Thursday, 30 June 2011

Wisbech Rose Festival

I have had a lovely day out today and, although I'm feeling a little weary, I want to share it with you.  We went to Wisbech, the Capital of the Fens, for their annual Rose Festival.  This began in 1963 when local rose growers sold rose buds to raise funds for the restoration fund at St Peter's Church.  Now all the churches in the town work together with local charities, schools and arts groups to put on a wonderful festival that lasts for four days and which includes flower festivals, craft stalls, music, art exhibitions, church services and a parade of floats.  We were blessed with good weather today (although some of the clouds were ominous) and so here is my photographic trip to Wisbech:
 Some of the craft and charity stalls in the gardens of the church of St Peter and St Paul
 The delightful Georgian Crescent built in 1816 by local builder and speculator, Joseph Medworth
North Brink and the River Nene.  
18th century merchants and landowners built their elegant mansions along the north and south banks of the river.
Thomas Clarkson was one of the early leaders of the Abolitionist movement and was born in Wisbech where he was the Headmaster of the Grammar School.  This memorial to him and his work in bringing about the end of the African slave trade stands on Bridge Street. 

Here are some of the wonderful flower displays and arrangements.  The theme was "Milestones" and this first one was about the discovery of gravity by Sir Isaac Newton.

There were arrangements for each of the main wedding anniversary themes.  This pink confection is for 20 years, the China anniversary (which we'll reach this October, hint hint DH):

 and this lovely blue display celebrates the Sapphire anniversary for 45 years of marriage:
The next two displays that caught my eye (mainly for that lovely Singer sewing machine) were recalling milestones in the home:

We had to eat of course and, as well as wonderful cream teas, strawberries and ice creams on offer in the churches and marquees around the town, the local pubs and cafes were doing a great trade and were all decked out with flowers.  We ate lunch in the beer garden of the Hare and Hounds on North Brink:

Finally, can you believe this?  I found a quilt exhibition!!  Also on North Brink was the Friends Meeting House, the building designed by Algernon Peckover in 1854 which replaced the original Quaker Meeting House which was created from two adjoining thatched cottages on the site in 1711.  The Quaker Quilting Exhibition included work from about 1899 to the present and these were the quilts that spoke to me most strongly:
 The Peace Demonstrations Banner by Norwich Quaker Quilters
 Baskets of Chintz by Chrissie Hawkes, 1996
 The Abolition of Slavery Quilt by Freedom Quilters, 2007
 Janie's Secret Quilt, owned by Edith Green, c.1899
Finally, more flowers.  These beautiful orchids commemorate the people of the Wisbech area who gave their lives in the Far East between 15 February 1942 - 15 August 1945, either in captivity or in action.  The tablet was dedicated by members of The Singapore Club, Wisbech.
Thank you for joining me, I hope you enjoyed it.


  1. A great insight in to the town(village?) of Wisbeth, one day I will be over to visit!!! One of my favourite things about blogging is I get to see all these wonderful places I would like to travel:O)
    Have a very happy Friday!

  2. Wow, I didn't work today so I wish I had known this was on. I live near the RSPB reserve in Freiston so not that far. I love the design and colours of Janie's secret quilt. Angela

  3. What a marvelous day you had, and the quilt show was an added bonus. Beautiful pictures - thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for showing us this look at Wisbech. The flower arrangements are beautiful, my mum would love them.

  5. Good thing you took your camera along! Some of those remind me of my days with Ikebana International. Even quilts! what a treat. Thanks for the tour.

  6. Lovely festival. It look like a nice day out as well. Of course you would find quilts in every event. I love the Janie's Secret Quilt. I always want to make one using all my scraps - thanks for sharing Lis - hugs Nat

  7. What a wonderful outing you have shared with us. And how lovely to discover a quilt exhibit - serendipity!


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hugs, Lis x