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EXCLUSIVE: Wisbech Rose Fair Queen is alive and kicking as two charities join for a new era that also brings a ‘Pride of the Parade’ competition




Wisbech Rose Fair Rose Queen Jordan Pope at last year's parade this year will see a new tradition born.
Wisbech Rose Fair Rose Queen Jordan Pope at last year's parade this year will see a new tradition born.

Wisbech will not only have a Rose Queen this summer but also a ‘Pride of the Parade’ as two charities join forces to keep tradition alive and bring new momentum to the annual event.

Wisbech will not only have a Rose Queen this summer but also a ‘Pride of the Parade’ as two charities join forces to keep tradition alive and bring new momentum to the annual event.

Wisbech Round Table and Wisbech Ladies Circle announced today (Friday) they would be working together for the Rose Fair Parade 2018 with the women’s group looking after the Rose Queen contest leaving the male organisation to focus on the newly created ‘Pride of the Parade’ competition.

There were fears that the traditional Rose Queen had been lost after reports the Round Table were this year going to search for a young person to head up the parade on July 7.

Chairman Jay Hubbard, said “The Ladies Circle approached us about running the Rose Queen competition some time ago, and we thought ‘actually, why not

run it as a Ladies Circle thing?’, after all, perhaps us blokes aren’t the best at organising that sort of thing anyway.

“The proposal couldn’t be announced until today as there were some details to finalise between the two charities. A previous press release was not due to be sent out until today (March 9) but it got published causing uproar from some locals on social media fuelled by the current mayor, Councillor Steve

Tierney, who labelled one person in favour of the ‘Pride of the Parade’ idea as having ‘a silly PC view’.

“The motivation to come up with a new idea had nothing to do with trying to be ‘PC’ and everything to do with recognising some of the young stars in the town. “We’ve already had a very heart-warming entry too”.

Mr Hubbard said: “I have personally felt a bit uncomfortable about the choosing of a Rose Queen as I know other ‘Tablers’ have too - especially in the current climate.

“That is why we are happy to let the Ladies Circle look after the Rose Queen side of things while we focus on finding a young person to take on the role of ‘Pride of the Parade’.”

Jay hopes nominations will come from schools, parents, grandparents, friends and young people themselves for a chance to head up the area’s largest carnival parade.

He said: “We really want to build some new momentum. Wisbech is a deprived area and there are many young people who have to go through a lot in their lives, we want to give them the recognition they deserve with a day to remember.

“We are looking for entries for people who have achieved something whether it is sporting or academic success, volunteering, supporting or caring for others – anything that demonstrates going the extra mile or perseverance.”

Meanwhile Grace Humphrey, who set up the Ladie’s Circle in 2016, said: “We totally understand why the Round Table wants to run the ‘Pride of the Parade’, and it really brings things up to date and refreshes a tradition. We thought that The Ladies Circle could take on the Rose Queen competition, easing the

burden of work and allowing the tradition to carry on. When we approached them with our proposal they thought it was a great idea. I’m pleased to say they offered their full support immediately and will help us to organise this as it’s our first time getting involved. If it’s popular we’ll run it every year.”

The Ladies Circle also came up with the idea of getting all previous Rose Queens together on a float this July – so if you’re one of them get in touch with

Sarah Cliss at the Fenland Citizen - sarah.cliss@iliffepublishing.co.uk - or wisbechladiescircle@gmail.com. These email addresses can also be used to Rose Queen competition.

If you’d like to be Rose Queen 2018, just get in touch with a few words about your hobbies, interests and ambitions. Please attach a recent photo name, address and contact details with your application. Nominations will also be accepted provided the applicant is willing to participate. Closing date is June 1.

The shortlisted applicants will appear in front of a panel and the winner will be announced shortly after.

The ‘Pride of the Parade’ competition is open to anyone aged six to 16 from the Wisbech school catchment area and is split into two age categories - six to 12 and 12 to 16. Nominations are now open and can be made through the Wisbech Round Table Facebook page or by emailing: wisbechrt@gmail.com.

Entries need to include the name, age and contact details of the young person, contact details of the person making the nomination and as much detail as possible as to why they deserve to be the ‘Pride of the Parade’ - entries close on June 1.

There will be one senior winner and two junior winners and they will be announced in time for this year’s Rose Fair Parade on July 7.



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