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Spalding Flower Parade 2024: As it happened





Crowds descended on Spalding for the 2024 Flower Parade - with visitors enjoying a sun-kissed showpiece event.

The floats left the Castle site shortly after 11am — beginning the near-three mile journey by heading along Pinchbeck Road towards West Elloe Avenue — and our reporting team are out and about capturing all of the action for this live blog.

Our reporter says there was a ‘fantastic atmosphere’ at the Castle site, where the first floats have now returned, reaching the finish line shortly after 1.20pm. There is, however, something of a gap into the middle of the proceedings, with a delay for the second half of the floats.

Spalding Flower Queen Becs Roberts with husband Terry Payne at the end of the parade. Photo: Jenny Beake
Spalding Flower Queen Becs Roberts with husband Terry Payne at the end of the parade. Photo: Jenny Beake
Matt Clark leads the way for Spalding Round Table's A Knight's Tale float. Photo: Duncan Browne
Matt Clark leads the way for Spalding Round Table's A Knight's Tale float. Photo: Duncan Browne
On pause: The parade came to a halt shortly after 1pm to allow the ambulance service to come through the town to attend to an incident. Photo: Duncan Browne
On pause: The parade came to a halt shortly after 1pm to allow the ambulance service to come through the town to attend to an incident. Photo: Duncan Browne
Reporter Jenny Beake captures the moment that 2024 Spalding Flower Queen Becs Roberts and Deputy Demi Fontaine Gilchrist begin the parade, leaving the Castle site to turn into Pinchbeck Road.
Reporter Jenny Beake captures the moment that 2024 Spalding Flower Queen Becs Roberts and Deputy Demi Fontaine Gilchrist begin the parade, leaving the Castle site to turn into Pinchbeck Road.
The pipers entertain the crowds as the floats approach. Photo: Duncan Browne
The pipers entertain the crowds as the floats approach. Photo: Duncan Browne
Calthrops' King Kong float is ape-solutely brilliant. Photo: Jenny Beake
Calthrops' King Kong float is ape-solutely brilliant. Photo: Jenny Beake
On yer bike! An impressive effort for the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade. Photo: Jenny Beake
On yer bike! An impressive effort for the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade. Photo: Jenny Beake
On the march through Pinchbeck Road
On the march through Pinchbeck Road
SADOS and St Paul's school are celebrating the world of Disney with their 2024 Spalding Flower Parade float
SADOS and St Paul's school are celebrating the world of Disney with their 2024 Spalding Flower Parade float
Wowing the crowds on Pinchbeck Road
Wowing the crowds on Pinchbeck Road
Bagpipes heralded the arrival of the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade to Halmer Gate. The floats reached the street at approximately 1pm.
Bagpipes heralded the arrival of the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade to Halmer Gate. The floats reached the street at approximately 1pm.
And they're off! The 2024 Spalding Flower Parade floats leave the Castle site in Spalding shortly after 11am
And they're off! The 2024 Spalding Flower Parade floats leave the Castle site in Spalding shortly after 11am
Welcome to Spalding! The ambassadors are ready for Spalding Flower Parade 2024
Welcome to Spalding! The ambassadors are ready for Spalding Flower Parade 2024
Past Flower Queens are on their float and ready to greet the crowds
Past Flower Queens are on their float and ready to greet the crowds
The crowds are building around High Bridge just before 11am. Photo: Lorna O'Dwyer
The crowds are building around High Bridge just before 11am. Photo: Lorna O'Dwyer
Margaret Calkin and Judy Adams set up and ready for the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade in Church Street
Margaret Calkin and Judy Adams set up and ready for the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade in Church Street
The force is strong with this Star Wars float
The force is strong with this Star Wars float

As the floats weaved their way through the streets, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight conducted a flypast over Spalding, passing across the bright blue skies at about 11.30am. By just after 12, all 59 floats had left the Castle site and were making their way via Pinchbeck Road, West Elloe and Twin Bridges towards Queens Road. The front of the parade had reached Queens Road shortly after noon.

Deputy Flower Queen Demi Fontaine Gilchrist’s parents Livingston Gilchrist and Denise Hutchinson were waiting at her home in Halmer Gate to cheer her on.

2024 Spalding Deputy Flower Queen Demi Fontaine Gilchrist's parents Livingston Gilchrist and Denise Hutchinson with sister Montana Gilchrist. Back row are Demi's partner Joshua Campion with his mum Lizzie. Photo: Victoria Fear
2024 Spalding Deputy Flower Queen Demi Fontaine Gilchrist's parents Livingston Gilchrist and Denise Hutchinson with sister Montana Gilchrist. Back row are Demi's partner Joshua Campion with his mum Lizzie. Photo: Victoria Fear

They were joined by Demi’s sister Montana Gilchrist and Demi's partner Joshua Campion with his mum Lizzie.

Livingston told Victoria Fear he was 'overjoyed and ecstatic'. Denise said: “She is going to hear us before she sees us. We are looking forward to seeing Demi go past and give us a wave.”

By 1pm the floats were passing through Halmer Gate towards High Bridge, where a large crowd is eagerly awaiting their arrival. There was, however, a short delay with an ambulance called to an incident before the floats flowed over the bridge into the town centre.

The proceedings did come to a halt shortly after 1pm to allow an ambulance to get through the crowds.

An ambulance was said to have attended to a member of the public near Superdrug earlier in the day, but we’re happy to report that the person appears to have been led away unaided.

Before departing, deputy flower queen Demi Fontaine Gilchrist told reporter Jenny Beake that she was feeling ‘excited’ to see the crowds - and revealed she’s carrying her dad’s handkerchief in her bag as a good luck charm.

Reporters said that crowds around High Bridge are even bigger than last year, which was the first parade after a ten-year hiatus.

Shops have embraced the theme - with window displays and staff dressing up for the occasion, which has a movie theme for 2024. The South Holland Centre’s carillon of bells also serenaded visitors as they awaited the floats.

Crowds were already starting to get their spots by 9am - with visitors braced in the sunshine on West Elloe Avenue. As the parade began, temperatures nudged towards 20C.

Volunteers looking resplendent in boaters and jackets welcomed visitors at Spalding Bus Station.

A total of 58 coaches were due to arrive at the station before the parade, helped by the eight-strong ambassador team.

Showman Stephen Timewell revels in the fun of the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade. Photo: Victoria Fear
Showman Stephen Timewell revels in the fun of the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade. Photo: Victoria Fear
Jenna Robinson with 14-week-old Frankie, surely one of the youngest visitors to the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade. Photo: Jenny Beake
Jenna Robinson with 14-week-old Frankie, surely one of the youngest visitors to the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade. Photo: Jenny Beake
Melissa Arnold, Bryony Watts, Tyler Arnold with Finney and Jane take in the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade
Melissa Arnold, Bryony Watts, Tyler Arnold with Finney and Jane take in the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade
1969 Flower Queen Judith Smith is taking part in the 2024 parade
1969 Flower Queen Judith Smith is taking part in the 2024 parade
Paul, Nigel, Gloria and Lucy Mills await the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade in the glorious sunshine as temperatures approach 20C
Paul, Nigel, Gloria and Lucy Mills await the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade in the glorious sunshine as temperatures approach 20C
Sarah, Matilda, Esther and Sam Reilly of Spalding get ready for the 2024 Flower Parade in Halmer Gate
Sarah, Matilda, Esther and Sam Reilly of Spalding get ready for the 2024 Flower Parade in Halmer Gate
The knitted bunting is a nice addition to the side of the River Welland. Photo: Lorna O'Dwyer
The knitted bunting is a nice addition to the side of the River Welland. Photo: Lorna O'Dwyer
Charlie, 2, is ready with a bubble gun for the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade. Photo: Duncan Browne
Charlie, 2, is ready with a bubble gun for the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade. Photo: Duncan Browne
Crowds at the start, at the entrance to the Castle site, give reporter Jenny Beake a wave
Crowds at the start, at the entrance to the Castle site, give reporter Jenny Beake a wave
Spalding Guardian columnist John Ward is braced and ready to film the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade
Spalding Guardian columnist John Ward is braced and ready to film the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade
Spalding Parish Church is open for the day
Spalding Parish Church is open for the day
A warm Flower Parade day welcome awaits in the parish church
A warm Flower Parade day welcome awaits in the parish church
Stalls in the Sheep Market, Spalding
Stalls in the Sheep Market, Spalding

The coaches will be dropping off passengers in a specially cordoned off bay before being diverted over to bus parking at three different locations including Spalding Auctions and the Halley Stewart Field.

Leading the team is Pete Boekestyn who has thanked the sites for allowing them to use the parking spaces.

He said: “I am more nervous this year than last year for the fact that last year I didn’t know what was coming. Now I have had 12 months experience and I have a great team.”

Among the welcome team is Coun Gary Taylor.

He said: “I am excited and enthusiastic and looking forward to the parade. There is a real carnival atmosphere.”

Marshalls Trevor Hargrave and Helena Mason-Foster were armed with an air horn to alert people when the parade is coming - among the select few to be trusted with one!

Marshalls Trevor Hargrave and Helena Mason-Foster are playing their part in the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade
Marshalls Trevor Hargrave and Helena Mason-Foster are playing their part in the 2024 Spalding Flower Parade

Their role is ensuring that the crowd can safely enjoy the proceedings.

Helena has been decorating floats and is excited to see the parade. She said: "It’s lovely to see the people and community come together. Some people have come from Cornwall and Devon. People are coming from a long way away just for this.

“We are a small part in helping it to happen. It’s lovely to see the town come to life."

Their day started with a briefing at 8am

You can also look back at our build-up coverage here.

Did you come to the event? Let us know your views in the comments below…



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