With the Wisbech Rose Fair taking place next month, Fenland Poet Laureate Leanne Moden was inspired to write this piece which is based on her childhood memories of standing by the roadside, waiting for the parade to pass by.
I’m standing on Elm Road, perched on the kerb. Feet arched into points to observe the ribbon of road before me. I long to explore, but you implore me to listen. Then, sure enough, I hear drums in the distance.
The crowd, now assembled, await the parade and a hush fills the air, like the rush of a wave. I’m feeling brave; I catch hold of your hand, snatch a glimpse towards Dad and pull you forwards.
We stand in the gutter, with all of the rest, till the splutter of trumpets fills my heart in my chest.
The scene, once all grey, is now bright reds and greens. On this day a school girl becomes a Rose Queen. The marching band passes, the majorettes twirl, the dancers with ribbons are the best in the world.
And lorries, once laden with veg and sugar beet, now have carnival cargo to take through the streets. These floats drifting past in a flurry of flags, steel drums are our soundtrack, and nothing can drag down the feeling of joy on this overcast day.
So we stand, hand in hand, as the samba beat plays.