is better than Christmas.
Lily of the valley is the flower of the day with the midday dancers who adhering to a very strict dress code, Top Hats and Tails for the gents and traditional colourful Tea Dresses for the ladies; a policy the Royal Naval contingent followed in fine fashion.
Helston Flora Day Association honorary secretary Chris Oliver said the event has always remained popular over the years. "It's such a wonderful day; people enjoy the camaraderie. Many who have moved away travel back from Australia and America for the event. The atmosphere is beyond words."